Alternate Drawer Joinery #3: Draw sides

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Blog entry by DanW posted 01-30-2010 06:32 PM 5203 reads 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Routing the drawer front Part 3 of Alternate Drawer Joinery series no next part

Now that the drawer front is complete, it’s time to work on the sides. Trace the template onto the sides.
Drawer side
I use a scroll saw to cut this but small band saw blade or coping saw would work. Once the sides are sawed, glue the drawers together.

Once the drawers are dry, setup a plunge router with a 3/4” collar and a 1/4” drill bit. I ground the point to a very flat angle (mimic a router bit) and the side flutes slightly just for use in the router (since dowel rods are typically slightly under-size).

Now re-install the template and use the router (set on a slow speed) as a drill press and drill the dowel holes.

Glue and insert dowels into the holes & trim with saw or chisel & your done.

I have had friends look at dovetails and not make a single comment (not knowing how much work is involved). None of them can help but say “How did you do that?” when they see this joint.

And I can’t bring myself to tell them that it’s actually easier to do than the dovetails.

-- "Let he who does not work in wood, find something else that's half as good." (can't remember who I'm quoting)

6 comments so far

View sras's profile


6699 posts in 4590 days

#1 posted 01-30-2010 06:42 PM

Nice blog! A clear description – very easy to understand. Thanks!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4749 days

#2 posted 01-30-2010 06:49 PM

hey thanks for the post i been wanting to make this joint for awhile now. The only way to do it was buy a very expensive jig. You look like you have it sewn up though THANKS alot!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View DanW's profile


123 posts in 4503 days

#3 posted 01-31-2010 02:12 AM

Thanks Steve & you’re welcome Ike. I like the joint too and it really is easy once you get your jig made.

P.S. My pattern bit is a little longer from tip to bearing than I needed so to keep the bearing in the jig, I added a wooden spacer to drop the drawer front from the plastic template.

-- "Let he who does not work in wood, find something else that's half as good." (can't remember who I'm quoting)

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4936 days

#4 posted 01-31-2010 03:02 AM

Thanks for the tutorial… I have a piece of old oak furniture with this drawer joint. I was always impressed with it and wondered how it was made. It is the construction of fa ew pieces of our furniture that gave me the urge to try my hand at woodworking.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5038 days

#5 posted 01-31-2010 07:52 AM

Nice Dan Really nice. super blog thanks for sharing.


View Ger21's profile


1100 posts in 4592 days

#6 posted 01-31-2010 03:53 PM

An upcut spiral 1/4” router bit is a LOT safer than putting a drill bit in a router.

I was hoping for an easier method of doing the sides. :-( What about using a router similar to making box joints?

Nice job on the tutorial, though. Thanks.

-- Gerry,

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