Author Topic: Advice / Experience sought on Swing Out or swivel/pivoting drawers  (Read 6796 times)

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Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
Hi,

I am thinking of making a camp kitchen (or a "chuck box" as some in the world choose to call it) out of 12mm (aka half-inch) plywood. One thing that I am thinking of attempting to incorporate as a feature is a bank of swivel out (or "swing-out", or "pivoting") drawers. (I'm aware of the lost space etc, but still want to do this as a bit of a feature and to learn something new.)

Sort of like a wooden version of this toolbox:



I was wondering if anyone has any experience or advice about such an exercise. The drawers and their contents won't be very heavy, so I am thinking of just using a piece of dowel as the pivot point, and waxing the drawers (maybe with a 3mm melamine base) and the cavity upon which it is contained within.

I can't seem to find many examples of such an exercise when doing a Google or YouTube search, but have seen pictures of this on jewelry boxes etc.

Anyway, as always, thanks in advance for your help!

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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
My Buddy in Brisbane kitted out a Troupie.
He did a shake down trip around Australia. When here we did some mods on it...Then he and shipped it to North America and drove to the tip of Chile. Later he shipped it to Europe and rode the shipping boat, and currently wandering about Europe.

Anyhow... There is a bit of shaking and bumping. I would use plywood through out and use a metal bar instead of a wooden dowel. Or at least a good oak dowel. Fibreglass is also great for vibration and shaking, and would make a good 3-mm base, or some other composite sheet.

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
Thank Holmz, that's a good idea to use a metal bar (even if hollow).

Since you're Australian, you might be familiar with the DRIFTA camp kitchens that are used either on a campertrailer or in the back of cars/4WD's. I'm basically trying to make something similar with my own touches. I was thinking of plywood for everything except maybe the drawer bases to help them slide better.

Also in the end I am not going on really rough stuff or corrugations and take care of my equipment, so it doesn't need to be bullet proof. It's more for the convenience of easy loading, packing, and camp setup.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Giles pretty much had ^that^ sort of gear.
Just give it a go, and see how it fares.
If you used screws and no glue, then it could be modified if needed

Some plastic from Clarke Rubber might help the hinge pivot, or the drawer bases slide?

Love the idea and think the learned experience is worth the loss of usable space.  I often try to maximize usable space only to realize I should have gone with easier access. 

I think Holmz is on to something with the metal bar. 

Question for all: with plywood construction how would you prevent a bit of sagging toward the corner furthest from the pivot point so the drawer doesn't rub on the box below when being returned to the closed position.  Bigger reveals between drawers?   

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
I would Lego them into a castleated dock to control the vertical motion. 

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
I was going to have each drawer have its own "box" to fit into, or at least some type of horizontal divider between them. (Is this what is meant by a "castleated dock"?). This to add a bit of structural rigidity to the whole cabinet, and provide support to the base of the drawer to avoid any droop/sag issues.

With the lost space in the far corner, I actually have a use for it - when setup I think I put a vertical pole through that corner that I can then suspend a lantern from to light the cooking area.

I started the planning on Sketch-up last night, and will put the general plan up on this thread (if I can figure out how to model this, especially the curves).

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Yeah @eddomak ... Castelated is just like lacing your fingers together in hope or to keep them warn, or holding hands... or when the drawers go into their stowed position.

The curve will be a 1/4 circle, with the centre of the arc at the hinge.
This is the best use for the Festool's delicate tape measure, as it does the radius scribes nicely.

A jigsaw could be handy if you do not have a bandsaw. Some jigsaws have a trammel bar to facilitate these arcs (mine came with one), but you will need a long one for the size you show. Then you do not even need the tape measure.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
@eddomak for inspiration ...



Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 272
Thinking outside the box..... [eek]

How about a stack of round reach in trays with a center metal center post. Trays would not have to same height. The trays would not swing out but they would be solidly anchored by the center post and turn within the space, a sort of lazy Susan. Use flex plywood for the tray sides, metal or fiberglass or some other flexible material. There could be a reach-in feature on each side of the round tray that would swing down and act as a surface to put things on.

To another extreme thinking outside the box, think of a Ferris wheel with a series of trays, again with a center post but one that runs horizontally.

Back in the box again you could just build a box that would fit in the space, add drawers with nice partitions with full extension draw slides, declare victory and go home.
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
Yeah @eddomak ... Castelated is just like lacing your fingers together in hope or to keep them warn, or holding hands... or when the drawers go into their stowed position.

Yeap, each drawer in its own position was what I was thinking. If the whole thing got too heavy then I could do cut-outs between drawers to save weight, but if the box ever went for a tumble the drawer contents might get in a jumble..

Quote
The curve will be a 1/4 circle, with the centre of the arc at the hinge.

Thanks - did an imprescise mock up on Sketchup using the circle tool and it was surprisingly easy. Then did a concentric circle with 12mm less on the radius. In real life I would use either a compass or piece of string to mark the arcs.

Quote
This is the best use for the Festool's delicate tape measure, as it does the radius scribes nicely.
A jigsaw could be handy if you do not have a bandsaw. Some jigsaws have a trammel bar to facilitate these arcs (mine came with one), but you will need a long one for the size you show. Then you do not even need the tape measure.

Didn't think about using a trammel, but might consider it now. I was thinking of mocking up the footprint in MDF to test that all the clearances are correct, then using a router and pattern following bit to make all the bases regardless of the height of the drawers. In my Dolls' House Project I used a router on a self made trammel. (On a side note, I am very happy that I am now re-using a lot of the techniques I was trying out from that project, but with some experience and confidence).

The other challenge is the curved drawer sides... I have been looking up how to have bend plywood around forms. Looks like yet another thing to learn.  [big grin] But it will then take more time (which is limited).   [unsure]

I am thinking of constructing the drawer carcases slightly (10mm) smaller than the available space and having the drawer front full size/width. This would give me more room to play with and not needing to be quite so precise for a first time try.

for inspiration ...

Thanks Kev - believe it or not, I had been considering the MDC forward fold camper trailer for a couple of years, but for various reasons I am now settled for the OzTent and back of car options.

Thinking outside the box..... [eek]
Hah hah, thanks for those ideas (lazy susan style, and ferris wheel style) - if I'm upping my game with making these drawers with this "simple" design then your ideas might need to wait for the next versions when I up my game further. But practically speaking I think they might not stand the bumps and shunts from 4WD'ing, especially at my standard of construction.

Quote
Back in the box again you could just build a box that would fit in the space, add drawers with nice partitions with full extension draw slides, declare victory and go home.
True - I would not bother with drawer slides as they would make it heavy. Just a simple box drawer in a set cavity, and an elastic to stop it from opening would do it.


Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 272

[/quote]
True - I would not bother with drawer slides as they would make it heavy. Just a simple box drawer in a set cavity, and an elastic to stop it from opening would do it.
[/quote]


Don't forget the slide-out cutting board on the bottom of the box; just the thing to cut up all that meat for your rabbit and kangaroo camp stews.

Add a handle or grip and pipe flanges on the bottom so you screw in some pipe legs. Then you  can swing it out and set it up near the campfire.
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
On the note of the curved side of the drawer carcass, I have found a supplier of flexible plywood (5mm or 7mm) which would save me needing to laminate 2 layers of 3mm plywood.

I know that if I do the lamination, then the way the layers will then stay the correct shape once the glue sets.

But I haven't been able to find much on how to work with flexible plywood if I only use 1 layer. Do I just glue and brad it into place along the curved base, and also to the adjoining front/back?

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
@eddomak there's also the stuff from Plymaster in 6mm http://plymaster.com.au/plywood-products-flexible.htm#/0

I don't know how well this bendable stuff will maintain it's integrity over time, to me it's not structural.

don't look too challenging and no vacuuming bagging, etc with this method.

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
@Kev - thanks for the video and I saw that one before, but that will rely on creating a form and gluing, which I am trying to avoid.

Certainly the drawer sides will not be structural nor load bearing - they just keep cutlery in, and some lightweight plates, bowls, and cups, so I don't imagine any large impacts. I guess I will buy the flexible ply and just glue and brad it into place (maybe domino the ends) and if it ever fails it will not be catastrophic and I can either replace it again, or do a "proper" glued lamination.

There doesn't seem to be many results on YouTube or doing a general internet search, and the sellers don't seem to be able to give much advice on how to use the product.  [sad]

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
@eddomak

Have you tried an image search using there term "use of curved ply" ?

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=use+of+curved+ply+in+cabinetry&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwje0bCBwobOAhVEmpQKHe3hCXMQsAQIPQ&biw=2311&bih=1287#tbm=isch&q=(applying+OR+application+OR+%22use+of%22)+curved+ply+in+cabinetry

or searching for curved ply on pinterest.com ?

https://au.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=curved%20ply&rs=typed&0=curved%7Ctyped&1=ply%7Ctyped

... not saying this'll give you any answers, but it gave me a lot of cool and interesting things to look at [wink] [big grin]

There are some other products I've seen too .. like the bendable custom wood (with a zillion kerfs on the back)

Regardless of what you do, if it's bendable ply I think the ends will need to be captured/locked well in some way as it'll want to spring back to flat naturally.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
@eddomak or you could just buy this ...

http://www.roberts-plywood.com/quarter-rounds.html

You'd hope there's someone in Oz that carries something similar!! [smile]

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
I hate to advocate a Festool solution, but have you considered just using bunch of systainers and dumping the utensils in them, and shoving those into the space?

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
Thanks all.

@Kev - yes, unfortunately I had done the prerequisite Google searches, images searches, and YouTube searches, and although there are a lot of examples of end products, how to kerf, and how to glue multiple layers, and even the suggestions to used flexible/bendable plywood, strangely enough there isn't much (if any) information on using just a single thick sheet.  :o

@Holmz - thanks for the suggestion, hmmm... some Sys A-Z with systainers. Somehow I think it would break the budget, and my wife would probably see straight through my plan and think it was just an excuse to buy more Festool.  [big grin] Of course now I can say "this guy on the forum suggested I do this as the best way..."  [tongue]

In the end, it's to save a little bit of money, to customise it to my requirements, to learn something along the way, and to enjoy the process of building. If I make it too simple then I don't learn much, if I make it too expensive then it defeats the point, if I make it too impractical I won't enjoy using it whilst camping.