How to Add a Drawer to a Table


Re-purposing furniture is a good option for a handy do-it-yourselfer. Your reasons could include frugality or lessening your environmental impact. You may want to modify your existing furniture to better suit your current living needs. If a hall or coffee table is always getting loaded up with mail, keys, change and other clutter, consider adding storage space to the table to make it more functional. You can modify most tables to accommodate a drawer if you plan the project thoughtfully.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 1/2-by-3-by-8-inch hardwood boards
  • 1-inch straight router bit
  • Router table
  • Two 1/2-by-3-by-20-inch hardwood boards
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • 1/2-by-6-by-22-inch hardwood board
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • 1/2-by-8-by-20-inch plywood panel
  • Hammer
  • Flat bar
  • Two 1-by-1-by-8-inch hardwood boards
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish to match the existing table
  • Knob with screw
  • Set up the router table with a 1-inch straight bit to make a 1/2-inch deep groove. Run the two 1/2-by-3-by-8-inch hardwood boards through the router to make a 1-inch groove lengthwise down the center of one side.

  • Place the 1/2-by-3-by-8-inch hardwood boards parallel to each other with the groove side out on a work surface approximately 20 inches apart. These are the sides. Place the 1/2-by-3-by-20-inch hardwood boards on each side of these boards to form a box. These are the ends. Fasten the box together using a screw gun and 2-inch wood screws to screw through the ends into the sides. Space the screws evenly, using two per joint.

  • Center the 1/2-by-6-by-22-inch hardwood board on one end of the box. This is the drawer front. Fasten the drawer front to the box by screwing 1-inch wood screws from the inside of the box into the back side of the drawer front. Space the screws evenly, using two on each end.

  • Align the 1/2-by-8-by-20-inch plywood panel on the bottom of the drawer. This is the drawer bottom. Fasten the bottom to the sides and ends using 2-inch wood screws.

  • Pull the front apron off of the table using a hammer and flat bar. Dry fit the drawer in place. Mark where the drawer side grooves line up with the side aprons of the table with a pencil.

  • Position the 1-by-1-by-8-inch hardwood boards on the pencil lines on the side aprons. Fasten each hardwood board in place using 2-inch wood screws. These are the drawer slides.

  • Sand the drawer using fine-grit sandpaper. Apply a wood finish to match the existing table. Allow the finish to dry before handling.

  • Align the knob on the center of the drawer front. Fasten the knob in place by screwing the provided screw from the back of the drawer front into the back side of the knob. Line the drawer up with the drawer slides. Push the drawer into place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Divide the drawer by making sections for organizing smaller items.
  • Wear eye protection when working with wood.

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  • Photo Credit Billot fabrication maison image by cyrnos2a from
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