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Add drawers to the tool cart

March 10, 2016

Several years ago I built a tool cart to hold my benchtop drill press and planer. I added a couple of drawers at the top, but had left the underside open. After years of stashing boxes, cans, and other junk in the big open space, I decided to add four more drawers to my tool cart.

New Drawers

Nothing fancy about these drawers. I used 1/2" plywood scraps I had leftover from other projects for the sides, and scrap 1/4" plywood for the drawer bottoms. They are assembled with simple butt joints using glue and nails. It's not fancy joinery, but I've been building drawers this way for years and they hold up fine. Then I apply a simple solid pine board for the drawer front, and add a knob in the center. About as basic as you can get.

Fitting The Drawers

Once the drawers were finished, I had to add spacers inside the cabinet so the drawer slides would be flush with the face frame. These aren't visible once the drawer is in place, so I just used more scraps I had laying around. Then it was just a simple matter of installing the drawer slides and inserting the drawers.

Unfortunately, the center divider in my cart wasn't exactly square to the front face frame. So I had to do a lot of shimming and cut a couple drawers slightly narrower behind the slides to get the drawers operating smoothly. It was a lot more work than it should have been, but in the end it all worked out.