I am making a drawer.
It is a storage-and-convenience thing.
One of the convenient things about Toto is that he has a Permanent Bed. It has a Real Mattress that sits on a lovely plywood box (trimmed with oak in all the visible spots, of course). What’s inside that plywood box? Storage. The fine folks at Escape Trailer Industries provided a pair of handsome oak doors that offer access to that storage.
But those doors are way down there by the floor — as you would expect of a space under a bed.
And that is fine. You squat a bit, open a door, and stuff something in there. There’s a lot of room (think about how much room under an entire standard-size bed). YES! But you can only reach so far into the space, of course, arm length and general flexibility being two limiting factors.
There is other access to this space. You can lift the mattress (with one hand) and open a hatch in the plywood platform (with the other hand) to access this space. If you had another hand available, you could even deposit or retrieve items. The picture above hints at how much space is there, but it also shows what we, Team Toto, are doing with the space.
We are making a drawer. Well — not from scratch. It turns out you can order the box — the main part of a drawer –from any number of online entities that probably are people doing stuff in their garages. Doesn’t matter. Because if you want a good drawer — constructed with durable, dovetail joints — you have a couple of options. Option 1 involves acquiring specialized “jigs” which help you do the joints. They cost a number of dollars — the jigs, I mean. There are other tools involved, but I have ’em already.
Option 2 is buying the drawer from somebody else who makes it. If you do this, you still have to assemble it — it comes as 4 sides and a bottom, and you have to glue and “tap” (this means “pound”) it together — and it costs, depending on drawer size, wood species and a few other variables, about the same as Option 1.
In life, one must consider how many drawers one wants to build.
For me, I decided “just the one” and so, instead of getting the jig, and learning how to make high-quality dovetail joints, I went online, entered the drawer dimensions, selected a wood species (“affordable birch-veneer plywood”) and clicked “take my money.”
They took my money, and a few days later the drawer box components arrived.
Assembly was easy. I learned that the shapes for dovetail joints are deliberately cut to make a tight fit. You just add a dab of wood glue here and there, then tap the joints together with a rubber mallet. Tapping, however, did not do the job; pounding was required. Even after all the pounding was finished, the outside edges of the joints didn’t feel perfectly smooth. Maybe they never do, I dunno. I used a random-orbit sander to smooth everything out, and it seems fine.
I considered not finishing the drawer at all; it’s just a drawer under a bed, right? But what if something got spilled on the drawer, or something leaked into the drawer, etc.? So I used a rub-on Minwax product to put on three coats of finish, which is very dull, and hardly looks like anything, but will protect the wood.
After finishing I installed a handle that matches Toto’s cabinet hardware, and got the full-extension slides attached to the drawer. Had to take it all out to Toto and do a lot of measuring and head-scratching before I was comfortable doing that, but now it’s ready for the final install.
One downside to this design: it weighs a bit. It’s the slides — they’re quite heavy-duty, but together they weigh over 20 pounds. Toto will have to shed some weight elsewhere just to keep things balanced. We’ll think of something.
So there it is in the garage, ready to install in Toto. BUT. I tweaked my back — one of the many things in life that come easily to me — and I’ve waited a few days for it to stop yelling at me. It has recovered, and tonight or tomorrow I’m going to hit the Depot for some 1-1/4 inch wood screws, scoot the drawer assembly into the trailer and complete the project.
And then, finally, we will be able to walk around in there again.
Blog note: someone, somewhere, who makes WordPress software, or WordPress themes, has done something that has slightly changed the look of these humble pages. I am going to get them for this. Also, I will fix it, if I can. Until I do, please don’t let this get to you. We are going to win this. This shall not abide. Etc.Sharing is caring!
Following is daring.