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Old 02-10-2010, 11:19   #1
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Building New Cabinet with Drawers

I am building a little cabinet on a J/27 that I sail on a lake in Minnesota. I don't have much space to work with but would like to convert some of the poorly utilized space to drawers to better make it a weekender. I am pulling out the sink because it is impractical as it just drains into the bilge. I will retain the side boards to the sink cabinet but replace the face board. I plan to use Teak marine plywood which is a bit pricey, but will maintain the appearance. I will have two shallow drawers side by side above and two deeper drawers below. The countertop into which the sink is now set will be replaced with a teak plywood top and continued to the bulkhead to give us a working surface and a place to set a camp stove while at anchor. I have read the thread on cabinet latches vs. having a notch but need to consider that on race nights this boat could heal over quite far so am inclined to go with latches. I was wondering what people do for drawer slides. Would metal drawer slides just rust? It is a long way from here to any salt water. Wood runners might be fine. And I think doweled drawers will be strong enough rather than dove tail the joints. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-10-2010, 20:43   #2
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Take this all with a grain of salt, but I’d probably reconsider the notched set-up… I’m of the school that says simple is good, very simple is very good… I suppose if a boat got over far enough to get her spreaders in the water a latch or bolt might be superior, but I’ve never had a notched drawer come adrift and I’m the type who overloads `em mercilessly… I have had latches disintegrate, although they were around saltwater… maybe, so long as the latch was bronze or 316…

I’m with you on the dowels… modern epoxies will keep the corner strength there so long as one isn’t trying to edge-glue unsupported plywood or something… although almost nothing looks more shippy that nicely crafted dovetails…

I’m getting ready to take the sawsall to the interior of ours, so like you; I’m pondering similar conundrums…
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Old 02-10-2010, 20:54   #3
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We used wedges glued to the bottom of the drawers to keep them in place. Work like the notches but were easier to lift and open than the drawers I've had with notched sides. These drawers worked fine for the 10,000 miles we sailed the boat and the 20,000 miles the subsequent owners sailed the boat including a southern hemisphere tropical storm. The only way these drawers were going to come open would be a complete inversion of the boat. We used oak drawer slides soaked in paraffin. They slid quite easily, even the ones that were heavily loaded with tools, etc.

If you go with latches and want ball bearing slides, someone makes them in stainless steel. Doing a search should turn them up.
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