How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 4} Drawer Glides…Uggh.

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Progress Posts

I’ve told you that drawer glides will be the death of me in the last post, but truly, drawer glides are not all that bad, especially with the trick I am going to let you in on.  In the storage beds they were not fun because there wasn’t a lot of room to work to get them positioned and put in.  But this project had a wide open front and back for working in, and the first time I put in the five original drawer glides it went perfectly.  But I had to go and complicate it.  You see, it was my first time making overlay drawers (I’ve only done inset before this).  I gave myself plenty of room because too much room is much easier to work with than too little.  After looking at the plans, there was all this space!  Space where I could squeeze in another drawer…a jewelry drawer!…And of course,complicate everything.

So after I put together the cabinet carcase

I added a face frame to cover up the plywood edges.  I used pine S4S 1x2s (which are actually 1.5″ wide).  Because of this, the sides are back 3/4″ from the opening for the drawers.  That means you need to attach a 3/4″ piece of wood for each drawer slide to bring it flush with the opening in the cabinet.  Normally people just put a piece horizontally where the glide is going to go like this:

but I was stressing about having enough room for glide adjustments.  So I put them vertically in each spot the screws on the glide would be screwed into like this instead:

And now for my magical discovery.  Someday I will actually purchase of drawer glide jig, but I always say I am going to do it before my next build and then don’t do it.  So I searched for a solution and came across this article from Woodsmith about how to go about this without a jig.  It worked great! (until I added that sixth drawer…but that’s my fault, not Woodsmith’s).  Here’s a shot of me in the process:

First one is in!  I still wasn’t sure at this point if the top sixth drawer was going to fit, so I put in the other five first to see.  I built the sixth drawer with 1×2 sides and 1/4″ plywood bottom so it would be ready if it fit.

Five down!  They all worked great and were nice and even.  But when I put in the sixth at the top, it didn’t have enough room left to get the drawer inserted into the cabinet slide.  But there was plenty of room to move some closer together, and that is when I spent a couple of hours adjusting these.  Not.  Fun.  At.  All.

Something I thought of that I left out of yesterday’s post is how to go about figuring out your drawer dimensions.  For European bottom mount drawer glides, you need 1/2″ space on each side of the drawer for the glides (but I recommend buying the glides before assembly so you can see what your glide’s specifications are).

I built out the front for the base moulding at this point also.

And removed the base moulding in the closet.  That didn’t go so well this time.  Very important to know where the moulding is coped (hollowed out so that it fits the piece next to it tightly) and holding the adjacent piece in place.  I talk about removing base moulding in the laundry room and in Pip’s room for the built-in bookcases.  Those went better than this:

When I reinstalled it, I used wood glue overnight and then some wood putty before I sanded it smooth and primed it.  Looks good as new and it is going in the closet after all.

Read more about how to build a closet organizer with drawers:

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 1} The Plans

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 2} Shelf Pins

How to Build a Closet Organizer {Post 3} Building Drawers

Next up is drawer fronts.  I’ll show you how I assembled them and put them onto the drawers!

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