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DIY Tales: Under-Cabinet Drawers

By Hello...I Live Here on Feb 16, 2014

Under Cabinet Drawers

Hi Everyone!!! Right now it’s all about storage in our shop today as we show you how we increased our kitchen storage using Under Cabinet Drawers. What are these drawers I speak of you ask? – Only the greatest thing since slide bread!

Under Cabinet Drawers - Wonderful storage

Living in a small space requires you to figure out how to use every single inch of unused space. We brought you posts to complete in between the stud cabinets featured in our Master Bathroom Storage post listed on Bob Vila Nation a while back. It was an awesome space saver giving us room to move around in a small bathroom without the cabinet hanging on the wall.

Today we teamed up with our good friends over at D. Lawless Hardware to bring you Under Cabinet Drawers for your kitchen space. If you are not familiar with D. Lawless Hardware, you need to be. They sell a large range of needed things from drawer pulls to drawer glides, which they furnished for today’s post. They ship directly to your door making it super easy to get your projects planned and implemented so you can start using that lost space.

If you recall last week we installed a Sear’s trash compactor in a retro fitted kitchen cabinet. It was a choice I do not regret, but since I lost some cabinet space, I need to find a way to reclaim it. I needed storage for all the baggies and stuff that lived inside that half of the cabinet, which started my research into motion. I got lucky with a Family Handyman article that provided nice DIY project instructions for completing the Under Cabinet Drawers DIY Project.

The Under Cabinet Drawers, also called Toe Kick Drawers, provide 4” of storage under cabinet storage space for things like baggie storage, cookie sheets, lids for pots and pans and oven mitts and towels. You cannot beat a drawer and if you can put it where no one knows it’s there it’s like having a secret when your guest watches glide the drawer out.

Here’s what you will need to complete the drawers:

Materials List

1 – 2’ x 4’ sheet of ¾” birch plywood for the drawer sides (we built four drawers that ranged between 15” and 34”)

1 – 4’x8’ sheet of ¼” birch plywood for the drawer and cradle bottoms

12’ of 1×4 pine for the cradle sides

Drawer pulls

Wood glue

5/8” and 1 3/16” nails (We use a Ryobi nail gun. If you use brad nails be sure to pilot to prevent splitting your wood)

4 sets of 18” full extension side mount drawer glides (We used 18” Length Quantum Full Extension Ball Bearing Slide provided by D Lawless Hardware)

Hardwood for the drawer fronts – 3 ¾” (Cut to size depending on your under counter space)

What we did to build the drawers:

The first part of this Under Cabinet Drawers build requires you to remove the toe kick and under cabinet fronts so you can determine your cabinet measurements. As suggested by the Family Handyman article you only need three measurements, the under cabinet width, depth and height. This will allow you to determine the measurements for your Under Cabinet Drawers and the special cradle that makes all this possible.

Under Cabinet Drawers - Remove Toe Kick and cut drawer sides

With your measurements in hand it was time to start cutting the drawer sides. Luckily we had several partial sheets of 3/4” birch plywood from other projects. Using an assembly line approach, we ripped all our under cabinet drawer sides to 3” and cut the drawer fronts and sides to length. The drawers were attached with Titebond glue and 1 3/16” nails and our Ryobi nail gun. Before attaching the drawer bottoms, we slide the drawers under the cabinet for a dry fit. Perfect!

Under Cabinet Drawers - Build the drawer sides

The drawer bottoms were made from ¼” birch ply. We purchased four 2×4 sheets from The Home Depot. To measure the drawer bottoms we laid the drawer on top and drew a line marking the edges. The ¼” ply was then ripped to size and attached Titebond glue and 5/8” nails using our Ryobi nail gun.

With the drawers built we cut the cradle sides the same length as the drawer sides. We then measured for the drawer glides. Since we wanted the tops of our under cabinet drawer to align with the cradle tops we measured 2” from the bottom of the cradle and 1 ¾” from the bottom of the drawer and drew a line. Our drawers would be attached using this center line as our guide.

Under Cabinet Drawers - Build the cradle

With the drawer glides attached we joined the under cabinet drawers to the cradle. We then placed the ¼” birch plywood beneath and traced a line to mark the size of the cradle bottom. Before attaching the cradle bottom we did another dry fit. Then the cradle bottom was attached using titebond glue and 5/8” nails and our Ryobi Nail Gun.

With the under cabinet drawers and cradles complete, it was time to attach the cradle sides to the under cabinet frames. We used our Ryobi angle and predrilled a hole and used two #6 1 ½” screws for each cradle side.

Under Cabinet Drawers - Attach cradle cabinet base

The final step was to cut and attach the under cabinet drawer fronts. We had some left over Poplar that we ripped to 3 ¾” width. This provided about 1/8” space for the drawer front to clear the cabinet. We decided to use Poplar versus hardwood because we will be painting our kitchen cabinets soon (that is right, another future post).

Under Cabinet Drawers - Wonderful storage

Now that the drawers are built, you can see the amazing storage we created. We want to thank D Lawless Hardware for providing their versatile 18” Length Quantum Full Extension Ball Bearing Slide. They are a full service hardware provider, so make sure you visit their page to order the items you may need for your projects, or to save money on your drawer pulls. They are customer service friendly and quick with response to your order needs.

Well, that’s our post for today thanks for stopping by Hello I Live Here – Until or next storage saving post – have an awesome night!

Linda -

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