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Pull out drawers behind cabinet doors?

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Forum topic by SMP posted 02-24-2021 06:07 PM 648 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SMP

3811 posts in 961 days


02-24-2021 06:07 PM

My wife wants pull out drawers in some more of our kitchen cabinets. I put a couple of them in one cabinet in the kitchen island. They work ok, but the one issue is that if the drawer isn’t pushed in all the way, the door hits the slide and scratches up the paint etc. The other problem i have is one of the cabinets she wants them in is a 2 door base cabinet that has a vertical divider on the face frame, even though the carcass is full width. If i were to put drawers in I would want them full width of the cabinet. Should I cut the center divider and pin it to one of the doors? So you would have to close one door before the other? Or should i just take the doors off and add a center horizontal divider on the face frame and change these to drawer fronts?


15 replies so far

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1thumb

318 posts in 3212 days


#1 posted 02-24-2021 06:11 PM

will zero protrusion hinges help solve one issue?

-- I actually have two thumbs. Both prehensile and opposing.

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pottz

16199 posts in 2040 days


#2 posted 02-24-2021 06:29 PM

if you can make or buy drawer fronts to match id get rid of the doors completely,there just a pita with pull out drawers.i have all drawers in my kitchen except for under the sunk,much more efficient.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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bilyo

1345 posts in 2158 days


#3 posted 02-24-2021 07:21 PM

I did the same in my kitchen, however, I put in slide out shelves rather than drawers. If you put in drawers then I agree with potz, just eliminate the doors.

I had the same issue with the slides scratching up the doors. If yours are the same as mine, it is a short metal tab at the end of the slide that is causing the problem. I used a short length of plastic tubing long enough to cover the tab. I cut it lenthwise, filled it with E6000 adhesive, and slipped it over the metal tab. Problem solved.

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metolius

354 posts in 1786 days


#4 posted 02-24-2021 07:39 PM

Should I cut the center divider and pin it to one of the doors? So you would have to close one door before the other? Or should i just take the doors off and add a center horizontal divider on the face frame and change these to drawer fronts?

I have a cabinet with double doors and slide out shelves which has the “center divider” on one of the doors. Its not annoying to me.

The slides are side mounted have gouged the doors deeply. It would have been better if the slides were bottom mounted so that the rub would be wood to wood. ( yet not perfect )

I think slide out shelves can hold more awkward things than drawers; and its a little easier to open a door and grab a thing then to open a drawer.

-- derek / oregon

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AlaskaGuy

6482 posts in 3364 days


#5 posted 02-24-2021 08:09 PM

Get rid of the doors and put in drawers. Pullout outs behind doors are a pain In the butt if you ask me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Kelly

3495 posts in 3999 days


#6 posted 02-24-2021 08:44 PM

ALL the lower cabinets I built have drawers, rather than just shelves. We’d never go back.

With the drawers, everything can be accessed with zero hassle, versus pulling the front items out to get to the back items.

Any way you can pull off drawers will be worth while. ESPECIALLY if you can trash the doors completely. Rather than fight doors to get to drawers, I just built face frames for all the drawers. It was well worth it.

All the drawers have 100# slides. One still works well, but no longer closes automatically, after just three years. I think I’ll swap those slides for ones that will hold even more weight (a lot of glass bowls in that drawer).

In a pinch, you could make twice as many drawers and use the center post to mount plywood running from it to the back of the cabinet. Otherwise, I’d just remove the vertical post.

Much of this depends on removing the doors all together and resorting to just face frames/covers for the drawers.

The screw holes for the old hinges shouldn’t to too hard to hide. Small dowels, stain and a match of wax under clear coat should all but vanish them.

I buy a wax near the color I need, the a jar of white and a jar of black. The latter two let me take the wax farther in the direction I need to go. Often, I cannot find the patch on small (e.g., 1/8” holes).

In the end, the drawer faces will hide all the gaps, except the 1/8” between two drawer faces, but even that cold be accounted for (I refused to give up an inch of valuable drawer space.

For one of the blind corners, I built two drawers that pull into the opening space of the wall 90 degrees to them. They have tall sides that drop down in front (starting half way down the side and front).

Closed, the drawers are in the south wall area. Open they are in the east wall area. The drop down side and front that meet at the corner from which you would access them allow you to access some things even without sliding the drawers out.

It’s the perfect place to store seldom used (e.g., holiday) stuff.

With the drawers in, I have a roll-around, which rolls into the open area and which acts as silverware storage and so on.

The opposite blind corner is a Susan with the gaps on each side converted to cookie sheet and bread/cutting board storage. In the end, there is only about one square foot of waste.

The fridge is my favorite. A farmer had me re-do his entire kitchen and insisted on a cabinet the same size as the entire top of the fridge. As he pointed out, the cabinet becomes inaccessible for the crap stacked in front of it anyway.

On a whim, I built a 30” susan and installed it. The Susan fit front to back well, but left about six inches on the right. The farmer loves it – he can access EVERYTHING over the fridge, and store big cookie sheets and such up there.

I built on for ours too, but put doors on the side, which are accessible from the hallway. It’s the perfect place to store spaghetti and other tall items.

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JIMMIEM

189 posts in 1897 days


#7 posted 02-24-2021 10:15 PM



My wife wants pull out drawers in some more of our kitchen cabinets. I put a couple of them in one cabinet in the kitchen island. They work ok, but the one issue is that if the drawer isn’t pushed in all the way, the door hits the slide and scratches up the paint etc. The other problem i have is one of the cabinets she wants them in is a 2 door base cabinet that has a vertical divider on the face frame, even though the carcass is full width. If i were to put drawers in I would want them full width of the cabinet. Should I cut the center divider and pin it to one of the doors? So you would have to close one door before the other? Or should i just take the doors off and add a center horizontal divider on the face frame and change these to drawer fronts?

- SMP


The soft close slides that retract completely might help with the door hitting problem.
I had a setup with double doors and a center stile and fixed shelves. I removed the center stile and fixed shelves. I ran a support board along the inside of the top rail….just in case. I made overlay doors with a slight gap between the doors to allow them to close without hitting each other and pull out drawer/shelves the full width of the cabinet. . It looks fine…...need to make sure the door sizes are accurate. You probably know this but get the hinges before you start making the doors. I’m sure any of your options i.e. doors with or without a stile attached to one of the doors, or drawers would work. Your decision.

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Sylvain

1224 posts in 3555 days


#8 posted 02-25-2021 08:27 AM

About 25 years ago I was not doing woodworking so I had a well known Swedish kitchen installed.
Wide slide trays for 60 cm modules were not available at that time or we thought we wouldn’t need it for that module. I have retrofitted them 2 or 3 years ago.
My wife is extremely happy about that change (we don’t get younger)

I have changed the hinges for 155° ones (not sure of the exact angle).
I also have had to move the lower hinge upward.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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Sylvain

1224 posts in 3555 days


#9 posted 02-25-2021 08:32 AM

home made sliding trays by another woodworker:
https://woodworksbyjohn.com/2020/08/13/utilitarian-project-kitchen-improvement/

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 4930 days


#10 posted 02-26-2021 11:58 PM

Lots of good points here. I agree that drawers are preferable to drawers-behind-doors. If you do go with some version of pull-out shelves, you can help protect your doors from the drawer hardware with little corner bumpers like these:
Slide Bumpers

-- http://www.peteroxley.com/woodworking -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View Carol's profile

Carol

126 posts in 1568 days


#11 posted 02-28-2021 12:54 PM

i love the drawer idea, myself, but since i have so many cabinets in my kitchen, it’d be a nightmare :)

we’ve lived in our house just over 20 years and have pullout shelves in all the base cabinets, including the island and every vanity. i think i can name on one hand, with fingers leftover, the times a shelf wasn’t pushed all the way in before closing the cabinet door. maybe it’s just a habit our brains developed lol

unless you have full overlay doors i wouldn’t recommend removing the center of the face frame. you’d lose at least the saw blade kerf at the top and bottom.

you could try lowering the back of each slide 1/8” so gravity will help close the slider. you could also try a soft close slide. you could try making your shelves an inch less deep and mounting them as deeply as possible.

maybe try full width drawers in just one base cabinet, see how it goes.

-- Carol

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Sylvain

1224 posts in 3555 days


#12 posted 02-28-2021 02:08 PM

With pull out drawer, one has to pull them out even to grab anything near the front. With pull out shelves, one just needs to open the door (as one can see on my pictures her above).

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6482 posts in 3364 days


#13 posted 02-28-2021 05:54 PM



With pull out drawer, one has to pull them out even to grab anything near the front. With pull out shelves, one just needs to open the door (as one can see on my pictures her above).

- Sylvain

I’ll take the drawer any day. I build my kitchen with all drawers …...we love it. My shop unfortunately is drawers/shelves behind doors…....hate it. I use both almost every day so I have a good grasp of both concepts.

Double doors=double PITA

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Sylvain

1224 posts in 3555 days


#14 posted 02-28-2021 06:06 PM

Replacing the door with drawers was not an option for me as the drawer fronts were not anymore available.
I should have done them myself but… when it is for the wife it is better done before yesterday.
She is happy with the pull out shelves (and me too).

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Jim2020's profile

Jim2020

57 posts in 294 days


#15 posted 03-05-2021 09:17 PM

SMP: You might consider using the existing doors as drawer fronts. I’m with most of the others here, and would only have drawers in my kitchen, but we’ve all made decision errors which leave us with this kind of a problem. With a bit of careful design and construction, you could have a set of drawers with fronts that look like a door. OK, there would be lines across the door for each drawer, but for the casual observer it would look like a cabinet door. It would certainly solve your problem. Just a thought outside of the box. Good luck. Jim

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