It’s like clockwork. Every few months I get an email or message asking for help. Someone is building a piece of furniture and inevitably they come to the tough part… the Drawers. How do I build a better Drawer? It’s a lot easier than you’d think. You do need a few tools like a table saw, but if you’re tackling furniture I bet you already have one (just make sure you’re not afraid of it).
What Type Of Drawers
Before you build a drawer, you need to decide what type you’re building. How is it going to slide? Is it a friction drawer where it just slides into the drawer box and is just the tiniest bit smaller? How about wooden slides? Those are the most difficult given the amount of precision needed for the drawer box assembly and the installation of the wooden rails. How about we just go with your normal metal ball bearing slides you can pick up at any big box store? They might look intimidating but I promise you they are the easiest to install. So while you can use the Drawer assembly method on any type of drawer, specifically I’m gearing this towards a ball bearing slide install.
Build, Then React
People often make the mistake of trying to build Drawers too soon. Premature Drawer Assembly affects 1 out of every 5 woodworkers. It’s okay, don’t be embarrassed. The truth is you can’t start assembling your drawers until you’ve completely finished the carcass or drawer box on your piece of furniture. Sure following plans is nice, but a 1/16″ here and a 1/32″ there adds up and can throw off the entire fit. So make sure you have the sides of whatever your piece of furniture complete before you even start to measure for the drawers.
I personally don’t like floating drawers in a furniture carcass. I think it opens you up to too many opportunities for mistakes and potentially uneven Drawers if you have a column of them. So that’s why I like building a Drawer box for each Drawer. Yes, each Drawer has its own little cubby, whether it’s a solid piece or just a thin underlayment divider, it will make all the difference when installing your Drawer Slides. If you insist on just going the carcass route, Kreg Jig makes a nifty Drawer Slide Jig (affiliate link) that’s perfect for you rebels!
Now… watch the video to find out exactly how to do this right!
Build A Better Drawer
With a better drawer build installing the hardware should be no problem!