Blog: Subdivisions, In The Base Cabinet Drawers By: John Heisz

The title is a play on the lyrics from a favourite Rush song, but aptly describes this phase of my big shop corner remake. And it’s the part that I’ve been dreading. Not because I don’t like making dividers, but because I don’t like what comes after the dividers are in: moving the junk out of the old cabinet, organizing it and loading it into the new one.

It takes a surprisingly large amount of stock to make dividers and I bought a full sheet of 1/4″ aspen plywood to do it. Fully expecting that most of this will be used, I took the time to give it two coats of water based poly before cutting it up. Much easier to do the finishing this way, rather than after the dividers are in.

I also coated the inside of the drawers.

I started cutting out the parts after the finish dried overnight. On a side note, the water based polyurethane I use seems to be unaffected by the low (ish) temperature in my shop. I heat the shop to around 5 degrees C in the winter and the finish dried just fine. A bit slower, but I can’t detect any difference in the quality.

There are two lengths needed for the grid work and I’ll use half laps to connect the parts. I did the layout by hand, dividing the space into a 7 x 4 cell grid.

Always, always a good idea to make a sample before cutting the parts, and this one is for the blade height:

I set it for a slightly deeper cut to leave a space gap in the joint to allow for any variations in the width of the parts. The small gap won’t be seen and will have no effect on the performance.

I used my mini table saw sled to cut the half laps. A trick to line up the cut with a single blade is to make marks on the table saw, and I show that in the video at the bottom of this article.

The first one put together and looking good. The spaces are the right size for the wide variety of screws, fasteners and other doodads that I have:

I only glued the long dividers to the bottom panel in the drawer and that should be more than adequate to keep them in place.

That’s the top four put back in. The next group of four below these will have less dividers for bigger objects:

I made an exclusive build video that goes into a bit more detail. Please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon if you get some value from the free content I provide: