Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Potato & Onion Bin – Part 2

Part two of the Potato & Onion Bin Project, focuses on the doors and getting them installed, you can read about Part 1 here which focuses on the construction of the carcass of the potato & onion bin.

With the size of the doors roughed out on scrap paper and some quick math to figure out the size of the wood door frames I was ready to start cutting some pine boards to width.  I set my table saw to 2-1/2” wide and ripped the stiles and rails for the doors.  After ripping the stock to width, I switched out my regular saw blade for the stacked dado set.  I used to blades for a 1/4” width.  I set the saw up to be centered in the middle of the 3/4” wide stock I was using and set the depth to 1/4” and created the dadoes in my door frame stock.

A after cutting everything to length and creating some tongues on the short stile that would fit in the dado of the rails I did some dry fitting of the door assembly and notice my tin fronts where just a little too long and too tall.

So I had to grab my metal shears and trim off some of the excess metal panel.

That this was a pretty cool shot of the excess trimmings below…

With everything fitting nicely after trimming the tin panels down to size I glued the doors together and gave them a quick sanding after they dried.  It is important to note that I made the doors slightly oversize of the openings they were going into so I could trim them to final size to fit.

The doors for the potato bin are pretty straightforward to install using face mounted hinges.  And fortunately for me our potato bin is going to be painted so I can putty two small errors that I made.  The first you can see in the photo below that resulted when I was building the carcass and I skewed the board a smidge as I was cutting one of the dadoes in the side.  The second error you will see in later photos when I wasn’t paying attention to where I was laying out the last hinge and put it too close to the side and lining it up with the hinges on the first two doors.  Luckily for me a little putty and you will never know after it is painted.

My method of installing the doors was pretty simple.  First I install the hinges on the carcass, make sure you pay attention so you hinges line up…  Second, I install the magnetic catch to the top of the opening for each door.  Third, I take a couple scrap pieces of wood that are 3/4” shorter than the depth of the carcass opening.  These will temporarily hold the door while I center the door in the opening crating a uniform gap around all sides of the door.

When I get everything lined up perfectly I can flip the hinges over and fasten them into place with screws.

With the door in place and hinges secured all that is left to do is layout and drill the holes for the pull.

With everything back together it was time to bring the potato & onion bin back inside to see how it works with it’s surroundings.  Next up – a design meeting and discussion about the top.


March 1, 2015 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Potato & Onion Bin – Part 1


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Potato & Onion Project


So Wen put her order in for a potato, onion, and garlic bin from the wood shop.  Using Pinterest she found some inspiration from a Pin linking back to Ana Whites website, and after a few design review meeting I had my marching orders.  We decided on making 3 bins, and figured the opening for each of the bins should be 10” high by 16” wide inside dimensions and the depth of the carcass would be the width of a 1×12 piece of pine minus a 1/2” plywood back.

I started off with the cabinet carcass and took some 1×12 pine from the big box store and set up my stacked dado head cutter to cut some dados after adjusting for the depth on a piece of scrap.  I was lazy and kept all dados 3/4” wide for the shelves and the back panel.    For a little extra flair and to create faux legs I notched out the bottom of the 1×12’s.

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All the

Glue up was pretty easy after dry-fitting all the pieces together on the workbench.  With everything clamped up I double checked my measurements on the 1/2” thick plywood back panel and cut it to size.

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All of the pieces cut to size and the inside faces sanded prior to glue up below.  I glued all the 1×12 pieces together and clamped the carcass together.  After clamping I laid the carcass face down slid the plywood back in positions and squared up the cabinet and tightened down the clamps.  I screwed the back on so I could removed it later to make painting easier and I shot a few brads into the shelves from the sides for good measure.


We moved the cabinet into it’s home to test drive the proportions and I think we nailed it.

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Potato & Onion Project


Up next some pre-planning on the ventilated doors, wood frame size, and a mesh that has a little more pop then chicken wire or hardware cloth…

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February 21, 2015 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Greenhouse – Part 2


Still waiting for the cold weather and snowy pattern we are in to break here in New Hampshire.  I was able to successfully disassemble the greenhouse and move it outside pretty easily with the help of Wen and the boys.  Reassembly of the greenhouse was straight forward.  With the frame complete I needed to add some strapping for my corrugated roof panels because I will be installing the roof panels with the flutes running vertically on the gambrel roof.  This design change will help the gambrel roof shed snow up here in the great white tundra much easier than if the flutes were running horizontally.  So I installed some 1×3 strapping perpendicular to the roof trusses two foot on center that would pick up the closure pieces for my roof panels.

Installing greenhouse strapping

With the strapping in place I needed my trusty assistant to help pass me the plastic closure strips that would attach directly to the strapping. These plastic pieces get screwed down and fill in the voids between the panels and the strapping.

Greenhouse closure strips

It’s always good to have a second set of hands to help hold things in place and after all the greenhouse is like a mini jungle-Jim now.  I ran out of short screws so I had to resort to using some 1-1/4” drywall screws that started to poke through the strapping.  I will need to come along with a saws-all after the panels go up and trim off these pointy screws so I don’t wind up with any greenhouse injuries this spring.

Installing Greenhouse Closure Strips

A close up below of the plastic closure pieces as I installed them on the strapping. Not sure if you need to put a screw in every flute but I figured I better so I would limit my chances of having a panel blow off in high winds.  I also plan on using corrugated roofing crews long enough to penetrate though the plastic closure strip and into the wood strapping itself.

Plastic greenhouse closure strips

We had to mock-up at least one plastic panel on the side and they seem to go up pretty quickly.  I just need to cut the roof panels to the appropriate length and away we go.

Plastic Greenhouse Panels

Thinking of spring…

Thinking of spring

February 16, 2015 Posted by | Gardening, Home Maintenance, Woodworking | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Greenhouse – Part 1


Finally have an opportunity to sit down and write a few words.  Despite the continuous snow fall that we seem to be getting lately, I am thinking spring. Inspired by searching for greenhouses on Pinterest I came across a greenhouse design PIN that we think would work for us from the website I tweaked the design, a smidge as I always seem to do and started the build a couple of weekends ago.  I ended up building it in the garage because it was hovering right around 0-degrees outside without wind chill at the time.

We decided to go 10’ x 10’ in size and figured we would use clear plastic panels to skin the whole outside.  We are in a heavily wooded area so we are hoping that this will help get us to an early start this growing season before all the trees leaf out.

I ended up building this by myself in one weekend, and because I was building inside, I had to build it so it could be knocked down, moved out of the garage and assembled outside.  The side walls are each their own components.  The front and rear end walls are also their own components.  Lastly the (4) roof trusses and ridge are one component.  Anything that was not being disassembled was nailed, and any connection points that I was going to need to disassemble was put together with screws.

I started construction with the knee wall.  I used a 2×4 PT sill plate and KD SPF 2×4 top plate and 2×4 studs 24” o.c. to build the knee walls.  I threw and extra 2×4 in at the corners so I could easily screw in the front & rear walls to the sides walls.


Next I built the end walls.  The first thing I did was to make the rafter gussets.  The Ana-white website has a great video of how to this, which saved me from having to figure it out.


Essentially using a piece of blue tape and a couple quick marks on my chop saw you can mark the point where you make your 22.5-degree angle cuts and where you make your 90-degree cross cuts.  This made for quick work of cutting out the dozen or so plywood gussets I needed for the trusses.


With all the gussets cut, I cut a total of 8 rafters 48” long with 22.5-degree angles on both ends.  These are for the end walls.  It easy to make a quick jig for cutting your rafters to length as well.  With the rafters cut, I glued the but joint where they meet and clamped them to my work table.  I then applied a liberal amount of glue to the face of the rafters getting the plywood gusset plate, and clamped it down.  Eight screw later and I was good to go.  Just make sure you thing about the orientation of the gussets prior to assembly on your greenhouse.  I wanted all gussets facing inside the greenhouse, so they would cause a problem when I side the outside face of the greenhouse walls.


Three gusset plates and four 48” roof rafters and I had the end wall roof rafter ready to go in place.  I had to add a couple more 2×4’s to keep the end wall rigid when I go to move it outside.  Rinse and repeat for the opposite end and away you go.


I got both end walls up and stopped for the night.  The next day I set the ridge up and and made the rest of my rafters up and installed them.  I don’t have many photos but it’s pretty easy to figure out.  Just make sure you do the math on the lengths of your pieces so everything will work.  I deviated from the Ana-white plans on the framing so some of my dimensions were slightly different.  This goes up quick and is an easy build just take your time.


February 8, 2015 Posted by | Gardening, Home Maintenance, Woodworking | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – Drawers

Base Cabinets with Drawers

I went with a slightly different drawer box assembly technique on this set of drawers.  Not sure of the exact name of this joint it’s a combination of a dado in the side of the drawers and a rabbet in the front.  This joint will provide more glue surface area and should hopefully be stronger than a rabbet joint alone with glue and nails that I used on the Miter Saw Stand.  I was using up some scrap 1/2” plywood for these boxes so I had some variations that made perfect set-up of the dado and rabbet a little challenging so I opted to get close knowing that I may need to knock down the sides that protrude beyond the fronts with a sander and some 60-grit paper.  The drawers have the same 1/4” dado in the bottom to accept some 1/4” hardboard for the drawer bottoms.

Lock RabbetAssembled Drawers

The technique for installing drawer slides is straight forward.  The slides were installed in the cabinets in my earlier post using a piece of 1/2” plywood as a spacer.  Now that I am ready to install the drawers, I switched over to a 1/4” thick piece of hardboard.  This will space the drawer perfectly when I go to attach the drawer to the slides.  A quick pencil mark to account for the added thickness of the solid wood edging and I was ready to attach the slides to the drawer slides.

Drawer 1/4" thick spacersAttaching Drawer Slides to Drawers

Repeat the process four times and the drawers are installed.  If I can sneak it in, I will try and finish the drawer fronts and cabinets doors, but I may be switching gears for sugaring, soon.

Finished Drawers

February 18, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 2 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – Counter Tops!

Miter Station Base Cabinets

Saturday I tackled some solid wood edging on the base cabinets and today focused on getting some counter tops on the cabinets.  I wanted some smooth, that was replaceable if damaged, and cheap.  Now this counter is pretty impractical in its use of materials, but I was looking to add height and use up some materials.

I started with a 2×4 frame, this would give some thickness I needed as well as stiffen up the cabinets.  No frills here, just some biscuits, glue and clamping.

2x4 With Biscuits

The completed frame below really stiffened up the cabinets after it was screwed down to them.

2x4 Counter Top Frame

I had some left over 3/4” particleboard that I used as the sub top.  I really wanted something to add some wait to this assembly and 3/4” thick particleboard was the answer.  I installed the first piece flush to the outside edge and overhang the front and the left side on purpose.  I came along after and the particle board was screwed down and hit it with a flush trimming router bit.

Particle Board Sub TopParticle Board Sub Top

Below is a good shot of the counter top assembly showing the 2×4 frame, the 3/4” particle board, and the 1/4” hardboard top.  Once again, I screwed down the hardboard leaving it to overhang the particle board so I could come along after with my flush cut bit in my router.

Chop Saw Counter Top

Now my garage floor was so out of level in this area that I ended up shimming the cabinets a lot more than I would have thought to get my cabinets level.  as a result I needed a little more height on my chop saw.  I insert a couple of plywood strips and fine tuned the adjustment with these handy metal shims I picked up at Harbor Freight Last year when I was leveling my evaporator.

Metal Shims on Chop Saw

This was probably the best $5-$10 bucks I have spent at Harbor Freight and I probably got 20% off too!  I have used these quite a bit since I found them.

Harbor Freight Shim Pack

The whole assembly leveled and in place, next up some drawer boxes for the cabinets, followed by some finished poplar drawer fronts and doors.

Miter Saw Station

February 17, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – Solid Wood Edging

Sledding Down the Driveway

Today was one of those days…  I had to spend some time on clean-up duty, last Thursday’s snowstorm changed overnight to a slushy, wet, mix of precipitation, and it was just cold enough to freeze it all into a solid, crusty mess.  My driveway which I struggled so hard all winter to keep black with pavement was now a mess!  I had to hit the dump for some sand and salt to try and help break-up the crusty mess, especially with another storm forecasted to hit us this afternoon into the evening hours.  Even though I was disappointed with the condition of the driveway, the boys were loving it.  They were able to sled for quite a ways before turning the sled into the snow banks lining the drive way.

After my morning chores were complete I had some free time to do a little woodworking.  In the last installment, I was contemplating how to edge band the base cabinets and whether I was going to use some birch veneer edge banding I had on hand, or whether I was going to use some solid wood edge banding.

As you can see below, I ended up agreeing with Homestead Dad, who commented on the post, and chose solid wood edge banding.  While I was out picking up sand and salt at the dump I had picked up a 1×6 poplar board that matched the color of the cabinets that I had built pretty well.  I decided to rip the strips to 3/8” depth, because I would be gluing and nailing these to the edge of the cabinets.  I was nervous that if I went to thin, I would split the narrow strips with the 3/4” long brads I was using to attached the edging to the cabinets.

Solid Wood Edging

I ripped enough strips so I would have enough left for the drawers and doors that I will eventually be doing as well.  Installation was straight forward, I would would apply glue on the back of each piece of edging, clamp it in place, and attached it with 18 gauge, 3/4” long brads.  The solid wood edging was a little bit wider than the thickness of the plywood, so I lined the edging up flush with the inside face of the cabinet.  I figured if I needed to knock down and edge with a sander it would be easier to do it outside of the cabinet rather than inside of each cabinet.

Wood Edging Applied to Plywood Cabinet

This was a last minute change so I may need to accommodate for this added thickness when I attached the drawer slides to the drawers.  I figure it will be easier to do that than to unscrew and re attach the drawer slides to the cabinets, but we will see.

Wood Edging Applied to Base Cabinet

Hard to tell from the photo below, but I think it really cleans up that outside plywood edge and I am glad I went with the solid wood edging.  Hopefully I will be able to spend some time on the counter top tomorrow after the snow storm clean-up.

Custom Shop Base Cabinet

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 3 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – Custom Base Cabinets

Garage Base Cabinet

This is my first foray into making base cabinets.  It’s also some good prep for a project the wife has on my woodworking to do list.  So the back wall of my garage stall, I mean woodworking shop, has a 7’-0” section of drywall that I will be re-purposing for some cabinets.  This will also be the place where I can wedge my mobile miter saw cabinet that is currently under construction.  The goal is to have storage for some tools, additional counter top / assembly space that can also double as supports for long boards that I will be cutting on the chop saw.  As always I rough something out in sketch form on paper to get a rough idea of sizes and large cut pieces.  I am not a cabinet guy, but have seen enough pre-built cabs to take a stab at building my own.

Garage Base Cabinet Plan

The boxes will be relatively simple plywood boxes with two drawers at the top and a pair of doors below the drawers.  The cabinets will have 2×4 pressure treated bases that I will eventually cover up with a 4” vinyl base to clean up the look. I started with the PT bases.  I made them slightly less than the width of the cabinets, and 3-1/2” shorter than the depth of the cabinets to create a toe kick.

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After the bases were complete I rough cut the sides, bases, and some rails out of the 3/4” poplar plywood I had previously purchased.  I rough cut the 8’ sheets of plywood on my saw horses with a 4’ straight edge.  I would end up with sheets of plywood that are 25”-30” in length by 48” in width which are much easier to handle by yourself on the table saw.  I then cut all the sheets to final dimension on my table saw.  With everything sized, I turned my attention on the rabbets that I planned to make on the sides.  If you refer to the sketch above I have a rabbet on the bottom of each side and on the back of each side.

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I set the saw up wit a stacked dado head set, and clamped a sacrificial fence on my saw’s fence and we were ready to rabbet.  The rabbets where all 3/8” deep by 3/4” wide. to receive the plywood.

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With the rabbets cut it was time for some assembly.  For times sake I chose to glue and nail the boxes with brads.  I stood the sides of the cabinets up on what would be the front edge of the cabinet, stood the bottom of the cabinet up in the rabbets and laid the rails across the back of the cabinets, and fastened everything together after gluing and clamping.  I attached the 2×4 bases and had to do a quick mock-up.

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The back of these cabinets will be about 6-7” off of the face of the drywall wall.  This is to allow for a future dust collection system to be piped in the back.  Additionally lets me use the miter saw while the front of the miter saw cabinets is flush with the face of the new base cabinets.  Eventually the Miter Saw Cabinet will get poplar doors and drawer fronts to match the base cabinets.

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After playing around with dimensions, I decided on the depth of the drawers and glued and nailed the front rails and divider for the two drawers, because of the huge pain it was to install the drawer slides after the fact on the Miter Saw Cabinet, I decided to install the slides now before the top rail and the counter tops are installed.

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The slides were a piece of cake.  I use a 1/2” thick piece of plywood laid front to back to use as a spacer for the slides.  When I am ready to install the drawers in the future I will use a 1/4” thick spacer.  The slides are set about a 1/16” back from the front edge of the cabinets and attached to the sides with three screws.


With the drawer slides installed on both cabinets I nailed the top rails in place and was ready to level and install the base cabinets in their final location.


I had to remove my adjustable shelving that was on this wall and install some ladder frames to space the cabinets 7”+/- off the back wall.  Eventually there will be some removable filler panels on the sides and the front middle area where my miter saw will go.  All the cabinets were shimmed, leveled, and fastened in space.  In my next window of free time, I will probably focus on either the counter top or the cabinet drawers and doors.  I am still on the fence on whether I should edge band the plywood with veneer tape or some solid wood edging…


February 12, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 5 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – New Age French Cleats

I have been busy in the garage the last two weekends.  Now that the wife and I have decided that the “Little Creek Woodshop” is officially in my half of the garage its time to get organized and make the most efficient use of my limited space.  Now once everything is organized I will be able to turnaround the wife’s woodworking projects in a much more timely manner.  The current wood shop projects are a French cleat style system to hang various fastener bins, clamps, and other wood working tools and some base cabinets and counter tops that in can slide my mobile miter saw cabinet into.  Now this was something that I discovered on Pinterest and the original Pin can be found here.  If you are not into the whole Pinterest thing, you can find the blog article on the American Woodworker Blog about Hyper-organizing your workshop.  Below are some draft sketches I have been working off of.

New French Cleat SketchBase Cabinet Sketch

First up the cleats.  I had picked up a four sheets of 3/4” poplar veneered plywood that my home center had for a reasonable price.  I have also never seen poplar as a face veneer at the box stores.  Typically they carry B/C pine/fir or birch, maple, and oak for something a little nicer grade.  Nonetheless four sheets of 3/4” plywood and one sheet of 1/4” plywood.  The cleats are straight forward I ripped the sheets crosswise with a circular saw and a fence so I had two sheets 25” wide by 48” long.  These are much easier to handle by yourself on the table saw.  I set the table saw fence to 3” and proceeded to rip eight lengths of 3” plywood strips 48” long.

Plywood Strips

As you can see below I tried to be cool and I made sure numbered each one in the order I cut it off the sheet.  While looking good in principle, once these cleats are spread out on the wall 6” apart you don’t get the same effect, and not to mention the idea here is that they will be covered up with shop storage items.  I will be using this technique when I cut the drawers and doors for my base cabinets though.

Poplar Plywood Grain Layout

One other thing that I did was to chamfer the top edges of the 3” wide plywood strips, you can see this in a later photo.  This was on the American woodworker blog so I did the same.  I am guessing it allows an easier time for hanging things on the cleats.  I followed the same steps above for cutting the 1/4” sheet of plywood only this time I rip the 48” strips 2” wide and there is no need to chamfer anything.  As you can see below, I laid the 2” wide strips on the 3” wide plywood and made a quick pencil line so I knew where to glue.

French Cleat AssemblyFrench Cleat Assembly

I used 5/8”, 18 gauge brads to tack the 1/4” plywood strips onto the 3/4” plywood strips while the glue dries.

Craftsman 18 gauge brad nailer

The finished cleat below prior to mounting on the wall.

American Woodworker French Cleat

I predrilled all of the cleats at 16” on center, located the wood studs in my wall and marked them vertically with a pencil line.  I than measured up the wall for my first cleat which I started approximately 36” up the wall.  With this first mark I used a 4’ level to run a level pencil line across the wall.  I put one screw in and attached the cleat to the wall.  I then put the level on top of the cleat to re-check that it was level prior to driving home the second screw.  With the first cleat installed I made a three spacer templates out of 1/4” hardboard. Each one is 6” high, no real science behind the dimension and the American woodworker blog doesn’t give a spacing dimension so I just chose something that would give be plenty of room to slip on the things I will be hanging on the wall.

French Cleat On Wall

With the three spacers on the lower cleat, it makes it a breeze to attach each additional wall cleat.  You just need to make sure the first cleat is level and you should be good.  Being a perfectionist, I still checked with my level as I went.

French Cleat On Wall

Now it was time to see how well this system works.  I had a couple of these cheap plastic fastener cabinets so I ripped a couple 3/4” strips 3” wide, and this time the 1/4” strips were 4” wide.  I glued them together and tacked them with some brads.  I marked the holes for the cabinet mounting screws and made sure everything was snug.

Fastener CabinetFastener Cabinet

With the wood cleat on the back of the plastic cabinet I took the whole thing over to the wall and hung it up.

French Cleat Installed on WallFrench Cleat Installed on Wall

As you can see below I started to hang some items and the cleats held really well.  The cabinets were loaded with fasteners so they are not light.  Now as time and material allows I will add more items to the cleats.  Next up some base cabinets  and re-working one of my existing shelving walls to accommodate those cabinets.

Fastener Storage Cabinets

February 9, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 7 Comments

Drawers for the Miter Stand, Part Two

Miter Saw Stand

Well, last Sunday I got some time to finish up the drawers for my Miter Saw sand.  Since it was a balmy 32F, a welcome change from the single digits we have had, I opened the garage door and let in some natural light.  Last I left off I had ripped all the drawer sides to width and ran all the dado’s and rabbets needed for the two drawer boxes.  on the back of each drawer I ripped the board just above where I made the dado as you can see in the photo below.  I glued all the rabbets and clamped the drawer boxes on my out feed table.  Once everything was clamped and square I tacked everything together with some 1” brads.

Back of Drawer

Just another shot of the dado’s coming together at the front of the drawer below.

Drawer Bottom Dado

With the boxes nailed together I took a measurement and ripped the plywood bottoms. The drawer bottoms dropped right into the dado and from the photo below you can see why I ripped the dado of the back of the drawer boxes.  The bottom will float freely in the dado, and just be attached to the back of the drawer with a couple screws.

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Prior to screwing the drawer bottom to the back of the drawer, I clamp my speed square onto the back corner of the box to help keep everything square while I drive the screws home.

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With the drawers done its time to mount the drawer slides.  Basically following the instructions.  I saw on a you tube video the other day a neat trick to mounting the slides and figured I would give it a try.  Basically you use a couple spacer blocks.  In my case I have two 1/4” thick pieces of masonite.  First you lay the two pieces of masonite on your frame.

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The masonite will support the drawer slide 1/2” off the frame.  I found it was easier to clamp the drawer slide in place prior to screwing it to the box.  Once your first screw is in place, you can remove the clamp and add the other two screws for this slide and then repeat for the other side.

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With both slides screwed in place you take and put only one piece of masonite under each drawer slide.  These will acts as 1/4” spacers keeping your drawer up off the frame.

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Then you pull the drawer into the opening and pull both the drawer and slides out far enough so you can access the first set of screw holes.  I found clamping the drawer slides in place helped to keep everything from shifting as I was driving screws into the slides.  Once you put your first screw in both sides you can then remove the clamp and slide the drawer out to the next set of screw holes, and so on.  This was actually much easier than I thought it would be.

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I slapped on a couple drawer pulls, which were much more classier than my miter stand, and through some particle board below on the bottom of the stand to act as a shelf for some other tools and I was on may way.  I left my options open if I want to dress it up further with some pine trim and drawer fronts, but we will need to wait and see.

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January 7, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 2 Comments

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