Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bench Making- The Drawers

My benches first project was its own drawers.

The drawer boxes are resawn hard maple, the sides are book matched on each drawer, and the backs are bookmatched left to right. The drawer joinery is hand sawn, through dovetails on the back corners, and half blinds with rabbet on the front.

I found a nicely figured board of 8/4 beech to use as my drawer fronts. It was resawn and carefully laid out.

I didn't want to have protruding pulls to catch on power cords, so I used Lee Valley's Finger Grip Bit to form the pulls.

I used six different Forestner bits in a scrap of Baltic Birch ply to make a template. I attached a 3/4" o.d. bearing and a lock ring to the shaft of the bit. This combination cuts a hole with the bottom the same size as the template, but with an outer hole 3/8" in diameter less than the template. I used a 3/4" forestner bit to drill pilot holes in the four smallest drawers to avoid damaging the rim as I plunged the bit. I kept those pilot holes a little shallow so the router would remove the mark left by the forestner bits centre spur. The other eight drawers pulls are large enough so that I was able to keep the router bit well away from the rim. I didn't withdraw the bit while it was rotating, and I kept the router moving until the bit stopped so the bottom of the hole wouldn't get a burned spot.

I like this solution, it’s considerably cheaper than metal pulls, and the look picks up on the circular dog holes. Graduating the holes meant I can get two fingers into the pulls for the heavier drawers.

The drawers are given two coats of polyurethane and the full exension side mount slides are attached. I dislike the look of slides but I like the feel of a heavy tool drawer on ball bearings.


The Blogs

Bench Making- The Carcass
Bench Making- The Legs and Base
Bench Making- Top Dovetails
Bench Making- Mounting the Tucker
Bench Making- The Top
Bench Making- Modifying the Twin Screw
Bench Making- The Drawers
Bench Making- Final Assembly
Bench Making- Completed Work
Bench Making- The Specs


  1. Very nice. I am ready to install the vise on my workbench, but it isn't close the the quality and looks of yours. My skill level and health were not up to attempting to make one as nice as yours. May I suggest you consider engraving your full name centered on the bottom front rail?

  2. Thanks Anon!

    Carving my name would be fun, but it already is a full on "vanity" bench. I think I am treading the boundaries of good taste, my name carved as well may come off as too ego-centric.


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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.