Vertical drawer

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by groland posted 09-16-2018 03:58 PM 1820 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View groland's profile


228 posts in 4179 days

09-16-2018 03:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vertical drawer dovetailshow

I need to build some drawers for a drill press cabinet I am making. The drawers will be run on metal tracks, so their sides will need to be 1/2 inch in from the cabinet sides. I want to make the drawer fronts of 3/4 inch birch plywood and the sides of 1/2 inch birch ply. I have seen cases where dovetails are used to anchor the drawer sides to the fronts. These dovetails are made as tracks, vertically on the inside of the drawer front, and along the vertical edge of the sides. I have a router table that works well, so I think I could make such drawers, but I can find no information on best practices for doing this.

I assume the router bit will need to be, maybe, 3/8 inches wide and 1/2 inch deep? The “1/2 inch” ply is, of course, less than 1/2 inch.

If anyone knows a good article or video on how to do this, I would greatly appreciate any links you could provide.

8 replies so far

View ocean's profile


208 posts in 1600 days

#1 posted 09-16-2018 04:02 PM

Half blind dovetails. Look in Youtube for how to videos. The 1/2” ply will be a problem – chip outs

-- Bob, FL Keys

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2253 days

#2 posted 09-16-2018 05:07 PM

Typically done with a dovetail jig.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rich's profile


5602 posts in 1356 days

#3 posted 09-16-2018 06:03 PM

Typically done with a dovetail jig.

- TheFridge


What you’re describing is called a rabbeted half-blind dovetail. The process is to cut a rabbet on the side of each drawer front that’s 1/2” wide and slightly deeper than the depth of your dovetail. After that, the process is the same as any other half-blind dovetail but made slightly more challenging because you can’t get the saw to much of an angle.

Using a jig like the Leigh, it’s a piece of cake. I’ve done them several times.

Here’s my suggestion. It’s just a piece of shop furniture, not a museum piece. Do a false front. In other words, build your drawer box out of the 1/2” plywood to the correct dimensions to allow for your slides, then screw your 3/4” birch plywood, cut full width, to it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View cracknpop's profile


419 posts in 3116 days

#4 posted 09-16-2018 06:10 PM

Are you perhaps asking about a sliding dovetail joint like this…

If so, here is an article how to make them.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2253 days

#5 posted 09-16-2018 06:53 PM

Ohhhh. I see said the blind man.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View groland's profile


228 posts in 4179 days

#6 posted 09-16-2018 07:08 PM


Yes, yes, thank you, THANK you!

Sorry guys, but I’m so dumb, I just couldn’t think of the adjective, “sliding”, for sliding dovetails.

For anyone else who happens upon this thread, this video: seems like a good introduction.

Problem solved…just need to get a suitable router bit now!

View shawnn's profile


152 posts in 2132 days

#7 posted 09-19-2018 04:16 PM

I think they’re also called French dovetails. I’ve done them, not overly difficult on my Incra router table. Probably the trickiest part is setting up stops to cut the drawer fronts. The drawer sides are cut the entire width top to bottom.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16687 posts in 3385 days

#8 posted 09-19-2018 04:35 PM

You could also get one of these.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics