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Manly Man Drawer Pulls

The Manly Man should not concern himself with interior decorating. If its not available in forged steel, wrought iron, or on the shelf at Home Depot, I probably ain't buying it. I certainly won't be pouring through decorator books to find the perfect drawer pulls any time soon. It angers me that I even know what a decorator book is.

But my new 11-drawer rolling tool chest is complete - except for the hardware (see Rolling Tool Chest Build #1 and Rolling Tool Chest Build #2). What I consider proper hardware (i.e., appliance pulls) is neither available locally, nor affordable. Time to get creative - without losing the Man Card, of course.

Below are some ideas. Scroll down to the bottom to see my solution (pulls fabricated from metal balusters).

No nonsense vintage tool chest hardware.

Mad Men style, full-width, integrated pull in solid oak on walnut drawer fronts.

Copper tubing with soldered caps and vintage clamp posts. Better to spread posts wider than this.

The crankshaft look could be made by chopping up 3 different sized dowels and gluing them together.

Forged pull by Jimmy DiResta. Totally Boss.

Handmade hardwood pulls are easy to make, but not quite right for a mechanics style tool chest.

My first idea was to use these long-bar "appliance pulls" on the tool cabinet. They look cool, but are expensive (~$15 a piece was cheapest I found).

Appliance pulls.

Brass inset ring pulls can be found in shops that sell marine hardware. Super functional, not cheap.

Old school map/flat file cabinets often had 2 rows of shell pulls.

Custom made aluminum angle pulls are mounted to the top edge of the drawer fronts.

Bar type cabinet pulls like this are widely available.

Two rows of standard hardware store pulls do the job. I just don't want to use two hands.

Aluminum Y-pulls like these on this vintage Kennedy are tough to find.

Vidmar cabinets, like Lista cabinets, are awesome. I was in the Kubota dealership the other day and they had a whole bank of these. The Vidmar-Stanley website lists a 10-pack of replacement drawer pulls with end caps for $46.00 - a good deal if you are making your own cabinets.

Lista and Craftsman. I'll take the green one.

Woodworker Nick Ferry makes his drawer pulls from inexpensive 1/2" EMT conduit and PVC tubing spacers. He adds store bought plastic endcaps and paints everything black. Takes a little work, but its a good idea. To my eye, they look a little unrefined, but check out his videos on YouTube anyway.

My solution: Metal balusters from Home Depot.

These straight, powder-coated iron balusters are sold for $5.00/each at Home Depot. They are 1/2" square x 44" long. I cut two 21-1/4" from each using a reciprocating saw, a metal cutting blade, and a simple jig to hold the cut square. Then I drilled 1/8" holes located 2" in from each end (17-1/4" apart) and countersunk them. I cut 1/2" long spacers on the band saw from plastic tubing (Sharkbite 1/4" PEX, $2.50) and attached the pulls to the drawer fronts with 1-5/8" trim head screws. I could have painted the spacers black, but didn't. Position the pulls slightly above the drawer's centerline - at least 1/8", but more for wider drawer fronts. Will look for square, plastic end caps soon.

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