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JOEL Joel's Blog

It Ain't Fine Woodworking But It Needed To Be Done


It Ain't Fine Woodworking But It Needed To Be Done 4The sad part about working with wood is that any repair job in the house no matter how distasteful or annoying ends up being my project. This blog entry is about one of them. My kitchen is falling apart and I'm just not prepared to build a new one anytime soon. I just don't have the time and I want a nice kitchen. However the kitchen was slapped together in the 1970's and all the drawers are falling off their wooden slides, and sawdust is raining on the pots underneath.
This problem has been going on for years but when another drawer collapsed last month I realized I had to do something. I had been thinking of redoing the cabinets piecemeal but that didn't work. Then the June 2008 FWW had, in addition to my article on grinding), an article by Bill Ducksworth on state of the art drawer slides).
This triggered an idea, and while Bill's article is about high tech undermounted drawer slides - which I wouldn't use in a repair anyway (to pricey)- and they wouldn't fit as a retrofit without remaking the drawers. The kitchen was built on site, mostly of solid, and nothing is to modern specification. I got the idea to try bog standard 100% extension side mounts slide. It's a bit of a trick because the drawers use a face frame but the article mentioned that you could get spacers and stuff for face frame drawers. So a bit of research later and I ordered the slides. Anyway that's me on the floor installing everything. It's an excuse to use my Festool drill but in fact the right angle attachment makes is far easier to put in the screws in the inside of a carcass. You can do it other ways but the attachment makes it cake and probably cut an hour or two off the job. I also had to cut notches in the frames to leave space for the slide.
It Ain't Fine Woodworking But It Needed To Be Done 5Anyway the end result isn't fine woodworking or anything, but it's a job decently done, It makes the kitchen that much more usable for a few years more, and the rain of sawdust has stopped. And the drawers work better too. So we are all happy here.
Join the conversation
06/22/2008 Stephen Shepherd

I think this is the first time I have ever seen a photograph of you. Now when I see your name this is what I will associate, what is that in your hand, a long lens camera?

Yip - for better or worse that's me in my kitchen. It's a Festool C12 Drill.
06/24/2008 Chuck Nickerson
Woodworker caught doing something useful! Film at 11!

My wife must never see this photo or blog entry.
06/29/2008 David
Curious - your opinion of Fine Woodworking mirrors mine. I do lots of "non-Fine Woodworking", as well as a few projects that might fit a decent definition.

There are few of us, it seems, that will objectively look at what we're doing and call it for what it is. There was a huge debate on what the definition of Fine Woodworking should be on the FWW's Knots forum (under the "magazine" folder). Sad to say, a large number of posters thought that almost anything fits the definition of fine woodworking - including making jigs!
"Fine Woodworking" is a magazine. Some of their articles certainly are fine woodworking, Some by virtue of the wide diversity of their readership aren't. They try to include articles that will raise the skill level and inspire of readers of all levels and backgrounds and that's very commendable. A kitchen built with modern hardware such as Bill Ducksworth describes can be fine woodworking. What I did - hack up an old kitchen certainly isn't but reading the article brought me up-to-date on hardware, I learned something, and it inspired me to upgrade my kitchen.
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