Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drawer Divider Done

Sarah broke the plastic drawer divider that I had taped to the inside of our kitchen desk. So I decided to slap together a wooden replacement that spans the entire drawer. I had a couple design considerations. The center had to be open enough for me to get at the drawer handle screws in case they loosened up over time. We have lots of pens and pencils in that drawer, so the pencil slots had to be generous (and long enough to accommodate an unsharpened pencil). We, also, keep somewhat large items in that drawer, such as staplers, so there had to be big sections in back for those type of things. And my wife wanted to make sure that Post-It note pads would fit somewhere (they're 3 inches square, so I made my squares 3-3/4 inches so you can get the pads out).

I fashioned this out of eight feet of 1x2 poplar. I used a Minwax cherry stain, but that came out browner than the actual cherry of the drawer. Meh. Close enough. Two coats of stain, two costs of polyurethane, steel wool between each coat. It'll do.

A few things I learned. I made it a friction fit, which is fine, but learned to round off the bottom corners of the ends to help it go in easier. I tried using a brad nailer, without much success. The first nail was deflected by the wood grain out the side (reused that piece where it doesn't show). The second time I tried it, the nail knocked the second piece back a smidgen, resulting in a paper-thin gap between the pieces. So I went with an all screw construction. The wood screws pull the mating pieces together. Also used wood glue on most of the joints, with a couple purposeful exceptions (being able to rotate some members helped me fit it into place). Most screws are straight and countersunk. I did use a couple pocket screws, just to experiment with using my pocket hole jig.

Designing and building the divider took a weekday evening. Finishing it took a couple more days, because of drying times.

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