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Old 12-01-2020, 08:54 PM   #1
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SMB cupboard drawer

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Our 2010 Ford E-350, “Moby”, has the very common EB-50 layout. It came with a cupboard door to the right of the fridge, behind the drivers seat.


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Opening the door reveals a shelf that divides the space in half.
This post shows my DIY slide out drawer I made for the lower half of that cupboard. Of course one could buy drawer hardware, the ball bearing slider rack sort of things. But they generally eat up a lot of the available space. This DIY drawer utilizes almost all the volume of the lower space. Craftspersons with better skills and tools could no doubt make a much nicer looking drawer. But this one has held up for years and still works great. And we live in our van 100+ days a year, so it has had a lot of use. Especially since I keep snacks in that drawer, and I frequently access it while driving down the highway.


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The bottom of the cupboard is not flat. On the right side stick up screws and a large nut that help hold the entire cabinet to the floor. But this makes the sides of the space of unequal height.


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So to make the base flat I took a piece of 3/8” plywood and chiseled out some wood (white circled area) to the depth of the screws and nut.


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Once flipped over and in place the plywood sheet levels the floor, and gives a smooth surface for the drawer to slide on.


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On each side toward the top of the space are two large bolts with black plastic covers. (Circled in black) The back edge of the drawer tended to catch on these when it was slide back in after being pulled out all the way.


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So I took my grinder (I know, a router would have been classier. But I don’t own one any more) and ground out a groove (black circled area) to match the height of the black bolt covers. This allows the drawer to slide easily in and out. I intentionally made the front lower than the back to make it easier to get things out of the drawer. I’m not THAT bad of a carpenter.
I used 3/8 “ plywood for the bottom of the box, and thinner 1/4” for the sides.


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I used a variety of inside L-brackets and wood glue to hold the drawer pieces together. This kept the outside smooth so as not to get hung up going in and out. Also, bevel the front edge of the floor spacer and the back edge of the drawer (red circled areas in previous photos) so they won’t catch when sliding in.


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Now almost all the volume of the space is usable, but you don’t have to dig everything out of the way in front to reach the stuff you want in back. Just be sure to keep the best snacks in front on top.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:19 AM   #2
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Simple yet effective solution. I started using plastic baskets in my back shelves for the same reason.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:44 AM   #3
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Always fun seeing how people "modify" their current storage/space to achieve a desired result - what i find more interesting is how something that can be considered a "small" inconvenience festers within us to become a bonified "project" that must be addressed.
I'm constantly reevaluating some of the space we have in our van, I like your approach lchukar - can see the convivence afforded (and added space) of your lower pullout box, opposed to digging into the back by removing whatever obstacles were or stored in the front. Also like that you can just pull out the whole box for easy access and transport. Well done.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:10 PM   #4
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Simple yet effective solution. I started using plastic baskets in my back shelves for the same reason.
Yes Marret, I too spend a lot of time in stores looking for just the right size plastic tubs. There have been times where i bought something, took it out to the van to find it wasn't the perfect fit, and gone right back into the store to return it.
In my dream world I will someday have a 3-D printer to make just what I want.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:17 PM   #5
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Always fun seeing how people "modify" their current storage/space to achieve a desired result - what i find more interesting is how something that can be considered a "small" inconvenience festers within us to become a bonified "project" that must be addressed.
I'm constantly reevaluating some of the space we have in our van, I like your approach lchukar - can see the convivence afforded (and added space) of your lower pullout box, opposed to digging into the back by removing whatever obstacles were or stored in the front. Also like that you can just pull out the whole box for easy access and transport. Well done.
Twoxentrix, "fester" is the perfect word to use there. You can ignore such things only for so long, and then have to get after it. Or sometimes it takes me ages until finally it all clicks and I have a good solution. It's nice to know I am not the only OCD SMB owner out there.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:47 PM   #6
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Yeah, 3D printer, that’s the ticket.

My plastic baskets work fine, they are baskets not bins, but I will think about making wood replacements. I could use a custom built bin for one cabinet under my microwave, problem is it includes part of the wheel well so it is odd shape to get full use.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:06 PM   #7
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I'm thinking custom sized bin/basket drawers could be made from coroplast.





Maybe not the most refined look in the world, but they would at least make good prototypes as you work things out.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:09 PM   #8
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I made a little stuff-holder bin out of the stuff. I didn't really know what I was doing - shouldn't have to resort to duct tape.

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Old 12-04-2020, 05:37 AM   #9
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I like the coroplast box and I can easily think of about eight places to use them in the van . . . but how did you figure out the template?


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