Don't be satisfied with regular looking drawer fronts. See how to make those cabinets look like the tops of ammo boxes. The drawer fronts can be made from scrap or pallet wood and the handles are made from inexpensive bar steel.
For this project I used:
- Weathered tongue and groove 2x6 douglas fir
- A lot of glue
- 1/8 inch hard board or plywood
- 1/8 inch thick x 1 1/4 wide steel bar (can be found at home center or your scrap pile)
I was using some reclaimed douglas fir that I got from helping someone break apart an animal corral. If you can't get your hands on some weathered wood, pallet wood would be a great substitution.
Gluing Boards to Flat Surface
The wood I was using ended up being less than 1/2" in thickness in spots after splitting the boards and flattening the back. If you end up with this type of situation then glue the boards to hard board or plywood to give thinner boards more support, and it gives you a flat surface to match up your cabinet fronts to the drawers.
Cut to Size
Measure the outside of your cabinet and cut the glued up boards to fit.
On real ammo boxes there are two perpendicular boards that hold the top together.
- Cut yourself some boards that span the width of your fronts
- To make mine lay flat with the front I had to rasp out some areas for high spots
- Glue and nail them to the front about 3-4 inches from the top and bottom edges
Make Them Your Own
This is your chance to customize the fronts how you want them. For me, that meant reminding me of some great memories. One thing I figured out is if you're using paper, adhering it with white glue or Modge Podge, instead of painting make sure you cut the drawers first.
I made my stencils from some plastic dividers someone was going to throw away. You can use most semi-rigid plastic as a reusable stencil. I've even used card stock in the past and was able to use them a couple of times before they started to warp. Make your stencils by printing out whatever you want, transferring it on the stencil material and cut it out with an hobby knife.
Cut the Drawers
When you figure out the number of drawers to cut, make sure you remember to take in account the thickness of your saw blade. With mine I had 5 drawers with a total height of 30 inches. When I cut the drawers I made them a little smaller than 6 inches, a 1/16 to 1/8 smaller to account for the saw blade.
Make Drawer Pulls
The drawer pulls are made from the 1/8 inch steel. Cut a length of the steel (in my case I cut 6 inches). Drill 2 - 3 holes, depending on the length, in the steel and counter sink them.
Cut an 1/8 inch dado area to make the drawer pulls flush with the drawer, drill pilot hoes for the screws and screw them in place.
I used some flat spray enamel as a final coat on the project.
This project is one of my favorites so far. Every time I see them it adds a bit of fun to the room they're in. Using the 1/8 inch steel for drawer handles provides something for you to use but they're thin enough not to distract you from the graphics on the front.