How to build a drawer insert for existing kitchen drawer to hold both everyday silverware and cutlery. I made my drawer insert at TechShop.
Step 1: Step 1 Materials and Tools
For Materials you will need:
-Wood (I used some scrap Pine)
-Tap Measure or Long Ruler
-Some form of tape
-Thickness Planer (If you need to change board thickness)
-Jointer (If you like things square)
-Wood Cutting Sled
Step 2: Draw Out Your Design
Measure your existing drawer that insert will sit into and decide what you need to hold. Then take those measurements and use them to draft out your design. The paper draft will work as a type of prototype that you can then place all your silverware and cutlery on and find out if things are going to fit. Once I determined that my draft would work it served as my template that I referenced and worked off of the whole time I built the insert.
Step 3: Plan Scrap Wood to Thickness
So take your scrap and if its not square then run it though the joiner.
Steps to joint a board:
1. Lay the widest board face down on joiner feed table.
2. Run board through joiner till it flat.
3. Place new square face on joiner fence and run the board edge through joiner.
You know have a board that has two square sides. Take that board and run it through the planer.
Steps to run board through planer:
1. Take the good flat side that we established on joiner, lay flat on table.
2. Adjust blade height to appropriate height (where it is just touching board top)
3. Run board through planer
4. Repeat this step as you adjust cutting blade depth till you have correct thickness.( My boards were 1/4" thick)
Step 4: Cut Boards to Finished Depth
Take boards and cut finished depth on table saw. With my box the outside boards were 3.5" tall, while the inside boards end up being 2" and 1" tall.
Step 5: Refrence Drawing and Cut Boards to Finished Size
Using the draft of you drawer insert lay out the all pieces and mark off the final board length for each piece. You will then talk each piece and cut them to final length using the miter saw. Keep in mind that the boards that form the diveders inside the box are going to be connected using dado joints so you will have to add some length to boards from drawing.
Step 6: Mark and Cut Dado Joints
1.Going back to drawing lay out the boards that will be receiving the dado joints and mark the boundaries of the joint on the opposite side that the joint will be cut as the line will serve as guide lines for when you make the cut.
2.Get wood cutting sled and set depth blade so that it cuts the appropriate depth for the dado.
3. Cut dado joints using sled.
4. Do dry fits as you go to ensure a tight joint.
Step 7: Do Dry Fit / Measure and Cut
So take all those boards and dry fit them together and clamp it. Now to find out the measurements for the bottom wood insert simply measure wall to wall going both horizontal and vertical. Then add 1/8" to each side ( add the 1/8"th to fit into the dado joint that runs ac across the bottom of all four side boards). Now take whatever boards you have left and cut to length on the miter saw then cut one of the boards down to get the correct width for the insert. The boards comprising the bottom insert will not need glue if done correctly.
Now un-clamp the boards and insert the boards for the bottom insert into the dado and clamp again. If everything is working can now move onto making the sliding lid.
Step 8: Cutting the Sliding Insert
Earlier I had glued two boards together to be used for the sliding lid. I am now going to take those two newly glued boards and cut them to length and width on the miter saw and table saw. You will need to add 1/8" to the length of the insert as that will be what fits into the dado joint. After the boards are cut to length and width take it to the table saw and cut a shoulder on the long ends of the board. This shoulder doesn't need to be very deep just remember to leave enough left over to slide nicely in the dado joint. Once this is cut you are ready to do the glue up. If you want you can paint the lid.... as I did... or not.
Step 9: Glue Up
As most of the joints as dado joints glue up is fairly simple.
1. Start with the bottom wood insert (I used painters tape to connect all the boards to make it easier) Line up the four side and insert the bottom wood insert boards. Apply glue to the bits that need it and clamp.
2. Drop in your interior boards into their corresponding dadoes.
3. After all interior have been placed loosen clamps and insert the top sliding board. Now re-clamp and wait 24 hours before you unclamp ( I taped all my joints with painters tape as I had to leave TechShop and go home)
Step 10: Your Done!
Give yourself a high five in the mirror cause you are done.