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Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 9th 09, 03:55 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 36
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

Hi all,

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. The space I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep and I hope to end up
with about 12-15 drawers of various sizes, but most will be about 3
feet wide and 1 foot high. This is essentially a big dresser, but
this is not furniture I'm building, so although functionality is
important, great beauty is not. My other concern is that the frame/
carcass be strong enough to support fully loaded drawers (with
appropriately rated slides). Does anyone know of a plan out there on
the web or in a book that might fit the bill? My searching for the
last few days has not turned up anything. I have found many plans for
dressers, etc, but nothing that matches the size or style (or I should
say, lack of style) of this project.

Many thanks in advance!

Kevin
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  #2  
Old December 9th 09, 04:09 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 9,133
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

Kevin wrote:
Hi all,

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. The space I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep and I hope to end up
with about 12-15 drawers of various sizes, but most will be about 3
feet wide and 1 foot high. This is essentially a big dresser, but
this is not furniture I'm building, so although functionality is
important, great beauty is not. My other concern is that the frame/
carcass be strong enough to support fully loaded drawers (with
appropriately rated slides). Does anyone know of a plan out there on
the web or in a book that might fit the bill? My searching for the
last few days has not turned up anything. I have found many plans for
dressers, etc, but nothing that matches the size or style (or I should
say, lack of style) of this project.


There is plenty of information around. What you need to google is books
on "built-in storage".

Here's a start for you:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...torage&x=0&y=0

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
KarlC@ (the obvious)
  #3  
Old December 9th 09, 04:32 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 1,619
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?


"Swingman" wrote in message
...
Kevin wrote:
Hi all,

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. The space I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep and I hope to end up
with about 12-15 drawers of various sizes, but most will be about 3
feet wide and 1 foot high. This is essentially a big dresser, but
this is not furniture I'm building, so although functionality is
important, great beauty is not. My other concern is that the frame/
carcass be strong enough to support fully loaded drawers (with
appropriately rated slides). Does anyone know of a plan out there on
the web or in a book that might fit the bill? My searching for the
last few days has not turned up anything. I have found many plans for
dressers, etc, but nothing that matches the size or style (or I should
say, lack of style) of this project.


There is plenty of information around. What you need to google is books on
"built-in storage".

Here's a start for you:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...torage&x=0&y=0

--

You can usually find some old sunset books on this sort of thing at half
price books. Millions of these books were sold at one time or another. Lots
of pictures, illustrations, instructions, etc.





  #4  
Old December 9th 09, 05:20 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 2,091
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

Seems pretty simple. Just build several plywood boxes (in your garage)
3' wide by 2' deep by 5' tall, no backs or fronts. Don't worry about
the fact that where they join they will have double thickness. The
build and move convenience of smaller pieces out weighs the loss of a
few inches in storage space.

Set them on the floor against the wall where you want the storage. For
a nicer look, set them on top of a 3" high box on the floor that is
only 21" deep so you have a 3 x 3 toe kick space. Screw them to each
other and the wall (maybe braces across the back to help attach.

Build a face frame(s), one large piece if possible or each separate,
just the biggest pieces you can get into the room from your shop.
Smaller drawers at the top, progressively bigger toward the bottom,
maybe one 6" deep, one 9" deep and the rest a full foot. OK to split
some of the 3' wide sections in half on smaller drawers if you want.

Use good drawer slides mounted to the sides of the boxes. Build boxes
from Baltic Birch ply. Plan face frame size for overlay drawer faces.
Make the drawer faces overlay by 1/2" all around and even gaps between
drawers.

At the top either run the top face frame into the ceiling (if it is
somewhere close) or drop a piece of 3/4 play, edged with solid wood
overhanging 1 1/2"

On Dec 9, 7:55*am, Kevin wrote:
Hi all,

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. *The space I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep and I hope to end up
with about 12-15 drawers of various sizes, but most will be about 3
feet wide and 1 foot high. *This is essentially a big dresser, but
this is not furniture I'm building, so although functionality is
important, great beauty is not. *My other concern is that the frame/
carcass be strong enough to support fully loaded drawers (with
appropriately rated slides). *Does anyone know of a plan out there on
the web or in a book that might fit the bill? My searching for the
last few days has not turned up anything. I have found many plans for
dressers, etc, but nothing that matches the size or style (or I should
say, lack of style) of this project.

Many thanks in advance!

Kevin


  #5  
Old December 9th 09, 07:02 PM posted to rec.woodworking
dpb
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Posts: 10,384
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

Kevin wrote:
....

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. The space I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep and I hope to end up
with about 12-15 drawers of various sizes, but most will be about 3
feet wide and 1 foot high. This is essentially a big dresser, but
this is not furniture I'm building, so although functionality is
important, great beauty is not. My other concern is that the frame/
carcass be strong enough to support fully loaded drawers (with
appropriately rated slides). ...


Others addressed the question asked; I'll tackle the other
concern--namely are you sure the attic floor/ceiling below joists are up
to this concentrated load you're proposing? That sounds like the
potential for quite a lot of weight.


--
  #6  
Old December 9th 09, 08:43 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 1,167
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

On Dec 9, 7:55*am, Kevin wrote:

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. *The space I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep


For 5' tall, you'll have sidewalls of 3/4" plywood; that's plenty to
support screwed-in metal drawer slides. For fine furniture,
there'd be dust panels separating the drawers, but you can
probably omit them, EXCEPT for one near midheight to keep
the case from bowing. This can just be a stick notched
to the right spacing,

A back to prevent racking can be 1/4" plywood, or even an X-brace
or three (the 9' width implies at least three banks of drawers).
Some kind of apron around the base will keep it rectangular on
the bottom, and a lid will keep it rectangular on top; my preference
for the lid would be dadoed 3/4" plywood, but if there won't
be anything on top you could use lighter material.

Like any built-in cabinets, you'll possibly need to shim the
base to follow any floor curvature. Because this is in an attic,
your cutting /fitting will be handled elsewhere (where the
sawdust doesn't annoy), and the parts will be carried
up one-at-a-time. A good big framing square and a level
are required for assembly.

It's amazingly hard to hand-dovetail plywood. Do the drawers
by a standard design of some sort, or even get a cabinet shop
to build 'em for you. For really heavy drawers, bolts/T nuts might
be a good way to attach the slides.
  #7  
Old December 9th 09, 09:27 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 2,808
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?


Kevin wrote:

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. The space
I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep

==================================

Time for a reality check.

Those attic "floor" beams are probably 2x4s.

The cabinet structure you are contemplating will have significant
weight.

The above are mutually exclusive.

Might want to go on down to the Home Depot and look at wire basket
storage systems normally used for closets.

Limit the attic storage to light weight things.

Lew



  #8  
Old December 9th 09, 10:06 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 4,207
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

Lew Hodgett wrote:
Kevin wrote:

I have a finished attic and I am looking to make it more useful by
building a storage unit that is made up of large drawers. The space
I
want to fill is about 9' wide x 5' tall x 2' deep

==================================

Time for a reality check.

Those attic "floor" beams are probably 2x4s.

The cabinet structure you are contemplating will have significant
weight.

The above are mutually exclusive.

Might want to go on down to the Home Depot and look at wire basket
storage systems normally used for closets.

Limit the attic storage to light weight things.


Depends on the attic. The house I grew up in had 2x8 ceiling joists on 16"
centers in the "new" attic and in the "old" attic I don't recall what they
were but they looked more like something that belonged on a Napoleonic
warship.

  #9  
Old December 9th 09, 11:09 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 9,133
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?

Lew Hodgett wrote:

Time for a reality check.

Those attic "floor" beams are probably 2x4s.


You could be correct, particularly if they are factory built roof
trusses, but then the rat runs and lateral bracing should give them
away, making it doubtful there would be room for a finished space, but ....

Certainly worth checking, indeed ...

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
KarlC@ (the obvious)
  #10  
Old December 9th 09, 11:27 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Posts: 696
Default Large wall of drawers: How to build frame/carcass?


"Swingman" wrote in message
news
Lew Hodgett wrote:

Time for a reality check.

Those attic "floor" beams are probably 2x4s.



Curious to know: Just how much weight can or should be placed on 2x4s
configured like that??? Recently my new neighbor, who just moved in,
was walking around in his attic and stepped off of one of the beams
and fell through the floor landing in the kitchen!

I mentioned to him that he was going to look back on that someday and laugh,
but he wasn't yet to that point...

Bill






You could be correct, particularly if they are factory built roof trusses,
but then the rat runs and lateral bracing should give them away, making it
doubtful there would be room for a finished space, but ....

Certainly worth checking, indeed ...

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
KarlC@ (the obvious)



 




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