Easy Chest From Old Drawers

Introduction: Easy Chest From Old Drawers

Every day while going to work I walk by a small dump. Organic waste, broken furniture or appliances are left there and it's emptied out every now and then.

A few days ago, I spotted two drawers in a good shape. There were more of them, but the rain damaged their bottom ( the plywood was bent ).

I really needed some sort of storage, and I thought they could help. The idea of the chest came up the following day.

This project doesn't cost much.

Two drawers, two hinges, a few screws (and the adequate screwdriver) are almost everything you need.

I've also used a wood file and a correction pen.

Step 1: Scavenging and Cleaning

Garbage found in the streets may be dirty.

Back home, the first thing I did was using a small wet rag to clean the drawers. Don't use too much water on plywood as it can absorb humidity, especially on the back of the drawers, where there isn't any protective layer.

Step 2: Hinges

This step could have been way faster if I thought about removing the handles. ¯\_ツ_/¯
I couldn't turn the drawers upright to do the following steps correctly because of them, so I had to find a way around.

I put the drawers as if they were already part of the chest, one on top of the other.

I positioned a first hinge on the back, and used the correction pen to make marks on the wood, then repeated the process for the other one.

With this we know where we'll have to place our screws.

Now we can take one drawer at a time, upright to have enough strength, and screw. When the first side is done, it's easier to grab the other drawer and add the last screws.

And with that.... we're almost done.

Step 3: Handles

Two steps here.

The bottom handle is useless, so we just have to remove it. I left the screws not to make holes.

The top handle isn't in the right direction, so we also have to remove it, turn it and screw it back.

Step 4: Possible Sources of Concern

I wanted to keep the project as simple as possible, but there are a few design flaws.

- When opening the chest, the back of the drawers can enter in contact. It's not really a problem if you don't open more than 90 degres. As plywood can bend, I don't think we have to worry too much anyway.

But it seems safer to remove a little material. I used the wood file to cut the corner of the bottom drawer.
It's not enough to open it completely ( 180°) , but there isn't anymore contact when we lift the top ( around 90°).

- Plywood is weak. I left the metal bar on the top and bottom of the chest. It makes the bottom a bit stronger, but only in the center. It's okay as long as there isn't too much pressure. It would be nice to strengthen the bottom if you want to place heavy stuff in your chest.

Step 5: Fill Your Chest

My desk was full of tools and supplies, I'm glad I came up with this idea.

Note : These drawers come from some low quality furniture.

This would be really nice to try this with some old furniture, with a beautiful carved wood.

I hope you enjoyed this !

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    4 years ago

    Very clever! If you place a piece of plywood on the top this would make a nice footstool as well. A brass hasp and padlock could also keep it childproof if you were storing something you didn't want the kids to get into. Great use of recycled material. You have my vote. :)