Introduction: 10 Degree Kitchen Drawer Fix

Picture of 10 Degree Kitchen Drawer Fix

Sometimes the smallest home improvement or fix it project can mean the most to a homeowner.

We recently replaced the original laminate counter tops in our house with granite counter tops. When we did this we decided to install drawer handles and door knobs. One thing we discovered at the corner in out kitchen is that one of the drawers would not open if the adjacent drawer had a handle installed. Luckily I did not install the handle on that drawer before I discovered the problem.

We didn't install the handle that would block the other drawer, but to open the drawer to full depth then we had to open the door to the oven. Not cool.

It was a really bad cabinet design by the people who designed the kitchen, but it was something we didn't notice when we bought the house when it was a month away from being completed as a spec home.

As I looked at the drawer that wouldn't open all the way I thought to myself that it would be great if the drawer could slide out of the opening at an angle. Then I thought "Why Not?" There was enough room in the corner cabinet for it and I thought I would most likely be able to re-use the original drawer slide hardware.

The drawers were made as a box with the drawer face screwed to the front of the box. A box with a little angle to it shouldn't be too difficult.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

Materials

  • Poplar board for drawer sides
  • Various screws
  • 1/4" plywood for drawer bottom
  • Re-used the drawer slides and drawer face from the original drawer

Tools
The tools I used on the project were as follows:

Not all of the tools in this list are required. You may be able to substitute other tools depending on your situation.

NOTE: If you plan on using any tool for a project please make sure you are familiar with the tool and all of the dangers associated with it. If you are not familiar with a tool then you should ask someone who is to show you the proper way to use it. A lot of communities have classes at local colleges on the proper use of tools and machinery. There are also local woodworking clubs that offer classes at very reasonable rates for beginners. I highly recommend using these resources for your safety and for the most efficient use of the tool.

SAFETY FIRST
Always wear eye and hearing protection.
Always work safe with the proper safety equipment and guards on your tools.

Step 2: Measure Existing Drawer

Picture of Measure Existing Drawer

I started measuring the existing drawer and realized since I was going to angle the replacement drawer out of the existing opening that the width of the drawer would be limited by the width of the drawer opening. I then took some measurements from the existing drawer to find out how much width the drawer slide hardware added to the width of the drawer.

I was going to make the new drawer a parallelogram, but decided against this so using the existing drawer hardware would be easier.

Step 3: Planning for the Angled Drawer

Picture of Planning for the Angled Drawer

I was going to make the drawer at a more extreme angle such as 20 or 30 degrees, but decided it would look better to just go with something that would just clear the handle on the adjacent drawer and the stove. I settled on 10 degrees for the angle. It actually worked out really well since my miter saw has a locking position at the 10 degree angle.

I decided it would work to re-use the existing drawer slides. To do this and make use of the auto close feature that kicks in when the drawer is almost closed I needed to keep the slides parallel and even with each other. Since the front of the drawer face was going to be at 10 degrees I had to put a 10 degree wedge under the front of the new drawer. More on that later.

Step 4: Cutting the Pieces / Sample Drawer Box

Picture of Cutting the Pieces / Sample Drawer Box

I started layout out the piece doing the math with a 10 degree angle, but decided to fall back on my computer to lay out the drawer using the width constraints I determined from the earlier step.

I have a 10 degree locking point on my miter saw so it worked out great to cut the pieces accurately.

Since I only had one piece of poplar that I had milled down to a 5/8" thickness to match the other kitchen drawers I decided to make a trial run drawer box out of some scrap plywood. This worked out well and also allowed me to set my pocket hole depth so it would not let the pocket hole screws go all the through the side piece of the drawers.

I cut all of the pieces I could at the same time to minimize any differences in angles.

I put all of the pieces together to make sure the pieces had a good fit and then held it in the cabinet to make sure the box was roughly the correct size.

Step 5: Assemble the Drawer

Picture of Assemble the Drawer

I used a Kreg pocket hole jig to assemble the drawer pieces. Before I did this I used some of cutoff pieces from the drawer sides to assemble a mock piece to make sure the pocket hole screw depth was sep appropriately. I didn't want the pocket screws going through the side of the drawer where the corner angle was 60 degrees.

I added glue to the corners before I

Step 6: Drawer Bottom

Picture of Drawer Bottom

The drawer bottom includes the bottom piece of wood and the slots that need to be cut in the front, back, and side pieces of the drawer box.
I used an existing piece of 1/4 inch baltic birch plywood for the drawer bottom. I set the drawer on the piece of plywood and marked a 1/4" line on the two sides of the piece of plywood. I lined this up with the inside of the drawer box and drew line on the plywood for the other two sides. Then I draw a 1/4" offset line to get the full outline of the drawer bottom.

I cut out the drawer bottom using a band saw and then smoothed the edged with a belt sander.

I cut the slots for the 1/4 inch plywood on the table saw. The 1/4 inch thick plywood is actually a little thinner. I used a sample piece to get the slots cut the correct width.

One of the nice things about using the pocket screws to put the drawer box together is that you can cut the slots for the drawer bottom all the way across all of the pieces. When the box goes together the slots are hidden in the front of the drawer with the drawer face.

Step 7: Attaching the Slides

Picture of Attaching the Slides

Using the old slides I had to make sure they were parallel and also extended the same amount. They have a quick release piece that attached to the front of the drawer. Since the drawer front is at 10 degrees I had to cut a piece of wood to put across the front of the underside of the drawer so these quick release pieces would be besides each other.

I then attached a couple think pieces of wood on the bottom of the slides to keep them spaced correctly while installing the guides. These made it possible to hold the drawer assembly in place while positioning it in the cabinet.

Step 8: Make the Drawer Supports

Picture of Make the Drawer Supports

The existing drawer slides I was using had molded plastic supports that attached to the back of the cabinet. Since I couldn't re-use these with the 10 degree angle I decided to support the slides with added pieces of wood screwed to the sides of the slide mechanism. This worked well since they already had screw holes in them.

I rough cut the wood supports to a length that I though would almost touch the back of the cabinet. This would allow a little side to side movement for aligning the drawer face and let me support the guides with another piece of wood screwed to the back of the cabinet under the guides.

The first time I cut and attached these I ended up with one piece that was about a quarter inch too long. I couldn't get the drawer box face to align with the cabinet face so I remove the assembly and cut a quarter inch off of the support.

Step 9: Support for the Supports

Picture of Support for the Supports

I installed a horizontal piece of 3/4" thick wood under each of the drawer supports. The top of these supports were set by measuring from the top of the cabinet down to match the distance at the front of the cabinet from the top down to the drawer supports.

Since I had to put the whole drawer and slide assembly into the cabinet through the door opening and then lift and rotate it into place I was able to lift it a little higher and swing it into position on these rests in the back of the cabinet.

There really wasn't anything too exact with these support pieces as no one will see these inside the cabinet and behind the drawer.

Step 10: Align the Drawer Face

Picture of Align the Drawer Face

The next step is to align the drawer face with the front of the cabinet so the drawer face is flat against the cabinet when you attach it. With the front left drawer guide attached to the face frame of the cabinet you can slide the back end of the guides (near the back of the cabinet) left or right to align the drawer face. One you have everything where you want it make the supports at the rear of the cabinet with a pencil mark so you know where things need to be for proper alignment. This is critical since things move easily until you get them screwed in place.

Now put a screw through the right drawer support to get the that locked into position. I added a thin wood shim between the guide support and the side of the cabinet.

In the back of the cabinet I added a strip of wood over the top of the drawer guide piece to keep the drawer from tipping down once it was extended. I just screwed this in place in case I ever needed to remove it.

Step 11: Attach the Old Drawer Face

Picture of Attach the Old Drawer Face

Add two strips of double sided tape to the front of the drawer box. Now take the old drawer face and slowly push it into position on the tape. This should hold it enough for you to securely attach the face to the drawer box. Since the drawer face already had a handle installed I used the holes from the handle and extended those holes through the front of the drawer box. Once I had those holes drilled I removed the double sided tape and then attached the drawer front with the drawer handle screws.

If the drawer box is sitting slightly behind the front of the face frame of the cabinet then you will need to hold the drawer face in position with one hand and use your other hand to reach through the door opening and pull the drawer box forward until the double sided tape sticks.

Step 12: Success

Picture of Success

After installing the new drawer I realized I could have made the drawer a little deeper, but didn't want to take the chance of things not fitting when trying to put it all together.

It wasn't a really fast project, but the result is very satisfying. It is great to finally have the drawer handle on the last drawer so everything looks the same.

It will be nice to be able to get access the full depth of the drawer and not have to open the oven door in order to do that.

I think the Kreg pocket hole jig performed fantastic for building the drawer box. The two joints at the front of the drawer that are at 80 and 100 degrees look extremely tight and clean. I have only used the pocket holes on 90 degree joints before, but a little patience goes a long way in making things look great.

I would highly recommend this type of solution if you have a similar situation. The only money I spent on the project was actually for the wood for the drawer box as I had everything else left over from other projects.

Comments

kylegilbert (author)2017-10-31

Very clever solution to the problem. Nice job, and congrats on the contest!

mhubian (author)2017-09-08

Why not just recess the handle? That is alot of work by comparison for a similiar result.

stevemoseley (author)mhubian2017-09-08

That's s great way to do it too. I just wanted all the drawers to match.

emilygraceking (author)2017-09-08

SUPER congratulations on the contest win! It was very well deserved. I can't wait to see what other amazing solutions and creative things you make with all the new gear. Thanks for a great instructable.

Thank you very much. I'm still shocked about the win.

Kreg Tools is headquartered about 25 miles from my house here in central Iowa so I am excited to get so many useful things from a local company.

Cheers,
Steve

chefspenser (author)2017-09-04

Excellent! Simple, neat & clean.

stevemoseley (author)chefspenser2017-09-04

Thank you very much.

Radical Geezer (author)2017-09-03

A really elegant solution to the problem. I encountered exactly the same situation while remodeling my daughter's kitchen...but there were time constraints so I came up with a much quicker fix that turned out working perfectly and looking kind of neat: I simply removed the offending door handle, filled the screw holes and used a 1" Forstner bit to drill a hole right through the center of the front piece. No handle to impede the other drawer and you just put a finger into the hole in the altered drawer and pull it out. Easy, quick and - if you have Forstner bits - zero expense! Actually thought of going back and converting all her drawers to holes instead of handles and going for a sort of modern look but, as I said, I was dealing with time constraints.

Great idea and very unique. It solves the problem of some of those types of handles with parts that stick out from snagging belt loops or clothing when you walk past.

Chimonger (author)2017-09-03

Very excellent solution to remedy one of cabinet makers worst designs! Nice to find a solution that can be implemented without removing countertop. So many corner base cabinets have become use-nightmares!

Did you have to do an angle reconstruction for the drawer next to the stove, too? It was hard to tell from your pictures, whether that drawer got blocked by the handle on the 1st prefabricated drawer.

The only better solution I can think of, would be to combine both drawers into a wider unit, and V-front the drawer, so it rolls out from the corner. Larger drawers, imho, are more functional, though, IDK if an inverted V-front would be easier to grapple with, as it'd be hard to figure out how to mount a drawer-pull.

stevemoseley (author)Chimonger2017-09-03

The drawer next to the stove had enough clearance to miss the drawer handle on the one I reconstructed. I'll try to add a picture of the other drawer in the open position after the contest is over.

I thought about making the two drawers into one wider drawer to open out from the corner, but I would have had a lot of work to do inside the cabinet to cut out the common wall between the two. I was also worried about messing up the support of the new counter tops. I did not want to cause a problem there.

Chimonger (author)stevemoseley2017-09-03

Ah! The things one fails to consider, in these kinds of situations! Very good to know! Thanks!

heathbar64 (author)2017-09-03

Genius solution!! I had actually thought of this before, but never done it. Happy to see it actually worked, and you did a neat job of it too.

stevemoseley (author)heathbar642017-09-03

Thanks. It just takes a little time to get everything lined up.

sgbotsford (author)2017-09-03

I ran into someone else who combined the two drawers into a V front drawer that pulled out at 45 degrees. This is hard to make look right unless you have flush face drawer fronts. Your solution is excellent.

It's not clear to me why the slides have to even with a perpendicular to their travel. Why couldn't you put each slide at the front of the drawer?

stevemoseley (author)sgbotsford2017-09-03

Thank You. I'm not sure how I could have mounted the slides not in line with the travel of the drawer. I thought about having each slide as far forward as it could go to the front of the drawer, but the way these slides work I would still have to make a perpendicular surface for them to mount to. It seemed like making the two slides with their ends in line with each other would be easier than other options.

MarkI36 (author)2017-09-03

Neat idea. A few edits of typos could make the instructions read easier. "Science the from of the drawer face was going to be at 10 degrees I had
to put a 10 degree wedge under the front of the new drawer." It looks like speech to text or auto spell correct bit you in a number of places besides the one copied.

That must have been a chore to work inside the cabinet to set the slide frame.

stevemoseley (author)MarkI362017-09-03

Thank you for catching that. It wasn't speech to text as much as typing late at night. I'll make the corrections.

greyskull55 (author)2017-09-03

Easier solution would have been to make the small cupboard next to the cooker a drawer unit and the unit you remodeled becomes drawer line door.

dhilliard2 (author)2017-09-03

Brilliant!

Don Butler (author)2017-09-03

I am thunderstruck! Your solution to the problem is GENIUS!!!!!!

ChrisH117 (author)2017-09-03

When you build mine, could they go in the opposite direction? Thank you.

Super nice solution!

jbyankum (author)2017-09-03

I had a similar problem and I was going to do exactly as you did. I'm glad to see how well it worked out. I however solved the problem a different way so never did it your way.

jerry

Jerry

clip721 (author)2017-09-03

VERY NICE JOB!!!!!

jacobz_20 (author)2017-09-03

Very clever!

stevemoseley (author)jacobz_202017-09-03

Thanks. It really just came down to be one of the more simple and cheap solutions since the only cost was for the piece of wood for the new drawer box. Everything else was scrap pieces or screws I already had.

amcgamcg (author)2017-09-03

This is something to admire! Most people would just use only the first few inches of the drawer and go on secretly swearing at the original designer! Congratulations, if only for the determination, but also for the great work.

seamster (author)2017-08-29

Excellent solution! Well thought-out and nicely executed, too!

stevemoseley (author)seamster2017-08-29

Thank you very much.

I forgot to mention that the Kreg pocket hole jig was really easy to use in making the drawer box with the different angles.

gm280 (author)2017-08-29

I have to admit after seeing your first video of the drawer problem, I thought of the exact idea you actually used. Nice way to make everything work. Thumbs Up!

stevemoseley (author)gm2802017-08-29

Thanks. I'm glad it worked out using the existing hardware and drawer front. I would hate to throw the slides away just to buy another set.

bence.zahalka (author)2017-08-29

I like this concept. I have seen a solution for the problem in the local moebelix (ikea has a less nice product), which is an L shape "drawer", what you can rotate around and uses less space than a pull out drawer.

Similar thing can be seen on this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4RaV4KW5p0

That is really cool. I haven't seen one like that before. Thanks for sharing.

bence.zahalka (author)2017-08-29

The product number I mention from Würth: 0683730075

sun. (author)2017-08-29

This is a really cool idea. Thumbs up. :-)

Jph37 (author)2017-08-29

Brilliant!

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Bio: Just a guy who likes building things for my family.
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