How to Make Cabinet Drawers


The key to making cabinet drawers is first to determine the roller assembly you want to use. Some don't require much of a difference between the opening for the drawer and the drawer box itself. One of the most common systems used is known as the "KV," which is a term used for a rails and rollers system. The brand names differ, but the system is basic and requires the draw box to be 1 1/16-inch narrower than the opening.

Things You'll Need

  • Table saw 1/2-inch plywood 1/4-inch plywood Wood glue 2d box nails Hammer

The Steps

  • Set the table saw fence at 3½ inches. Rip as many pieces needed for the number of drawers you are building. Kitchen cabinet drawers are 19 inches deep. This size is for the two sides and a front. The back of the drawer box is a different height.

  • Set the table saw fence on 3 inches. Rip as many pieces as needed for the back of the drawers.

  • Cut as many sides to length as needed. Next, cut as many fronts and backs as needed. Remember they fit between the sides. For each drawer you should have two sides and a front from the 3½-inch material and one back from the 3-inch material. Cut a few extra sides checking measurements and mistakes.

  • Set the table saw fence on ½-inch to the left side of the blade. Lower the blade to ¼-inch in height. Cut a groove in all the 3½-inch pieces. Be certain to keep enough pressure on them to make the groove the same depth all the way down the material. This is the first half of the groove for the drawer bottom. See "How to Make Cabinet Drawers" for more detailed information on cutting the grooves.

  • Move the table saw fence closer to the blade by a blade-width. Check this with a piece of material that has a groove in it by touching it to the blade at the new measurement. The goal is to create a ¼-inch groove for the drawer bottom. Once you cut the second half of the groove, check it by inserting a piece of ¼-inch plywood in the groove. Adjust if necessary and cut the second half of the groove in all the 3½-inch material.

  • Set the table saw fence on the measurement for the sides minus ¼ inch. Cut the ¼-inch plywood across the grain. Cut as many pieces as needed for the drawer bottoms. To get the width of each drawer bottom, measure the front piece and add 7/16 inch to it.

  • Apply glue to the ends of the fronts, place them between the sides and secure them with the box nails. Be certain the grooves line up. Insert the drawer bottom in the grooves. Apply glue to the ends and one long edge of the backs and secure it between the sides. Secure the bottom to the back. Secure the drawer fronts to the boxes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start the nails in the side pieces before applying glue to the edges of the fronts and backs. Let the glue dry before securing the boxes to the fronts.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children. Do not raise the table saw blade any higher than necessary to make the cut.

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