Workbench Customisations: Bench Drawer Episode 5

Bench Drawer EP5 Keyframe

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Once the wedges are cut and planed flush, the drawer is planed post glue up and fit to the recess. Then the bottom is rebated to fit the groove before the final fitting of the drawer. Once the handle and stops are fitted, it’s ready to go.


  1. Wayne Willy on 5 October 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you again Paul! Very good for me to see you work through the details of the entire process.

  2. Michael Anderson on 5 October 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Naughty Paul, tweaking the metric advocates. Soon, when your Brexiteers complete their great work of declaring independence from the tyranny of the EU, England will be free once again to reject that French system of measurement and return to the glory days of the imperial system! US and UK will be so powerful together that all other countries will have to follow. Or maybe not…what do I care anyway, I don’t measure, I gage everything 😉 The drawer series has been great, well illustrating the power of unhurried, careful use of hand tools. Thanks much.

    • Tom moores on 6 October 2018 at 1:09 am


    • Paul Mantegna on 9 October 2018 at 11:49 am

      Michael, the Avoirdupois system (Imperial system) also originated in France (some say Florence, so definitely a European system) around about the Middle Ages.

  3. Patrick Stephens on 5 October 2018 at 3:00 pm

    A very informative series on your workbench ! I hope that you will have another series of videos on your next project.

  4. Rik De Boer on 5 October 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Dear Paul,
    Nicely done and explained as usual.
    Please inform what tools or things do you put into this drawer having it close at hand.
    Rik from The Netherlands

  5. keithm on 5 October 2018 at 5:11 pm

    It appears that you are using a (blue) drill and screws from Aldi. What is your long-term experience with them? The Aldis that I visit don’t carry much of this stuff. but one is undergoing a remodel and expansion and looking forward to an expanded line.

    • Keith Walton on 5 October 2018 at 7:50 pm

      They carry them one or two weeks per year. Their stock changes weekly, is in low volume and not replenished.

    • Philip Adams on 9 October 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Paul says the drill driver has held up well over 18 months and the screws are great too.

  6. Brian Reedy on 5 October 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Yes! Now, whatcha gonna put in it?

  7. Larry Williams on 5 October 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Simply great. I love it!

  8. Stefaan Verweirder on 5 October 2018 at 10:04 pm

    very nice paul.

    stef Belgium.

  9. Michael OBrien on 6 October 2018 at 12:48 am

    Thank you very much Paul, for this wonderful and informative series on your workbench and its customizations. Outstanding detail and clarity, and in your own words I say, “ I love it”.

  10. Reagan Herman on 6 October 2018 at 3:43 am

    I am also curious what goes in the drawer? Perhaps a video on how you organize your bench.

  11. martin Brown on 6 October 2018 at 6:45 am

    Finesse to the last detail, you really are the master of the craft. Imperial rules,! you make me so proud to be an English Man.

    • Larry Geib on 6 October 2018 at 6:54 am

      Paul spent so much time in Texas I’m pretty sure he’s using United States Customary Units.

    • Benoît Van Noten on 8 October 2018 at 2:44 pm

      What is funny with US citizen is that their government has succeeded in making them believe US is not metric.
      The Congress is competent to define units. The first thing the Congress decided is making the metric system legal for commercial transaction in USA in 1866.
      Then USA has ratified “la convention du mètre” in 1875.
      What is known as the US customary system has only been defined by the Mendenhall Order of 1893. Since 1893, the internationally adopted metric standards have served as the fundamental measurement standards of the United States. The non-metric units have been defined in terms of the metric standards ever since.
      So the Imperial system has never had any legal value in USA and the US customary system doesn’t exist by itself.
      You should know that in the “Système international d’unités (SI)” there is nothing left from the initial “French” metric system. The definitions have been changed while refining the standards.
      US citizen should be proud of the NIST contribution to that process.
      Nice stories here:

  12. beach512 on 6 October 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Loved the series. Very well done. I followed along each week and now just have to do the final fitting and making the wood drawer pull. I really appreciate all the details that are shown on each episode. By doing a little each week, I could work slowly and keep up. I am sure these episodes are designed this way to help build skills for handwork and learning patience.
    For those who would like ideas on how to make a wooden drawer pull, search YouTube for “How to Turn Pulls Without a Lathe”, made by Fine Woodworking.

  13. Tom Hitchner on 6 October 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I really enjoyed the workbench drawer series. I plan to add one to my bench in the near future. It would really be nice to have a place for all those little items that need a convenient home.

    Many thanks for sharing this!

  14. joeleonetti on 6 October 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you for this series. Where it will help me immediately is for a drawer for my daughter’s bedroom nightstand. The plans I purchased were designed for machines. I am doing it by hand tools. Much of the modifications I have done were from other videos you’ve done. This series on how to make a drawer will be immensely helpful. Thank you.

  15. Andrew LeRoy on 6 October 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Paul, in the pictures it looks like you only finished the front of the drawer and left the rest unfinished. Is that the case? I seem to remember reading from somewhere that if you finished the sides you risk expanding the material. Is that indeed the case?



    • Philip Adams on 9 October 2018 at 5:04 pm

      Paul applied finish to the front and about 2″ at the front of the sides. You could do more if you wanted, with no negative effects, but it isn’t necessary. So up to you.

  16. Anthony Grosso on 7 October 2018 at 2:35 am

    Paul, thank you! This was very brilliant, then again, when is it not? I learned many things and on I go to make myself a lovely drawer now.

  17. Benoît Van Noten on 8 October 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Excellent tutorial as usual.
    I am curious how the drawer will be partitioned.

  18. Chris Hattan on 19 October 2018 at 9:24 am

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the fantastic tips. I’m building a big ‘farmhouse’ bed in pine and want to put 4 large drawers (2’ wide each) into the sides. Is there a size/weight point when the wood friction becomes too great and I would have to use a sliding runner of some sort?

  19. Anonymous on 13 January 2019 at 5:25 am

    Is there ever a time where you would want to harden the drawer bottom or runner to increase the lifetime of the piece? Like some kind of thin epoxy layer?

    As always, thanks for the unparalleled level of craftsmanship and education.

    • Izzy Berger on 14 January 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Paul says no, i’ve seen pine chest of drawers over 100 years old that have stood the test of time. Personally I would just use the drawers and if in 70 years time they are worn I would add a strip. Epoxy will only be as strong as the sub wood and because the sub wood is spongey the epoxy will probably break down before the wood.

      Kind Regards,

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