My First Bandsaw Box #6: Step 5: Cut Out the Shape of Your Drawer(s)

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Blog entry by Jonathan posted 12-15-2010 05:59 AM 2517 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Step 4: Cut Off the Back of Your Box Part 6 of My First Bandsaw Box series Part 7: Step 6: Cut Off the Front and Back of the Drawer(s) of your Box »

Now we’re getting to the point where there’s no turning back. Once you start cutting into your shaped hunk of wood for your drawer, or drawers, that’s it, you’re committed!

I want to cut out the drawer to be about the same shape of oval that I cut for the outline of the box, only it’s obviously going to be a smaller oval since it’s from the inside of the box.

In order to make a smaller, but identically shaped oval, I traced the outline of a smaller image of the Nittany Lion that I used for the outline of the box itself. After I got it taped on where I wanted it (centered to less than 1/32” on all sides), I put the tracing paper under the image and traced the oval onto the hunk of wood. I figured my cutting wasn’t going to be that accurate and I could clean-up any minor differences with a little bit of sanding.

Another important thing to think about before you begin cutting is to decide upon a point of entry. Each box will be different. If you have a square hunk of wood, it’s probably best to start at either the top line or bottom line of a drawer so that you can cut straight across. You want to make sure and cut with the grain. Cutting with the grain is important for two reasons:
1. Your cut line will blend in much better if there are grain lines going in the same, or a similar direction.
2. Making your entry cut with the grain will ensure for the strongest glue joint possible when you glue the cut sides back together since you’ll have face grain to face grain contact, or edge grain to edge grain, both very strong joints, compared to trying to glue end grain to end grain.

If you can find a grain mark to follow for your point of entry, all the better. This is what I was looking for. After studying the hunk of wood and the inner oval I had drawn on it, I found my spot on the left hand side of the block. I decided on this spot for several reasons: it was going with the grain, it would be a fairly short cut (hence less noticeable), and it was on the line between where the blue part of the wood met the white part of the wood which would help disguise it even more.

You can see my point of entry on the left:

Once you’ve completed your drawer, turn the saw off and let it come to a stop, especially if your blade is still within the wood somewhere, as mine was since I only made an entry cut. Once the blade has come to a complete stop, you can now either slide the blade back out if you don’t have enough clearance due to the guides being in the way, or lift out the drawer and then easily slide the blade out through the entry cut.

Here’s what I had sitting on the bandsaw table after I cut out the drawer carcass:

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

2 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4669 days

#1 posted 12-15-2010 12:31 PM

good tip re: getting it off the bandsaw blade.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View degoose's profile


7257 posts in 3863 days

#2 posted 12-15-2010 12:40 PM

Not so bad is it…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

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