Woodworking Ideas
Build a Solid Drawer

Woodworking Ideas for Your Shop
Learn Alternatives to Drawer Construction.

Rather than using traditional dovetails for your cabinet drawers, you may want to try woodworking ideas - Sliding Dovetails. A sliding dovetail makes a strong drawer joint.

Dovetail Joint

The method below describes a tongue and groove or a modified Tenon.
Either method is better than a butt joint.
A router table makes both easy for you to build.

Woodworking Ideas

This is a simple procedure. You can use a straight bit or a slot cutter.
First, Rout the sides of your drawer

Rout the tongue part on the sides. Place the Sides flat with the outside edge down. You are keeping the tongue to one edge to avoid tear-out on the front/back. It is best to leave 3/8" of wood on the edge of the front/back groove. The front/back groove will be setback more this way. So rout the tongue to about 1/2 the thickness of the piece (1/4"-5/16" for the drawer sides.) Do all sides at the same time so that they are uniform thickness.

Woodworking Ideas

Woodworking Ideas

Unplug the router and use a 3/16" slot cutter. Set the slot cutter so that the bottom of the blade is the same as the bottom of the tongue. (first picture above)
Set the front/back upright on the fence, and rout the front/back upright on the fence, and rout the first pass on all boards. (second picture above)

Adjust the slot cutter to so that the top of the cutter blade is at the top of the tongue. Slot one board and test the fit with the sides. If snug, then slot all boards again.

Woodworking Ideas

The assembly looks like the picture above. I used scrap lumber for this demonstration, as you can see in the picture.
Woodworking ideas - Line-up a Drawer False Front

If you want the drawers to have a false front, place the drawer in the cabinet opening. Put some two-sided sticky tape on the false front. Now you position the front in the drawer opening. You want to have even spacing on each side. When ready, force the front against the drawer box. Take the drawer out of the opening and screw on the front. The two-sided stick tape can remain on the front or you can take if off prior to installation.

Woodworking Ideas for the Drawer Bottom

You can use the slot cutter to cut the groove for the draw bottom. Most times, you use 1/4" plywood veneer for the bottom. Set the slot cutter so that the bottom edge is 1/4" away from the bottom edge of your drawer parts.

Realize that 1/4" plywood is not 1/4" thick. So rout one part with the 3/16" slot cutter. Mark your router depth gauge at zero (-0-). Then move the router bit up about 1/64". Rout the slot again. Test fit your plywood veneer bottom in the slot. Move the slot cutter up slightly until you get a snug fit with the plywood bottom. The depth of the groove is 1/4". So rout until you have 1/4" depth.

Once the bottom fits in the groove, rout all of your other parts. Return the slot cutter to ground zero, and use the first piece as a template, see that the bottom edge just touches the bottom of the first groove.
Now rout all of the parts again to form the bottom groove. They are all the same size and positioned correctly.


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