Need help finishing maple kitchen drawer boxes


Mirage_Man
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Hello all. New guy here and first post. 

I am in the process of remodeling my kitchen and one of the things I'm doing is building new doors and drawers from my cabinets. I have a few questions regarding the finishing of the drawer boxes. The sides are solid 5/8" soft maple and the bottoms are 1/4" maple plywood both of which are unfinished. 

I am using Blum undermount slides which require certain dimensions, notches and holes for proper fit and mounting of the slides. As such I believe that the drawer bottoms need to be inserted into the drawer boxes during box assembly and glue up. They cannot be removed after since the back of the box captures the bottom in the dado all the way around the box.

So, I'm not exactly sure how to go about putting a finish on these boxes. The drawer fronts will be painted white so that's not an issue. I'm just trying to figure out the best way and order to do this?

I am also not sure as to which finish would best be suited for inside the drawers but it seems the general consensus is a water based poly? I have an HVLP so I can spray whatever finish I decide on.

So any help, experience or guidance would be greatly appreciated!

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Tradional drawer construction leaves the back of the box stopped at the dado so the (solid wood) bottom can expand rearward. No reason you can't do the same with a ply bottom. Also, the bottom need not be glued in, unless the box design requires it as a structural element. In fact, Blum's Tandem BLUMotion series instructions illustrate the back with no dado. That means you can finish the boxes and bottoms separately, slide the bottom in from the rear, and secure it with a screw or two.

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10 hours ago, pkinneb said:

I would check those instructions again I have never heard of a non removable drawer slide.

Paul, I think that Mirage_Man meant that once assembled the drawer bottoms could not be removed from the sides.  

I'm not clear why removing the bottom for finishing is necessary?  But if the issue is not wanting to spray finish on the Blum slides can these be removed from the constructed drawer carcass, the re-installe after the surface coatings are cured?

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6 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Paul, I think that Mirage_Man meant that once assembled the drawer bottoms could not be removed from the sides.  

I'm not clear why removing the bottom for finishing is necessary?  But if the issue is not wanting to spray finish on the Blum slides can these be removed from the constructed drawer carcass, the re-installe after the surface coatings are cured?

No, the slides are not the issue. The issue as I see it is how to get a good finish spraying the drawer boxes if the bottom panel is in place. And since it is supposed to be installed in the box assembly there's no way to remove it while finishing the entire assembly. 

Here's a pic of a test box I made. And yes I'm aware that I messed up on the location of th pins and tails such that it shows the groove for the drawer bottom. I will adjust for that when I make the real drawers. 

vdUURPV.jpg

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