Question on kitchen drawers - DIYr's come on in!

desertstephMarch 5, 2012

thought I'd post a pic of some of my drawer space and see what ya think - if I could put drawers in the one - and change the other from 3 to 4 drawers.

on the one with drawers already - can I take out or move those horizontal bars? I'd like to make it 3 shallow drawers and 1 deeper drawer.

the one w/doors has a center post in the front, can I remove that w/o the 'box' falling apart? It's 30" wide. I'd like to make it the same as the other (3 shallow drawers and 1 deeper drawer). I'd probably need to measure better - it might be more usable if it's 1 shallow, 1 medium and 1 deeper drawer there.

the upper part (on that end) has space as high as those lower shelves. I don't have much that would take up that height and have already thought I should put another shelf in there at 8-10" deep. Haven't figured out yet how high up to make it/them yet. i really don't have a lot of tall things I want to store in there.

Hope this makes sense to at least a few of you!

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Hi Steph!

From the pics, I see that you have framed cabinets. You may not be able to remove the center stile without compromising the integrity of the cabinet; you would have to see how the face frame is attached to the cabinet, and if it is more than just "decorative". Usually the center stile is for support in a wider cabinet--you would have to support the cabinet in a another way. I also know from reading on this when we had framed cabinets, that removing the frame to make them frameless is not really advised, can be really tricky, and basically may yield more problems than its worth.

Aren't I just a bundle of sunshine? ;)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:52PM
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I am with Shelayne. If the three manufactured homes that my mom lived in are any gauge of the workmanship in the industry, I would say NO DON'T! Her cabinetry was particle board that turned to oatmeal the first time it got wet. The "woodgrain" finish was a thin layer of shiny paper on which a photograph of wood was printed. I hope that your cabinetry is a better quality.

Can your DBF add wooden supports inside to add to the strength of the box, allowing you to take out the center stile?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 11:39PM
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'Aren't I just a bundle of sunshine?'

oh, you sure are! you too Nancy! lol!

oh dear. I WAS afraid of that! I doubt these cabs are any better than those your mom had Nancy.

I guess I'm just trying to make do - less mess than ripping 'em out. I'd rather have frameless myself but decided since the innards were so nice that I'd just stick with these if I could change them into drawers.

I don't know how the center of the large cab could be supported otherwise and still put in 30" wide drawers there. Could I put in a 2x2 or 2x4 in each corner? would probably need to be a 1 x 2 I think. Or I could put in 2 sets of maybe 12" drawers - but those wouldn't be as useful.
I'd have to put a board in front to back on the sides to put in the glides for each drawer but I think I'd need a brace left to right also - right?
sounds like I could change the 3 drawer stack to a 4 drawer one tho - right?

I really didn't want to keep that tall end cabinet anyway - had just decided it would be easier to use than replace it.

I could look for a 30" frameless base cab for there.

I've got time to decide which direction to go with it. Don't plan to do anything in there til next yr anyway. I'm too tired already - and not even moved in yet! I want to live with it for a time before deciding exactly what I should do. I might find I don't like have a regular 4 burner stove and want to get rid of that! That'd be another pandora's box opened...

do you think it'd look too weird to NOT put an upper back in there? I do have a piece of art I'd like to hang there (my original plan). I have 3 prints to hang - and not enough wall space in there.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 2:30AM
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Okay, if you can't change the supports...what about putting the original drawers back in, but take off the two doors and put baskets there, instead? I'd paint or contact paper the inside, to give you a little color, behind the baskets...since they probably won't fit perfectly.

Another idea...take off a couple of doors, cut out the centers and replace with glass, chicken wire and/or fabric. Just a few ideas :)

From Kitchen plans

From [Kitchen plans]( From [Kitchen plans](
    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Steph, are they made of particle board?

You probably can do it, but it will be some work. The stiles (the vertical pieces) are structural, but the middle rails (horizontal pieces) are just there to separate the drawers. The top and bottom rails are structural though and need to be left alone.

Look or feel inside to see how the rails are attached to the stiles. If there is a hole with a screw in it, you can just back out the screw. Chances are though, that nails are shot into it from the other side of the stile. And there is a 90% chance the joints were glued, and if you try to pull them apart, the wood will splinter, or particle board crumble.

But you can make cuts with a multi-tool, circular saw, or jig saw, about 1/4" into the rail and then use a power sander to get down through the excess to the rail. You'll have to nip off the nails first.

How badly do you want slightly bigger drawers? Is it worth that much effort?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:04AM
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LL - thx for the ideas. open baskets wouldn't work here because of the dog and the desert dirt. that dirt whips up and blows around in terrible masses! on the glass inserts - boy, I can guarantee you my cabinet insides would NOT look like those in the pic you posted! lol!

marti - I'm just waking up and my brain isn't in full function mode (which isn't very good even then).

I'm just gonna go with the drawer part first. where there are already drawers... If I cut out those divider rails then i can put in glides (would have to put in a board to build out to right depth there) for more drawers at different hghts? I will have to measure them with some things in them to be sure I will be ok with more shallow drawers. I guess 3 drawers with enough space NOT to bang into the bottom of the drawer above would be the better thing.

on the door cab - that center stile is a support issue? or are there more stiles on the sides (like the part of the 'face')? I'll go over and look at those more carefully when I wake up a bit more.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 3:20PM
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The rails at very top and very bottom are definitely support. You'll need to keep a middle rail or insert something out of sight inside the cabinet, to keep the left side from bowing out. But you don't have to keep both of them.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Steph, not sure about the one with the center shelf that looks to be beneath a microwave oven slot.

If it is like OUR cabs which I bought from Lowes a couple of years ago, my DH took out the shelf, and we inserted the Rev-A-Shelf high class roll out metal cab inserts. You can get them to attach to the door front, and let the whole thing roll out at one time (no hinges on the door, it is screwed to the face of the metal insert). OR, you can get the kind that roll out separately.I got 3 inserts which have two separate roll-outs, and left the top drawer of the cabs alone. Then I got one (the skinny one) which has the cab door attached, and the whole thing rolls out at one time. It also leaves the drawer alone, but I guess you could remove the drawer, install a full height door and attach it to the roll-out so the top tray is for tall stuff.

What I'm thinking to do is to keep these items, for my kitchen redo, and then go buy the Blum hardware for close packed roll outs in any new cabs I buy.

Also, go to Lowes or Home Depot and check out the solid roll outs for wide cabinets, you might just be able to install the runners along the top and bottom of the existing cabinet configuration, and gain total access to that wider cabinet w/o any alterations. It would be great for pots and pans, just leave the doors alone. If I can find the pics of my kitchen in the river house that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, they had cabs like that. Of course, they were NOT SOLID WOOD, yet they were sturdy until the river rose up and smited them down. Don't think too much WATER is going to be your problem.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 6:40PM
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marti - don't know how you got the red lines in there but it really helps! I was thinking that the vertical piece where the doors meet (but don't cover) was considered a stile. so glad it isn't.

The others I expected would have to stay - that be too much 'redoing' and not worth it to me. I can even live with that open cave part - meant for the mw I expect. Mine won't be there tho. I think it might be a good place for me to keep my CD player and my purse unless I think of something kitcheny to put there - like the mixer (but i seldom use one of those).

Maybe by next fall/winter/spring I'll be able to sand down and 'sample' paint a door (I have others like on the bookcase in my bdrm to test on) to see how it paints up and how much work it'll be for me.

My cabs won't get a big work out unless something springs a leak so if they paint up ok they should be fine for me.

I really don't like seeing the hinges on the doors so I'd want those to go. I'll look at how my sister's are done - her's don't show and they are face framed cabs. And I'll check the IKEA site to see if they have 30" drawers.

If this works out (the drawer part) I'll just keep the upper part on that big cab. I can't reach the 2nd shelf (behind the upper doors) anyway so will just use that for storage of things very seldom used.

Between the cabs I have in the kitchen and pantry shelves just a few steps away I'm sure that'll be plenty of space for what I have these days.

if this doesn't work out then I'll move to plan B - get new doors made.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 7:03PM
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ML - do you have a pic? or link online I can look up?

sounds like it'd be like a pullout and that'd work also - pretty much what a drawer is!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Sorry Steph, I misunderstood. Are there vertical pieces here?

Like in this cabinet when the doors are open?

Yes, those are stiles too, and totally unnecessary. I hate them there as they make it harder to get big dishes in & out of the cabinets. I've taken those off before.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 8:10PM
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yes, like on your cab. can't really tell on my pic - it merges right in with the right door. the upper cab has one also. I also hate those - glad it can safely come down. It'll also make it much easy to get into that area to put the side glides on for the drawers.

I found a site online that shows how to add that piece to the door so that when closed there is no open space between doors. If I end up getting new doors I won't need to do that.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:36PM
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