We’re moving along with our master closet build. TJ completed building all the cabinets for our hanging space, the drawers, and shoes. Now his focus is on adding trim, not only at the ceiling and floor, but horizontally and vertically in between each and every cabinet and shelf.
To catch up on the project so far here are the links:
While TJ continues working on the trim in the master closet, Im building closet drawers. I’d never built a drawer before. Now I’m building twenty-six of them!
FIRST, YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT SIZE DRAWERS YOU WANT
As in most projects, planning is critical when building drawers. Especially the size of the drawers. You don’t want to go through all this effort, and money, and not be happy with your closet when you’re done.
We decided on two different widths for our drawers and several different heights. We knew we wanted mostly deep drawers. After measuring the depth of several different drawers throughout the house, we determined we’d do 10″, 8″ and 3″ drawer depths.
We feel these heights will work very well for the way we store our clothes. The 3″ drawers will be perfect for jewelry, wallets, and other small items that tend to get lost in deeper drawers.
We watched a lot of YouTube videos on planning and building drawers and did a hybrid version taking tips from each one. I’ll link our YouTube video here once we complete it.
CUTTING THE DRAWER PIECES
After we determined our measurements, I started cutting the plywood. We used pre-sanded, 1/2″ for the sides and 1/4″ for the bottoms.
I decided to cut and build the drawers in two groups.
Just in case I screwed up.
Which I did.
Because TJ wasn’t available to help me run the 4 x 8 sheets of plywood through the table saw, I used the circular saw and a Kreg circular saw guide to rip the sheets of plywood down to the height of each drawer side.
Once I got my long pieces cut, I went back and cut them into the lengths I actually needed for the four drawer sides. For half of the drawers I used the miter saw and for the other half I used the table saw. One was no easier than the other, it was just a case where TJ and I were trying to stay out of each others way. The circular saw would have worked here also.
POCKET HOLES CAME NEXT
I used the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to add pocket holes to the front and back of each drawer.
THEN CAME A LIGHT SANDING
Even though we used pre-sanded plywood I went ahead and hit them with 120 grit sandpaper after I’d cut the pieces. I thought I would prefer doing it now rather than after I put them together. I realize now that I’ll do a quick sanding regardless right before I polyurethane, so I didn’t do this step on my second set of drawers.
AND HERE’S WHERE I REALIZED MY MISTAKE
Whew hew! I have the front/back and sides for the first two cabinets READY TO GO!
You catching that error I made?
Yep, this is when I caught it too. You see, adding the pocket holes was actually kind of therapeutic – I was on a roll. Instead of adding pocket holes on just the front and backs of the drawer pieces, I added them to all four sides!
That won’t work.
Fortunately, I still had the other two cabinet drawers to cut, so I was able to use them and not waste the lumber. Glad I had only cut half of the drawers!
PUTTING THEM TOGETHER
After I finished cutting new sides for the first batch, (that I did NOT add pocket holes too, ahem), I began putting the drawers together.
I added wood glue to both ends, then using a clamp to hold the pieces in place, I added 1″ screws. Then I flipped the boxes around and do the same to the other ends.
THIS IS WORKING! I’M ACTUALLY BUILDING CLOSET DRAWERS!
Twenty-six times later, I had all the frames of all the drawers built. I was incredibly excited!! But, I still had the bottoms to go.
Fortunately, when I started cutting wood for the drawer bottoms, TJ was available to help me run the 1/4″ 4 x 8 sheets of plywood through the table saw, which saved me time. If I’d been by myself, I would have used the circular saw again.
Once we got the lengths cut, I was able to cut them into smaller pieces by myself.
I added glue, and then used a pneumatic stapler to attach the bottoms.
CHECK THIS OUT! TWENTY-SIX DRAWERS!
You fortunately didn’t have to witness it, but I was rocking a happy dance =)!!!!
This is definitely a BIG project – already several days of work. I still have to finish the boxes and build and attach the (attractive) drawer fronts. But having made it to this point, it’s feeling pretty good. I was pretty nervous about building drawers. I don’t know. It just seemed intimidating. But, just like with a lot of stuff, you scare yourself more thinking about it than actually doing it.
My next posts will share the progress TJ is making in the closet (it’s beautiful and amazing!!) and next steps on the drawers. Stay tuned!
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