DIY: Drawers


Whether you need to replace a broken kitchen drawer or you're creating drawers for a piece of furniture you made yourself, you can make a drawer to fit your needs. A drawer is basically a wooden box. Drawer fronts can be either one or two pieces. With a one-piece front, you create the drawer front as part of the construction of the box. With a two-piece drawer front, you create the box and then create a front piece, which you attach to the finished box.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Table saw
  • Construction-grade plywood
  • Hardboard
  • Dado blade
  • Drill
  • 1-1/2-inch screws
  • Wood glue
  • Drawer front
  • Carpenter's square
  • Measure the height and width of your drawer opening and the depth of your drawer with a measuring tape.

  • Subtract an inch from each measurement to determine the depth, width and height of the drawer. Use a table saw to cut pieces of construction-grade plywood to size to create a box. Cut two long pieces for the sides of the drawer using the depth and height measurement figures. Make two short pieces for the drawer using the height and width measurement figures. Cut the bottom piece from thinner hardboard using the depth and width measurements. If you're making a one-piece drawer front, make the drawer front piece approximately a 1/2 inch longer and wider than the drawer opening.

  • Use a dado blade on your table saw to create a dado, or squared groove, about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of each of your drawer sides. The groove should be as wide as the thickness of your drawer bottom.

  • Clamp one of the longer pieces and one of the shorter pieces together to make a corner. Be sure to position the pieces correctly, so you don't make the drawer too long or too wide. Pre-drill at least two equidistant holes in the corner, going through one board into the other. Screw the pieces together through the holes using 1-1/2-inch screws.

  • Slide the bottom of the drawer into the grooves on the sides of the part of the drawer you've created.

  • Clamp the other two pieces of the drawer together. Drill holes through one piece into the other, like you did with the first corner. Screw the pieces together using 1-1/2-inch screws.

  • Fit the grooves of this corner over the bottom of the drawer box, creating a box with the other piece of the drawer. Clamp each of the two incomplete corners. Drill at least two equidistant holes through one piece of wood into the other at one of the clamped corners. Screw the pieces together using 1-1/2-inch screws. Repeat the process on the other corner.

  • Remove the clamps. Attach the drawer front to the drawer using screws.

Tips & Warnings

  • For best fit, use a square to make sure the corners of each piece of wood are square before constructing the box.
  • If you want to make a one-piece drawer front, create a dado on each side of the back of the drawer front where the front should meet the rest of the drawer. Apply a thin bead of wood glue in the grooves, and place the front on the drawer. The boards for the drawer sides should fit into the grooves.

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