30 comments on “Drawer Making episode 4

  1. Reading the grain is something I struggle with. When you were looking at the edge of that side and said the grain is running from the back corner to the front, how can you tell it wasn’t running from the front corner to the back?

    • The easiest way to think about grain direction is to remember to always “plane uphill” in the direction the grain is rising. It will then usually be the opposite direction on the opposing face unless you have wavy grain.

  2. Another great video, I like this drawer construction very much. I also use Johnson Furniture Paste Wax to lubricate my screws. I work mostly with pine and finding the grain direction is really hard at times but you find out quick I guess that is another good reason to take shallow passes.


  3. Excellent as always.
    Yet, I have a suggestion…
    Everything you demonstrate is “perfect” or so close we can’t tell. And, for many things you offer various ways to accomplish results. I appreciate all of that very much. Thanks!

    However, it would be really good to have better guidance on how to recover when things are imperfect. For example, what should one do upon discovering a drawer opening is NOT square? Whether something moved, something was overlooked, or the cat rearranged the clamps, who knows? What to do? Make a square drawer and fettle the fit? Make an off-square drawer? Try to compensate in some other way?

    Advice for recovering from such imperfections could make the instruction even more valuable.

    • Several times, I have added a french cleat to the back of cabinets. It requires two parts, the cleat at the top (or near the top) and a piece of equal thickness at the bottom (or near the bottom). Added on, rather than built in results in an offset from the wall, but it works.

      • That was what I’d assumed and what I was intending to do with my cupboard. The problem is with it standing away from the wall. It just looks a little untidy – not really a problem in the workshop I know.
        I was just wondering if Paul had a neater method of fixing it to the wall.

        • There must be a recess on the rear of any cabinet about 2/3 or more of the width at a depth of
          the piece attached to the cabinet. The cabinet will then be flush. Actually, the downward force
          of the weight of the cabinet loaded is spread over the width of the recessed French Cleat to allow
          a more narrow piece if this is the case.


          • In addition you could add one piece on either side the full height of the cabinet and the thickness
            of the French Cleat with a piece across the top and bottom to conceal and be flush.


  4. Watching the opposite drawer pop out from air pressure as you pushed the other in was awesome.

    I personally find it inspiring to watch a craftsman consistently get that perfect fit. I don’t have that good of odds, but like golf, once or twice a game I have an amazing hit, and my average is getting better.

    Thank you again.

  5. Two questions and a comment about the solid wood door. First, are you concerned about wood movement of the drawer bottom? Perhaps elongating the screw hole in the bottom to allow for movement would address this – but not sure if this really is a risk. Second, are the supports you applied to the plywood version necessary for the solid drawer bottom?

    And this comment – I’ve seen these made using a raised panel technique rather than rebate (or rabbets as we say in the US).

  6. Question: will using the back of the drawer ends against the back of the cabinet not result in the drawer fronts being proud or recessed as the cabinet expands and contracts with seasonal humidity changes? Maybe I missed a step in the construction that prevents this?

  7. I think often times we can consider something important that doesn’t always or even usually happen. I made my cabinet four months ago and there seems to be no change whatsoever so I am leaving mine as it is. A couple of times the drawers did stick a little showing expansion on a very marginal level bit two shavings on the height of the drawer has resolved this and the drawers glide nicely. So, you are right to think of it but the answer on drawers is very simple. If the cabinet shrinks you can of course take a shaving off the ends of the drawers. If it expands you can do a couple of things. In the past, when I lived in Texas and the humidity varied greatly, I cut my drawers back 1/4″ and added two screws into the endgrain of the drawer sides each side. I then used the screws as adjusters to give me the ability to change the length using the screw heads as stops. More commonly is to put two stops each side behind the drawer front and fixed to the bottom board of the cabinet. Usually we orient this so that the end grain of the block hits the back of the drawer. Usually glue and clamps works to secure it.

  8. Thanks for a great series of videos.
    . A question: Some woodworkers use the de-toothed end of an old tenon saw to extend the sloping kerfs of the half-lap dovetail sockets before chiselling. Do you ever do that? Do you recommend it?

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