Home of Hobbyist Woodworker  Dennis Slabaugh




This will be the final update on this page. I have completed the project!. I will create a new page to chronical the construction of the project and highlight some of the construction techniques that I utilized and problems that I encountered.

Here are s couple of pictures showing the bookcase installed and a panoramic shot of the entire office with the window view!


bookcase 1


office pan 1

UPDATE # 3 6/16/13

The granite desktop was installed this week creating a push to finish the drawer fronts and get them installed. A late night Saturday found the last three file drawer fronts in place for Father’s day showoff. A marathon finishing day on Saturday morning and good hot weather got the water borne finish dry in time for evening install. All this is left is to build some of the upper cabinet removable shelves and the lower open unit shelving. Once these parts are done, it is on to the completion of the book case that is 80% finished.

I am disappointed in the Rockler Centerline over travel drawer slides I used for the lateral file cabinet. While the drawer attaches simply to the slide for easy removal, it literally just “hangs” on the cabinet members. What I don't like is the lack of a strong pull detent to keep the drawer closed. I had to play around with the mounting and with the slides all the way forward and the heavy solid maple front on the 28 inch wide drawer, it closes, but not with  much retention. We will see how it holds up. More to come. Enjoy the new pictures!

office 5


UPDATE # 2       4/28/13

 As you have seen in the first update, the project is getting closer to installation and counter top measuring step by step. I will complete the 4 upper cabinet doors before the week is out and then on to the hardwood drawer fronts. This update is focused on installing those twelve sets of full extension drawer slides, many with the drawers spaced into the opening (no lower shelf or dust panel to reference) As far as I am concerned there are three keys  to accurate drawer slide mounting: A self centering drill bit of the appropriate size for your mounting screws, clamps (I don't have three hands unfortunately) and some spacer blocks customized to place the drawer where you want them. Trying the measure and mark or drawer lines is hopeless for getting them the same height on each side of the cabinet. Spacers are the ticket. Whether they are for the first drawer and used on the bottom of the case of as shown here for the second and subsequent layer of drawers, a spacer sets each the same height on each side of the cabinet. The adjustable slots help you tweak them if needed which is rare.


drawer slide self center bit   drawer slide box member  drawer slide box memeber

In the second picture you can see that I am using a deep reach c-clamp to hold the box member in place while it is resting on a spacer block that positions the drawer in the pre calculated position in the cabinet. Looking at the third picture you can see a “two tiered block”. That provides in this case the necessary off set (and stability for sitting on the edge of the first drawer) for spacing the drawer about 1 inch higher than the drawer below it. With this type of typical extension drawer slide, using the same block for the cabinet member as the box member, provides about a 1/4” space from the bottom of the box or shelf. The file drawers need more clearance above each other than that thus the 1 inch change in block height. In the other drawer cabinets I used the same 1 inch block to place the slde one inch from the drawer bottom and spacing each drawer about 1/4” from each other and the shelf below. The claim in the third picture has already been removed, but I just place it on the front edge of the box holding the slide in place while I drill the first holes.


drawers web dovetail drawers and slides

     File Tower                20130428_160052drawer boxes web

 UPDATE # 1  04/24/2013

Here is one of the drawer banks with two small lateral files topped with four 4” drawers. In the opposing picture you can see the high quality Baltic Birch file drawers dovetailed by Western Dovetail drawer company. Look at the quality. They really steal the show for a great price. I have also added a photo of the tall file tower. There is now a  three panel door that opens to this fixed shelf and 4 tier file cabinet. Keep in mind that I will be adding solid maple drawer fronts. You are only seeing the raw drawer boxes even though they are so nice they look like the finished product!

The office project is taking shape. The drawers are installed and as I wind down the construction, the doors are next. As you can see, pre finished on 2 sides,    inch grade A maple plywood forms the foundation for the project. While it may seem over kill to have the entire project finished 2 sides considering that only a couple of the end cabinets faces will show, I had a reason for using all the same material.

My first attempt at this project began almost a year ago right before I began 6 months of foot and ankle surgery / recovery. Not only was I off my feet, but I had ordered the 7 sheets of pre finished material from my local supplier and ripped it all to size. When I began to cross cut it I noted how fragile the veneer faces were and they began to delaminate and peel off in to over inch strips. I also noticed how poor the finish actually was. I stopped production and made a huge judgment call to start over. I went back to my supplier with some samples of the poor material and they sympathized with me and confirmed that they had supplied me with imported sheet goods, which I had not requested and never even thought twice about the “price”, which was just under $75 per sheet. Within a week, I came off the golf course with severe pain and began that 6 month recuperation. Perhaps the bad material was an omen for stopping the project and delaying it nearly 10 months.

While I was laid up, I began to research a source for my sheet goods (only American made please) and found out that Big Orange had a special order program with Columbia Forest Products for high end plywood in your choice of grade and finish! Columbia’s special order phone staff informed me that I could have all the material ripped prior to delivery for less than $10 per sheet. I asked them if they could cut every piece to order and they said “no problem”, but it may be costly. I produced my cut list from the program Sheet Layout which I have been using for 7 years now. Not only will it do sheet goods, but it laid out my hardwood pieces as well. I sent them my list of over 50 pieces! They laid out onto six 4 x 8 foot sheets. That was the way I figured it, but as it turned out they must have used closer to 7 or 8 sheets as I had many “extra” cutoffs that I retained. All in all, I ended up paying around $110-$120 per sheet including the extras. I must say every piece was spot on accurate and it saved me so much work. Because I did not want to sort out all those pieces by specifying finished one side or two, that is why I  went with the finish on both sides. With the ability to order your entire sheet goods cut list already dimensioned, this opens up a whole new way for the average woodworker with limited tooling to build some fine cabinets.

In my next update I will delve into how I installed all those full extension drawer slides accurately and simply.

[Home] [About Us] [Completed  Projects] [New Kitchen] [Workshop] [Information] [News] [FAQ] [Office Project]