Small Plastic Drawers – Do you think the yellow and the green bring out the highlights in my eyes? Migrojig. Maker of the GRR-RIPPER. Work safer. Work Smarter. When you make cabinets, usually you build the cabinets first and then make the drawers to fit. This time, I’m going to start with the drawers and build the cabinet around them. This one long piece of MDF is going to be both the front and the back of all 16 of the drawers. I’m going to cut grooves all the way down for the sides of the drawers and then I’ll split it down the middle. Using a 1/2″ wide stack of dado blades, my first cut is going to be a half inch wide rabbet on the end of this board.
I want there the be a 2″ space between each groove, so I’ve cut this 2.5″ block for my next cut. I’ll slide it up against the edge of my blades. Then I’lllock this down as a stop block. This thin, half-inch wide strip will help me register each cut. I’ll hot glue it in place using the stop block and that rabbet on the end of the board. When that’s dry I can remove this block. And now it’s just a matter of cutting a groove and sliding it over on top of that key each time. I cut out this 1/8″ thick piece of hardboard for the bottom of the drawers. It’ll fit into this rabbet I just cut. These 17 pieces are all going to be the sides of the drawers. Aside from adding strength, the main reason for making these notches is that all of the dividers will line up nice and square.
With that dry, I can glue this hardboard panel to the bottom. I’ll make a couple passes of my dado blades to make the drawer pulls. Now comes the fun part. All I need to do is chop these apart and I’ve got a whole bunch of drawers. I’ll start by trying to cut as close to the center of this one as I can. Then I’ll be able to set a stop block all the way down. If I can make this one really accurate, the rest should fall into place. Now I can adjust my fence to make a series of equal cuts. That sure beats trying to make 16 individual drawers. To figure out the width of these horizontal dividers I’m using some 1/4″ spacers between each of the drawers.
Plus, I’m going to add a playing card in between each one. That’s give me the size with a little breathing room for the drawers to slide in and out. The depth of all of these dividers is just going to be the depth of the drawers. To set up for the slots in the dividers, I’m going to use a drawer, a 1/4″ board and this is just going to be a stop block for my fence. And I’m also going to stick in a couple of playing cards for spacers. About like that. Lock that in. And those will make two of the cuts. I’ve got a 1/4″ stack of dado blades, I’ve raised it as high as it will go, and I’m going to c t to the halfway point on each board.
This center groove is going to be a little tricky. I think what I’m going to do is put in a couple of spacers into the slots I just cut. And then I can line up a couple of drawers. And put in another spacer. I’m glad I cut an extra one of these dividers so I can run a test on it. That one feels kind of loose, and this one’s too tight. So it looks like I need to tighten up this gap here by moving my fence over just slightly. I think that’s it. After some trial and error, it looks like that’s a good fit. I think maybe if you did the center slots first and then cut the outside slots, you might have better luck. I’m positive you can come up with better ways to do this.
What I’m going to do on the vertical dividers is cut them all at once on this long strip. I’ve already cut the first slot to the halfway point. Now I’m going to use another piece as a key, and one of the drawers as a spacer against the blade. So I can move this up against that side and I’m going to add the thickness of four playing cards to my fence. For the next two dividers, I should be able to line it up using these slots. I’m pretty sure you can come up with a way better solution for cutting those slots than I just did. It seems like these are going to work but I’d love to hear your suggestions. Just leave them down in the comments. I’ll basically use that same system to cut the grooves in the two side pieces.
This is half-inch MDF so I’ll go halfway through. I’m using half-inch boards for the top and bottom and just gluing them right on. And finally, I cut a piece of hardboard that I can glue on the back. If you’d like to make your own small parts cabinet, check down in the description for a free set of plans. I mean, why go to the store and spend 15 or 20 bucks on a small parts cabinet when you can make your own for twice that amount! As always, I want to thank you for watching Woodworking for Mere Mortals where I post brand new woodworking videos every Friday. It was lovely spending time with you this week. I’ll see you next time.