Making Wooden Drawer Handles

Making Wooden Drawer Handles-4

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In this video, Paul shows how to make your own handles that can be used for drawer pulls. They are fixed into the front of the drawer using a tenon and then wedged and glued to hold them firm. This design and the techniques can be adjusted to make all types of handles.


  1. Eddy Flynn on 22 November 2013 at 12:32 pm

    thanks Team nice surprise getting a bonus video ,Paul did you book match the veneer for the drawer fronts they look fantastic .

    • Paul Sellers on 22 November 2013 at 5:44 pm

      I did book match and will be showing this when we get to the veneering and inlaying workshop sometime in the future..

  2. Ken on 22 November 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks guys great job 😉

  3. Andy Evans on 22 November 2013 at 4:54 pm

    We get this sort of thing in exams occasionally so it will be nice to make something different, if I have time, that is. Many thanks.

  4. bobeaston on 22 November 2013 at 7:02 pm

    THANKS for the bonus! A handle that won’t loosen … made so easy.

  5. Andreas Mellberg on 22 November 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Nice video

  6. Mathbone on 22 November 2013 at 8:18 pm

    The chisel only method for chopping the mortise works, but it seems kind of like the bore and pare method might have worked out a little more conveniently on the already assembled drawer. That way you don’t have to lean out to get the mallet on the back end. Would this work as well, or does it introduce worse problems?

  7. david o'sullivan on 22 November 2013 at 9:29 pm

    very nice . i regret putting knobs on my chest now .but will give this ago for sure .really looking forward to inlay and veneering

    • D.J. King on 27 November 2013 at 1:11 am


      I’m very much looking forward to veneering too. I’m relatively new to the site (a bit over 2 months now) so I’ve been taking the classes as they come and playing catch-up so I haven’t given much thought to what’s ahead. Now that Paul responded that he would be covering veneer in a future class he’s piqued my interest and has me wondering just what he has in store for us. Paul has been doing this long enough that I’m sure he knows precisely what’s coming well in advance and perhaps all the way through. Still, its so exciting to fantasize about the kind of things a real craftsman like Paul can and will teach us in the months and years to come. I’m definitely in for the long-haul!!!!

  8. david o'sullivan on 22 November 2013 at 9:33 pm

    would love to see how the cock bead is done .paul is right about the front of tool chest it looks very uniformed without bead. design is everything really a talent in itself

    • AnthonyH on 27 December 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Good Day Paul Sellers and crew. I find your teaching style most helpful for me. I have joined a few online woodworking classes but keep coming back to your channel as your instruction and technique are presented and recorded very well.

      I too would like to see your method of making and installing cock-beading on drawer fronts. Please also address if wood movement is an concern if I choose to use a complementary or contrasting species for the cock-bead. Thank you in advance.

  9. Rrapp on 22 November 2013 at 9:43 pm

    That really looks good. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks sooooo much!

  10. Mihai on 22 November 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you.

  11. Bobbie Eiler on 22 November 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing. Paul, you need some hand cream on those hard-working hands! Avoid cracking on your fingers….

    • Paul Sellers on 29 November 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Bobbie, How is the house building going. Always build the workshop first. Oh, my hands haven’t cracked in three decades but they still get frazzled from time to time. I think they look worse than they are.
      Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.. We are having ours tomorrow.

  12. Paul Sellers on 22 November 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I am planning on making another smaller writing box for veneering and inlaying in the new year. It will be a smaller version of the tool chest; about a quarter size. I used to sell them as special jewellery boxes back in Texas and made them from mesquite with mesquite burl veneers i made and then i used holly and ebony for the inlays and such. Used to sell them starting at $1200 and up, but that’s over 20 years ago.

    • sodbuster on 29 March 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Paul. I should have searched on ‘veneer’ before leaving my post on future projects – sorry. I had suggested a tea chest as a way to get into veneering and inlay / banding (and because my niece is a big tea drinker). A small writing or jewelry box would also be an enjoyable challenge for us, and a vehicle to explore design and some advanced techniques. Maybe even some classic techniques, such as hide-glue for the veneer. It is becoming generally available again, and at a reasonable price.

  13. hallamjeff on 23 November 2013 at 1:11 am

    Bonus video? Nice surprise on a Friday, thank you Paul. The wedged tenon punches above it’s weight when it comes to strength. I’ve used them on a little softwood, three-legged stool and they haven’t budged.

  14. Donly on 23 November 2013 at 1:30 am

    Paul, as usual, you make everything look easy. I’m hoping that I will be able to make some of your projects when our kitchen renovation is complete. Some of your techniques have been put to use already in the kitchen project. Marking out, sawing, and chiseling, openings for a few electrical boxes in the cabinets is good practice even though great accuracy is not needed.

    Your videos are very instructive and I look forward to each new one.

  15. Mark Armstrong on 23 November 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Paul and team great job on handles.
    Cannot wait for the small veneered box.

  16. STEVE MASSIE on 24 November 2013 at 12:04 am

    Oh that was a nice finishing touch, that really adds to the project. In my opinion adds a flair to the project without having to use a “manufactured” handle which at times looks to commercialized. I have really enjoyed this project very much.

    Thanks for sharing this !


  17. D.J. King on 27 November 2013 at 1:19 am

    Paul, What a lovely design for this drawer pull. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and for selflessly sharing your designs with us. I appreciate that there are many woodworkers/designers who are quite protective of their intellectual property and its generous of you to allow us to use your various designs for our private woodworking endeavours.

    I did want to ask what you thought of the idea of securing the post with a half-blind dovetail such that the end grain would not be visible at all from the front? I think your design is quite elegant and the dovetail adds and accent, but for variety’s sake or merely for a personal aesthetic preference, do you think a half-blind would be strong enough in such an application? Thanks in advance for your reply if you can manage one. I’d be happy to hear the thoughts of my peers as well.

    • Paul Sellers on 29 November 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Half-laps work well too. I have done that too.
      I can’t say it was influenced by anyone or any sphere. I just thought I’d make hand made handles one day and did it. I have dozens of designs based basically on the tenon-through theme. I have another handle I like that I will post on my Blog one of these days.

  18. D.J. King on 27 November 2013 at 1:27 am

    I’m also wondering if Paul considers this a Greene and Greene inspired drawer pull. It looks as if it would be a perfect compliment to a G&G design. Well done. Bravo Sir!!!

  19. Erik Ho on 12 December 2013 at 7:41 am

    I love these videos. They are really helpful to me. Could you do a video finishes? Thanks.

    • Philip Adams on 12 December 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Eric, several videos on finishing are in the works, to try and cover the most common finishing methods.
      Thanks, Phil

    • D.J. King on 26 December 2013 at 11:22 pm


      I suppose you probably saw it and are looking for a more in depth discussion of finishing, but Paul has talked about a Shellac finish (one of my personal favorites for several reasons). If you haven’t seen it I think its talked about in one the Dovetail Caddy #5 video, great stuff. You’re not alone in looking forward to a detailed discussion of Paul’s knowledge of finishing techniques as well. My only wish at this point is that Paul would have started his Masterclasses in the early days of the internet. I can only imagine how much I could have learned from him by now.



  20. Andy Evans on 31 December 2013 at 6:05 am

    I’ve just made a drawing of these for an assignment where I was supposed to include drawer handles. I’ve no doubt it will come back with a note that it would take ‘too long’ to make and I should just get a metal handle from a catalogue next time, but it was more interesting…

  21. bit101 on 23 August 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This was great. I just made a smaller box with drawers to store my brace bits. I couldn’t find any hardware I liked for the drawer pulls, then I thought, “I wonder what Paul did on the tool chest.” This will work perfectly for my smaller box. However, since the drawer fronts are only 1/4″ thick, I’ll probably screw the pulls on with a couple of screws from the inside. Not sure there’s enough meat there for a wedged tenon to make sense.

  22. Gilbert Turner on 23 September 2014 at 2:17 am

    The best thing you have taught me is that if you will slow down and make the next cut as accurately as you can, it will save you time. You will not have to revisit it, compensate for it or work around it. You move to the next step making constant progress. If you keep saying that’s close enough………it’s not.

  23. bit101 on 24 November 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Here are some shots of the box I used these handles on.

  24. Eric Renz on 7 February 2015 at 8:56 am

    Hi Paul,
    What oil is in the can? I’ ve seen it in many Videos but you never sayed which oil you use.

  25. JEREMY SMITH on 11 August 2015 at 7:31 pm

    The man is a wizard.

  26. Robert Smith on 11 November 2015 at 9:33 pm

    very nice Paul thank you . I have watched many of your vidios and have had to practice a lot but still can’t turn outt work as good as you ,But getting better

  27. William Andritsch on 19 December 2016 at 5:42 pm

    A perfect solution for drawer pulls on the jewelry cabinet I’m building my wife. Thanks for such an informative video.

  28. Christopher Johnston on 17 July 2019 at 6:52 am

    A true craftsman who wont do something because it’s a bad habit even if it wont be seen . viz, levering on the edge of mortice s.

  29. Robert Bellairs on 4 April 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Would the use of a flexible “Japanese” saw have saved some of the scuffing that occurred whilst trimming on the inside of the drawer?

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