Drawers

Over Christmas break, my Pops and I built a set of drawers to go in the cargo area in the back of my rig.

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It’s important to direct your attention in the following pictures to the back pieces of both the frame and the drawers, which are 1/2″ plywood, and not 3/4″ MDF like all the other pieces in the drawerset.  The dimensions at the end of this post are drawn based on a configuration of this nature.  If you build this and use materials of a different thickness, be sure to adjust your dimensions elsewhere as necessary.

First, the back and sides were cut, then drawer slides were attached to the side panels.

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The slides are KV brand 8900 series ball bearing.  They were mounted 3/4″ from the bottom of the panel.  PROTIP:  I just used a strip of the MDF as a template for the slide height, since it’s 3/4″.

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All the screws used are 1 1/2″ coarse thread drywall, all holes were pre-drilled and countersunk to prevent splitting the MDF.  Predrilling with a countersink bit is critical when using screws in the ends of MDF .

Once the “frame” was built, we began building the drawer boxes.  I don’t have pics of the process, but the four sides were assembled, then the bottom was dropped in and screwed in, with screws about every 4-6″.

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With the drawer boxes assembled, the frame was squared up and then a brace was added to keep everything lined up.

The drawers were spaced 1/16″ up from the bottom of the frame and the slides were mounted using 1/4″ long wood screws (pre-drilling not required here because it’s into the “flat plane” of the material).

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Test fit of drawer assembly.

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The top, which I don’t have any good pics of, was just roughed in as a temporary top to make the drive back to AZ, but I ended up using it after all.

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The drawer faces were cut out for the pull handles using a chisel and hammer.  PROTIP:  If you go this route, use the chisel upside down.  It’ll keep the chisel from digging in too deep.  BETTER PROTIP: Don’t go this route.

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A few other odds and ends were installed in this phase, including the slide latches to prevent the drawers from opening unintentionally.  I also added threaded feet to allow for height adjustment if necessary.  I used a metal nutsert and added the metal brackets on the side to prevent the MDF from splitting over time.  There are nine feet total.  Three on each panel of the frame.

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The entire assembly was removed from the Jeep and disassembled for waterproofing and paint.

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Drawer faces wrapped in carpet and reinstalled.  I pulled the drawer face and wrapped the carpet around the face (between the panels), so that the carpet couldn’t slip off even if the glue lost adhesion over time.

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It’s hard to tell in the picture, but I also added a rubberized mat to the bottom of the drawers to prevent any spills from leaking into the MDF.

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Drawerset reassembled and reinstalled

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Wrapped the top in carpet and then reinstalled it.

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The whole assembly is mounted to the  factory tie downs at the face of the drawers with two turnbuckles and D-Rings.  At the back of the drawers, the drawerset is mounted using two L-Brackets.

Below are some ROUGH dimensions for the drawerset.  I took these measurements in about five minutes at the end of a lunch break one day, and cannot be held responsible for their accuracy.  I highly recommend you take your own measurements for your rig.  Having said that, they’re probably pretty spot on.  Probably.

DrawerDimensions

Here’s a PDF:

DrawerDimensions

Materials:

2 4×8 sheets of MDF

1 4×4 sheet of 1/2″ plywood that I happened to have lying around

1 box of 100 1 1/2″ coarse thread drywall screws

2 pair KV 8900 series ball bearing drawer slides (500# rated).  Found here on Amazon.

2 heavy duty handles.  I used these, but the options are limitless)

2 heavy duty slide latches.  Again, I got these from Amazon, but I am not happy with them, or at least the way I chose to mount them.

Literally all the rest of the stuff I used came from Home Depot, including the nutserts, and the adjustable feet.  There are a lot of options for those things, so you’re better off figuring it out on your own.

Oh, and one more thing…  I used stainless steel hardware and fasteners everywhere that I could.  It looks awesome and it’s resistant to all the elements I drag my rig through.  I recommend picking up this practice whenever it’s practical. (Stainless hardware cannot be used in every application.  DO YOUR RESEARCH!)

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