TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

How to Build Under Cabinet Drawers

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????You can increase the storage space in your kitchen by installing drawers underneath your cabinets. This article is going to show you how to construct toe-kicker drawers, all from your home garage/shop.

1.) Will it Be Compatible with Your Cabinets?

It you have cabinets, which have sides that extend onto the kitchen floor, you will be able to accomplish this project.

Things you should consider:

If you have wide cabinets, longer than 28 in, then it will be best to use two drawers, to prevent binding.

2.) Materials and Tools Needed

The only things that you truly need is a circular saw and hand tools, but if you want the best results, you should rent out a table and miter saw. You can also use just a hammer, if you don’t have a nail gun. A nail gun would be much more beneficial though.

The type of drawers that you will need are side-mount full extension drawers. You can use different sizes if you want, but this size will best fit the overhanging cabinet front.

In order to prevent warp, go with a oak or birch wood. Hardwood plywood will last longer than construction grade.

3.) Removing and Measuring the Toe-Kick

The easiest way to remove the toe kick, is to drill a hole in the center piece and cutting it in half to pull it out. Next you will want to pull out any nails and break off any blocking.

You will need to measure three things:

Measurement 1:

Subtract 1-1/2 inch from the side to find out the width of the drawer sides, back and front.

Subtract 1/2 inch from the side to figure out the width of the drawer faces.

Measurement 2:

Subtract 3-3/4 inches from the width to find out the length of the front and back of the drawer.

Measurement 3:

Subtract 1/4 in from the length to determine the length of the drawer sides and cradle. This is the max drawer slides that will fit.

4.) Building the Drawers and Cradles

You will want to build each drawer first, and then build a cradle around the drawer. The drawers are easy to make and you only need to nail them together. You will have to place the back and front between each of the sides. After that is finished measure out the drawer bottoms and cut them out. The 1×4 cradle sides will need to be cut to the same length as the as the drawer sides.

On the cradle and drawer sides mark the screw lines. Next separate the drawer from the cabinet by pulling each slide apart. You will then screw each one on. Once that is finished, slip the the slides together again, and screw the cradle base. You can then make sure the drawers open up without getting stuck.

Installing the Drawers

You will want to slip each cradle under the cabinet and hold them into place with 1-5/8 inch screws. Next you will want to cut the drawer faces to the right width. The best way to attach the faces is with a nail gun. When attaching the faces, just make sure they do not drag on the floor.


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Ted Leger –


Updated: November 10, 2014 — 1:25 pm
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