Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Expedit hack 2: Drawers phase 1

To make more (=better imo) use of the Ikea Expedit cupboard we bought, I am making 2 sets of 2 drawers to fit in the square spaces of the Expedit. The idea is to make a seperate 'casing' that fits into the Expedit nice and tight and then the drawers can be attached to the casing. This way I don't have to damage (= screwing into) the cupboard which is nice if I ever want to do something else with it.

This entry describes the making of the casing. The next entry will be about the actual drawers themselves.

[EDIT] - This post is the first in a series. The next part can be found here.

I made this picture to show the basic materials we need. I never ended up using the tape measure though. Instead I used a normal, 30cm ruler. Much nicer.

To make the casing you would usually use 4 pieces of wood. Because I am using leftovers (nothing beats using leftovers!) I had to be a bit more creative so mine have 6 panels each, 2 on the sides and a bottom and top panel. All are 16mm thick. The square spaces inside the Ikea Expedit are 335x335x390mm. These panels are required PER casing:
- 2x 380x303mm (380 to leave room for the front panels that will go on the drawers)
- 4x 190x335mm

The screws I have chosen are 3mm thick and 40mm long. The drill I used to pre-drill the holes for these screws is half to 2/3's the thickness of the screw so 1.5-2mm.

Not shown but neccesary are a thinner drill-bit (1mm) and smaller screws (2x15mm) to attach the slider with.

Kick off by marking the holes to screw the side panels on the bottom and top panel. I chose to have the holes 30mm from the front or back. Of course they have to be half the thickness of the panel (=8mm) from the bottom or top.

When that's done, take a screw and a hammer and whack little holes in the middle of the marks. This makes keeping the drill steady a lot easier.

After drilling these holes there is a nice stack of panels to work with.

This is an example slider that we will use to make the drawers with. We have to mount these on the side panels before we put the whole casing together because after putting it together you can't reach them anymore.

These are the 2 parts the slider consists of. The top part is what has to be screwed on the side panels. Always be aware that there is a right and a left panel and their mounting is mirrored.

(Click picture to enlarge it somewhat)

Finding out where to drill the holes for the sliders requires a bit of maths. Nothing a 5 year old can't do ;-)

Alright then. The area below the dotted line (16mm from the bottom) is where the bottom panels will be attached. Just put your slider on the panel to find out how far from the bottom your slider has to be. Keep the slider-part that attaches to the actual drawer on while doing this. The line on 35mm from the bottom is the center of the holes in the slider I used.

35mm from the bottom means 19mm from the inside-bottom of the casing. This means that the center of the holes in the top-drawer slider have to be at 19mm + half the total height of the casing (=186,5).

Also, with both parts of the slider together, measure the distance from the front to the first hole in the slider you want to use. In my case this is 40mm.

Mark all the panels with these lines and also mark at about 40mm from the front of the panel.

Next, mark the holes. Put the slider on the line so that the line is visible right through the center of the holes in the slider and the 40mm mark (or whatever you are using) is in the center of the corresponding hole. Grab a pencil a draw circles in 1 or 2 other holes to fix the slider at. I did it this way because the distance between the holes was completely ridiculous. To ridiculous to remember anyway.

After all this marking, whack some little holes again and then pre-drill for the little screws. CAUTION! Make sure NOT to drill all the way through the panel, but only 10mm or so, depending on your screw.

Screw the glider parts on the panels.

Now pre-drill the holes into the bottom panel.

Also make room for the screw-head to sink.

Screw the first side panel onto the bottom panel and enjoy the result. It's coming together now!

Repeat this for the other side panel and the top panel.

Screw everything together and behold: A new casing is born!

See if the casing fits your Expedit well. It should go in smooth and steady. This is a bit important so the casing doesn't move when opening or closing the drawers later.

The finished casing in it's place.


marian said...

de appel valt nooit ver van de boom, handyman!!!!

Kristi said...

Thank you so much for posting how to make these drawers! I cannot wait to try them, as my expedit could use some organization!