Thru Tenon Domino Drawers

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Forum topic by Robert posted 10-22-2018 02:09 PM 1009 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3750 posts in 2259 days

10-22-2018 02:09 PM

I’m sure this isn’t something new, but I’ve never seen it anywhere so I thought I would post.

After using the Domino a bit, it occured to me it could be used for through tenons and since I had some drawers to build here’s what I came up with. This was a “think as you go” type thing so feel free to make suggestions.

First thing was make a jig to hold the sides and front/backs in alignment:

The side is clamped vertically and the front/back held in place with a holdfast.

The cut is made. I set the depth so about 1/8” of tenon was exposed.

Finished result. I cut the exposed tenons off with a reciprocal saw. With a little practice I could get it close enough that just a little sanding is all that is needed to make them flush.

Once I got the process down & got rolling, I made and assembled 6 drawers in less then 1 hour. I know I can reduce this time considerably with practice.

One big mistake I made was not paying close attention to whats the inside of the front and backs. The tape on the sides made that obvious. But it won’t be crucial as the tenons are all set the same distance.

The other mistake was not accounting for the groove, which I corrected about 1/2 way thru. The top tenon is 20mm from the edge and the bottom is 20mm from the top of the groove, then center of those for the 3rd. In the future, I’ll gang up & mark the drawer bottoms and middle tenons which basically makes all the parts interchangeable.

I clamped them but honestly I don’t know they really needed clamping. Next time I’ll probably make some clamping cauls with tenon holes to account for the protruding tenons.

I wouldn’t use this on fine furniture, but I think it would be useful for cabinetry.

Let me know what you all think!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

9 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile


4754 posts in 2767 days

#1 posted 10-22-2018 02:22 PM

Interesting way to make drawers….

View waho6o9's profile


8909 posts in 3355 days

#2 posted 10-22-2018 02:33 PM

I like it, good job.

View EarlS's profile


3738 posts in 3126 days

#3 posted 10-22-2018 02:34 PM

Those look pretty fine to me.

I’ve done some through tenons on sides and legs using the Leigh M&T jig (which produces the same rounded edge profile) and they look every bit as nice as a square through tenon. I think the exposed cross section and protrusion of the tenon is what draws the eye more than square vs. rounded corners.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7579 posts in 1491 days

#4 posted 10-22-2018 03:22 PM


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5813 posts in 3087 days

#5 posted 10-22-2018 05:21 PM

Your suspicions are correct. Domino drawers have been around quite a while. I’ve done it myself.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View oldnovice's profile


7563 posts in 4146 days

#6 posted 10-22-2018 05:43 PM

I really like the looks of the domino assembly!
Different and at the same time looking very sturdy.

I have used bisquits for drawer assembly but the bisquits are not visible and it is a lot of extra work.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Kazooman's profile


1492 posts in 2731 days

#7 posted 10-22-2018 08:29 PM

A flush cutting trim saw will make short work of cutting off the dominos leaving very little sanding.

View pottz's profile


9918 posts in 1763 days

#8 posted 10-22-2018 10:14 PM

never thought about doing this but i will consider it for future projects,i like the look.thanks for posting this.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View runswithscissors's profile


3100 posts in 2803 days

#9 posted 10-22-2018 11:33 PM

My preference for cutting the tenons flush would be an oscillating multi tool. If you were to grind the bottom of the blade smooth (eliminate tooth set from the bottom), there would be few if any scratches on the drawer sides. I like the so-called Japanese style blades, as they cut quickly yet smoothly. Otherwise, it looks like a good way to make drawers.

I’m just waiting for HF to come out with a clone of the Domino for $79.95 (minus a 20 or 25% coupon, of course).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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