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Forum topic by Jerry posted 02-11-2020 07:19 PM 915 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

3496 posts in 2933 days


02-11-2020 07:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor tip

I’m currently building a set of 4 end tables, and the prototype is nearly finished.

So after I figured out exactly what size drawer slides I needed for my end tables, I got on Amazon and found that the exact length I needed was not available, only 14” or 16” was available at a price point I wanted to pay ( I usually buy a package of 10 pairs ).

I could have found 15” slides in one pair packages for about what I was going to pay for 10 pair. A very bad deal. As I looked at my options, I decided that the thing to do was to go for the 16” slides and plane my drawer fronts down by the 3/16” I needed to make everything fit.

Not the best solution, but one that will ultimately work.

As I pondered this, I realized something..in planning my project, I didn’t take into consideration the length of drawer slides commercially available, instead I just made the assumption that I’d be able to get what I needed.

So what I’ve learned from this is that in projects where there is a commercial element that has to be bought for the project, that element is the one thing that cannot be adjusted, changed, lengthened, shortened, or manipulated in any way.

It’s the one unchangeable element of the project.

The project has to be planned and built around that one unchangeable element. You start with that and build outward from there.

I know it seems obvious when I say it, but it was not obvious to me until today.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/


19 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

4963 posts in 1191 days


#1 posted 02-11-2020 07:23 PM

For sure! I learned this lesson very early on as some of my first projects were kitchen cabinet related, and those things have been standardized for decades. So I learned to start with the hardware that fit those and build backwards from there. And its always much cheaper to buy things that are regular in stock items than having to order or modify something.

I’ve also out of frugality started to look at what lengths of wood come in before planning out things like drawers. For example if a piece comes in 10 foot pieces, can I make 2 or 3 drawers out of this, or do I end up with unusable cutoffs. Whereas if I redesigned it 2” narrower I could make better use of the 10 footer etc?

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oldrivers

2806 posts in 2852 days


#2 posted 02-11-2020 07:28 PM

The grand mark of a good woodworker, when a problem arises he develops a workable solution, good work Jerry.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

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recycle1943

5967 posts in 2908 days


#3 posted 02-11-2020 07:33 PM

Jerry, been there and done that. Not necessarily on slides but there seems to be an oooops in many different projects

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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splintergroup

6029 posts in 2508 days


#4 posted 02-11-2020 07:47 PM

I’ve certainly learned to have the hardware in hand long before cutting. It irks me too that often the project is “forced” into some quantum of dimensions due to commercial hardware (but it sure does beat prices for custom or doing your own 8^)

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doubleDD

10801 posts in 3329 days


#5 posted 02-11-2020 07:59 PM

Lol, I’ve been there too. Like you said , not all the time do we think ahead of something that’s store bought for a project not realizing it may be a problem later. As woodworkers we always seem to make it work but it is much better when all things just come together for us.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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Lazyman

8247 posts in 2673 days


#6 posted 02-11-2020 10:13 PM

I do this all the time too. For me though, I find that problem solving is part of the fun. Sometimes small compromises can be made that ultimately don’t affect the project much. In your case, I probably would have gone with a 14” slide and just given up an inch of the drawer sliding out, because having an inch of the drawer inside the case often is not that big of a deal, which is probably the assumption that the manufacturer makes by not offering a 15” slide.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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teetomterrific

123 posts in 1647 days


#7 posted 02-11-2020 10:35 PM

This is the main reason I pre-build all my projects in Sketchup which usually includes drawing the exact piece of hardware I plan to use from the manufacturers dimensions. I’ve caught more mistakes than I can count from taking this approach.

I agree with Lazyman and his reasoning though. I’d go with the 14” slides instead of modifying the drawer.

-- Tom, Adams, TN

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4807 posts in 3633 days


#8 posted 02-11-2020 10:52 PM

The first time I built closet cabinets I ran into that problem. I figured I was the only one that didn’t consider the availability and costs of the drawer slides. On this go-around, they were the first thing I looked at, and consequently, the first thing I purchased. Glad to see I’m not the only one that had this happen.

Oh, and I also forgot to make sure there was enough space behind the drawers for them to completely close. I lucked out and had 1/8” clearance. This time, I added 3/4” clearance behind the drawers

I’m missing the reasoning behind how a 16” slide will work if you take 3/16” off the fronts, but a 14” wouldn’t work. It’s been a long day and my brain can’t figure it out.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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James E McIntyre

1570 posts in 2578 days


#9 posted 02-11-2020 10:53 PM

Nice insight Jerry. Something I’ll keep in mind when I build my A & C desk.
Can you make your own wood slides on the bottom or sides?

-- James E McIntyre

View magoo101's profile

magoo101

10 posts in 2944 days


#10 posted 02-11-2020 11:10 PM

If misery loves company then you are definitely not alone. I just built a pair of cabinets with eight drawers for my son. I wanted to optimize the depth of the cabinet and built the drawers accordingly only to find out that they didn’t make undermount drawer slides in that length. Fortunately I hadn’t glued up the drawers and was able to shorten them to match the slides. It took awhile to get the dumbfounded look off my face!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

3496 posts in 2933 days


#11 posted 02-11-2020 11:12 PM



For sure! I learned this lesson very early on as some of my first projects were kitchen cabinet related, and those things have been standardized for decades. So I learned to start with the hardware that fit those and build backwards from there. And its always much cheaper to buy things that are regular in stock items than having to order or modify something.

I ve also out of frugality started to look at what lengths of wood come in before planning out things like drawers. For example if a piece comes in 10 foot pieces, can I make 2 or 3 drawers out of this, or do I end up with unusable cutoffs. Whereas if I redesigned it 2” narrower I could make better use of the 10 footer etc?

- SMP

That whole idea of industry standards is finally beginning to sink in for me. It’s an important point, and to that end, I’ve decided I’m going to take some time to study common hardware and how it’s typically installed.

In terms of the wood, I don’t have the choices I’d like to. I’m buying 15/16” hit or miss hickory boards of various lengths. I can sorta kinda extrapolate, but nailing it down ( no pun intended ) for perfectly optimizing usage before I buy it is just not an option for me. The boards are all over the place, ranging in length from 6 to 20 feet, and in width from 7.5 to 9.5” PLUS, the width is not consistent from one end to the other.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

3496 posts in 2933 days


#12 posted 02-11-2020 11:12 PM



The grand mark of a good woodworker, when a problem arises he develops a workable solution, good work Jerry.

- oldrivers

Thank you my friend!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

3496 posts in 2933 days


#13 posted 02-11-2020 11:16 PM



I do this all the time too. For me though, I find that problem solving is part of the fun. Sometimes small compromises can be made that ultimately don t affect the project much. In your case, I probably would have gone with a 14” slide and just given up an inch of the drawer sliding out, because having an inch of the drawer inside the case often is not that big of a deal, which is probably the assumption that the manufacturer makes by not offering a 15” slide.

- Lazyman

In my case there are limits to how long AND how short my slides can be since they are being mounted on the inside plane of the four legs. They have to be long enough to reach from the front leg to the back, but cannot go beyond that by more than 3/4” on the front OR the back, or they would push out the back panel and the front drawers.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

3496 posts in 2933 days


#14 posted 02-11-2020 11:23 PM



This is the main reason I pre-build all my projects in Sketchup which usually includes drawing the exact piece of hardware I plan to use from the manufacturers dimensions. I ve caught more mistakes than I can count from taking this approach.

I agree with Lazyman and his reasoning though. I d go with the 14” slides instead of modifying the drawer.

- teetomterrific

Funny you should mention that, I’m a firm believer in Sketchup, and to be fair, I DID catch many mistakes in the program before I went to press, but I also missed quite a few and had to revise my plans on the fly.

As it turns out, I had missed yet another dimension consideration, and I did wind up getting the 14” slides, and now no modification of the drawers will be necessary.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

3496 posts in 2933 days


#15 posted 02-11-2020 11:26 PM



The first time I built closet cabinets I ran into that problem. I figured I was the only one that didn t consider the availability and costs of the drawer slides. On this go-around, they were the first thing I looked at, and consequently, the first thing I purchased. Glad to see I m not the only one that had this happen.

Oh, and I also forgot to make sure there was enough space behind the drawers for them to completely close. I lucked out and had 1/8” clearance. This time, I added 3/4” clearance behind the drawers

I m missing the reasoning behind how a 16” slide will work if you take 3/16” off the fronts, but a 14” wouldn t work. It s been a long day and my brain can t figure it out.

- EarlS

As mentioned in one of my previous responses, the slides need to straddle the legs, but not go so far that they push out the back panel and the drawers, but as it turned out, 14” is going to be perfect.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

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