How to Make Drawers: Different Techniques

Ready-to-assemble kits

The easiest way to make drawers is to buy them in kit form. All kits contain matching backs, fronts and sides, and are ready- jointed for gluing.

The drawer bottom, if not included in the kit, must be cut from plywood.

Types on the market — the most widely available is the Fobel — generally have flush fronts.

Dimensions are usually 75-125 mm. (3-5 in.) in depth, with widths and lengths in multiples of 75 mm. (3 in.). Because of the standard sizes, plan furniture design around the drawers.

Assembly: glue all joints as you assemble them. Join front, sides and back together, check for square and cramp until dry. Slide bottom into place. Clean up drawer joints.

ready-to-assemble drawer kits

Dovetail drawers

Dovetailing is the cabinet-maker’s way of constructing drawers. The front joints are lap-dovetailed, the rear ones through-dovetailed. The front, back and sides of the drawer can be 12 mm. (1/2 in.) wood, the bottom 3 mm ply.

Fix the bottom into grooves in the sides and front or use drawer-slip mouldings.

On wide drawers, fit a central bearer to support the bottom. Stub-tenon the bearer into the groove in the drawer front and rebate it for screwing on to the drawer back.

Assembly: glue the parts as you assemble them. Stand the front on its end and drive in one side. Drive the back on to that same side. Drive home the second side. Cramp, test for square and allow to dry. Slide in the bottom. Screw or pin it to the back.

dovetail drawers

Rebated drawers

Rebated drawers are easy to make with a power saw.

Rebate the front to take the sides, which have housings to take the back. Fix the bottom in grooves or with drawer-slip moulding. Use 22 mm. (7/8 in.) wood for the front, to take the rebate comfortably. Groove the sides to take a side runner if required, and drawer bottom.

Assembly : drive in joints at back ; glue, fit and pin the front housing. Check that the drawer is square. Fit the bottom. Check for square a second time. Screw the bottom to the underside of the back. Rub bottom of sides with candlewax to assist running.

rebated drawers

Oversailing-front drawers

Make this type of drawer by dovetail-housing the sides into the widened front, which can oversail in any direction to cover the rails or stiles used in the carcase.

Assembly: glue and drive home the joints between the sides and front from underneath. Glue and drive home the drawer back and slide the bottom in. Check for square; clean up and fit to carcase.

oversailing-front drawers

For many woodworking hints and tips from Ted ‘Woody’ Mcgrath – Professional Woodworker, Educator, Member of AWI , Please Click Here!

29. June 2011 by admin
Categories: DIY Projects, Joints, Woodworking | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Make Drawers: Different Techniques


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