The place I rent had a very small kitchen when we moved in and we managed to get the landlord to agree to us changing it around a little. The addition of a fitted oven and hob allowed us to gain a bit of cupboard space to store out pots and pans but its still a small kitchen and we still had a surplus of kitchen stuff to store, not to mention a pile of shoes by the back door that were just getting in the way.
We hadnt put any plinths in at the point and found that we could slide our shoes under the cabinets to keep they out from under feet, but we ended up just kicking them further under so we decided that we could make a drawer on small castors that could act as a plinth when stored! Not only does it tidy up the kitchen but we end up with some storage space too!
So, I got the following parts together from my shed/garage/local B&Q (hardware store).
- Recycled Castors from an IKEA wardrobe - similar to these - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201123817571
- Pine strip offcuts (120mm x 18mm) to be the sides
- 6mm mdf sheet offcut that would be ideal for the base.
- New Beech effect plinth from B&Q along with matching edging strip to cover the cut ends
- Wood Glue and screws - I already had this knocking round in my shed
- Ikea wardrobe handles leftover from a new wardrobe we didn't use them on.
- Chop Saw
- Table Saw
- Cordless Drill
- Measuring Tape
Step 1: Design
As I wanted to make the most of the space available I have designed my drawer to fit snuggly between the feet of the cabinets and extend almost back to the wall (I left about 1cm so that it wasn't banging the wall every time we slid it back into place).
Having taken my measurements I quickly put together a sketchup diagram (without the wheels) so that I could make sure I cut all my wood to the right size.
One of the first things I realised was that I needed recess the castors otherwise I would lose about 2cm from the depth of the drawer - more space that I didn't want to waste.
I planned to cut grooves in the sides, back and front to hold the drawer base, the back is going to be held with scres and glue to the sides and the front panel will be held in place using some screws and metal brackets. Not the nicest visibly but will do the job.
Step 2: Cutting
I'm sorry but for this stage I didn't manage to get any photos as the weather wasn't looking to great so I needed to get things cut as quick as possible.
I used my chop saw to get all the lengths cut then setup the table saw to a 6mm cutting depth, set the fence to 1cm in my case and then moved it after each pass to get a 'groove' cut to 6mm. in each of the lengths.
Once this was done I adjusted the fence to allow me to cut the 12mm rebate in the sides for the back piece to sit in. I was quite happy at this point as everything sat quite snuggly as I had planned (a first for me!)
At this point I marked out where my castors were going to go and cut out the bit carefully with my jigsaw as I don't have any chisels etc to tidy it up! As it is I jinxed things and before it was too late i realised i had marked my castors to deep and they wouldn't even touch the floor! A quick rummage and I found some 5mm stripwood that would be ideal to pad out the 'mistake' and get the drawer rolling again. I also needed to mark out and take a little bit out of the base to allow the castors to be installed once the base was in place.
Step 3: Assembly and Finishing
So now that I had my wood cut it was time to assemble!
This is pretty straight forward and there's a few ways of ding it but I did it this way:
- Drill a pilot hole through the side pieces into the ends of the back piece.
- Glue and screw the side pieces and the back piece together
- Slide the base fully into the groove, I left it dry (no glue) to allow a bit of movement if needed.
- Fit the front panel using metal brackets
- Stick on the matching trim for the front panel to hide any of the chipboard ends
- Fit a suitable handle
- Screw the castors in place
- Slide drawer under your kitchen cupboard and fill it with 'stuff'!