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Old 04-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Hi all,

I bought BTO cabinets from a big box store, and I'm installing them myself. Everything has gone fine so far, but I'm stumped on how to install the kneehole drawer. Even this term seems uncommon to Google, but it's the drawer "cabinet" below the countertop in a "desk" area.

It's not clear to me if I'm supposed to add blocking to the regular cabinets on either side and screw through the side panel or if it's supposed to be suspended from the countertop. If it matters, we're planning to install granite countertops.

Any advice?

Thanks!
Matt

Addendum: While I'm at it, can I get some advice on supporting the granite? I'll have a 34" span over the kneehole and an 18" overhang into a corner.


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Last edited by gatorheel; 04-10-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


I would try fastening to the cabinet on each side. If there is a face to cover any blocking needed. If not, there should be fillers made by the manufacturer, (to fill any spaces where cabinets do not fit exactly), that you can rip the same size as the blocking to hide them. It is more like building a cabinet front with a drawer in the top and space below.

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Old 04-11-2012, 12:31 AM   #3
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Only think i can find......
Also, the kneehole think is a term used in the UK to describe a desk.
Try google.uk for more info on it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorheel View Post
Hi all,

I bought BTO cabinets from a big box store, and I'm installing them myself. Everything has gone fine so far, but I'm stumped on how to install the kneehole drawer. Even this term seems uncommon to Google, but it's the drawer "cabinet" below the countertop in a "desk" area.

It's not clear to me if I'm supposed to add blocking to the regular cabinets on either side and screw through the side panel or if it's supposed to be suspended from the countertop. If it matters, we're planning to install granite countertops.

Any advice?

Thanks!
Matt

Addendum: While I'm at it, can I get some advice on supporting the granite? I'll have a 34" span over the kneehole and an 18" overhang into a corner.
For the keyhole draw the method for mounting it will depend on the manufacture. If it is a framed unit like shown in the reply it can be mounted to the sides. The ledger should not be necessary.

To support the counter in the corner, why don't you just add another cabinet in the corner. Maybe an 18" 4 drawer. It's always nice to have drawers near a desk. In general your design has a lot of wasted space. Why do you have 3 1/8 inches between each cabinet? It looks like you put spacers between each cabinet. It shouldn't be necessary to do that, unless you are putting an decorative element there. Also you normally don't put spacers where the keyhole drawer goes. If you do, you will need utility spacers that have a finish side panel.

BTW, the square ledger won't work without bracing. For good solid granite the supported counter needs to be twice as deep as unsupported counter and the overhang cannot exceed 6 to 12 inches. You need to support the ledger with a diagonal or triangular brace. The ledger does not need to be 2 x 4, 1 in stock in a wood to match the cabinets is fine. Definitely use a plywood subsurface to distribute the weight. I would recommend having an engineer familiar with stone look over your plan.

You said you bought BTO cabinets. All these questions should have been asked and answered by your designer.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Great feedback so far. Let me address a few of the comments in order to clarify a little and see if this changes or reinforces the suggestions. I think the elevation below will help make the situation more clear-- sorry for not including it from the start.

First, the overall layout. I've altered the original sketch to show the reason for the "wasted" space in the corner: there is a floor hatch in the corner of the room which provides the only access to the crawlspace (this was a very small addition to the existing house, and it was built with a continuous CMU crawlspace/foundation wall), so I have to leave this area open and accessible. Unfortunately a last minute aesthetic cabinet design change (this was to be floor-to-ceiling, pantry-style cabs, no desk) ended up causing this hatch to be in a poor spot.... I did consider getting a blind base cabinet to put in this space, but ultimately decided to leave it open for cost reasons, as well as the fact that there is already a lot of cabinet space planned and I personally find it very difficult to use space tucked in the back.

The base cabinet is aligned to one side of the hatch and the support structure for a massive (78" long, weight 300+ lbs) farmhouse sink (original to our 1910 house, but relocated from our kitchen to this laundry room) is aligned to the other side. Access to the hatch will be through the sink support structure (just barely). Since the sink butts into the cabinet, a blind cabinet would have been the only option. Here's an elevation from the cabinet designer showing how it will ultimately look:



The sink and base are just approximations in the elevation-- I gave her the size and location to block off for planning purposes. I didn't trust my ability to design a cabinet with enough strength and precision to support it, so I built a strong base (more or less the same plans I use to build my shop workbenches) to support the sink and will build a custom "wrap" around it later.

I will consult with the cabinet designer, but since this was a big box store I'm really not sure how experienced they are with the installation process. Also, I believe they outsource installation.

All ledgers shown in my original sketch were for supporting the granite, not for the drawer. I know I will need support in the corner, but I was unsure if it would be required for the kneehole area. I will definitely talk to our countertop fabricator/installer in advance, but just wanted to get an idea now.

The kneehole drawer is fully framed, so it sounds like there is consensus that I should add blocking to the cabinets to either side and screw horizontally. The face is field trimmable, so it's really up to me how large the kneehole will be.

Thanks again,
Matt
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


I miss interpreted your drawing. The white space is the wall.

Yes I would use a 2 x 4 ledger under both the corner and the drawer hole. The keyhole drawers are shallower than the cabinets to allow for a ledger. If you have enough clearance use 2x stock for the ledger behind the drawer. I do have a tendency to over build my frames using 2 x stock on any parts of a cabinet that wont be seen. Make sure the ledgers are attached to at least 2 studs.

I assume you are building an access panel into the side of the sink cabinet to get to the floor hatch.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Is it possible to put the access hatch under the desk area?
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Thanks for the advice, all installed no issues. Since I needed to trim the face to match the kneehole width I took the opportunity to get a nice new 40 tooth finish blade for my circular saw and I'm glad a did! Night and day cut quality vs the banged up framing blade I've been using!

Bob22: in retrospect it would have been a lot better to have the hatch under the desk, but when the design change was made it was way too late (finish floor was already installed). This was truly an 11th hour change.... It will be a PITA to get under there, but it's less than 150 sq ft and there aren't really any systems under there I'll need to access-- it's "just in case" access. Technically we could have made it happen, but since the hatch is really only for emergency access I can live with it rather than get into a big project to relocate it.

Matt
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:30 AM   #9
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


Just curious , does the drawer in the corner cabinet clear your farmhouse sink? I know drawings can be different from real life.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


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Originally Posted by kj6887 View Post
Just curious , does the drawer in the corner cabinet clear your farmhouse sink? I know drawings can be different from real life.
Yup, since there's a large dead corner I just positioned that cabinet to give the open drawer a 2" clearance from the sink, positioned the cabinet on the other side of the kneehole 3" in from the wall (outside) corner, installed blocking to fill the leftover space between to get the two cabinets and the kneehole drawer, and trimmed the face to match. I had a little under 2" to block on each side, so I ended up using two 4x4 (x2") blocks on each side rather than a continuous 2x along each side. I used 2x4s for the ledger, as suggested.

Matt
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #11
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Kneehole Drawer Installation


If it's granite then you need to attach it to the side somehow. Otherwise you have to glue it to the top which isn't the best option.

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