A drawer is something that is frequently used when you build your own furniture.  This article describes how to build a simple drawer unit that can be used in a variety of furniture applications.  

Note:  The drawer we are describing will be of simple construction but useful for all home made furniture and projects that call for a drawer.  Our design uses roller guides mounted on the sides that can be purchased from a Home Center or hardware store. The drawer guides are sold in different lengths to fit different length drawers. The width will not affect the roller guides you purchase.


 Step 1.  Determine the size of the drawer by making it 1 inch smaller in width and height than the drawer opening. 

Note:  It's a good idea to make your drawer a few inches shorter than the total depth you have to work with.

Figure 1

Step 2.  Make your drawer side panels the length you want the finished drawer to be. They should be made of 1/2"  plywood.   The height of these panels will be the height of the drawer opening in your cabinet minus 1", minus the thickness of your plywood bottom.

Step 3.  Make your drawer front and back panels out of 3/4" lumber. The length of the front and back panels is the width of the drawer opening, minus the 1" for the drawer roller guides, minus the thickness of your side panels. (2x 1/2" plywood) The height of these panels will be the same as the side panels.  Reference Figure 3 to see how the front and back panels are fastened to the side panels. A drawer is simply a wooden box with a bottom but no top.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Step 4.  Fasten the sides to the front and back with 1- 1/2" finish nails or #6 x 1-1/2" wood screws as shown in figure 2.  Cut the drawer bottom from 1/4" plywood or Masonite sized to the outside measurements of the drawer unit you just assembled. Cut the bottom square and it will keep the entire drawer square when you fasten it on. 

Step 5. Fasten the drawer bottom to the front, back and side panels with #6 x 1" wood screws or glue and nail on all sides with 1" brads.

Step 6.  Cut drawer front out of 3/4" lumber. (The drawer front is the only part of the drawer that will be seen, the front panel is part of the drawer box you just assembled)  It's size will be 1-1/2" bigger than the front dimensions of your finished drawer box.  Dress the 4 front edges with a router or sand smooth. Fasten Drawer front to front panel with 1-1/4" wood screws from the inside of the drawer as shown in Figure 3.

Step 7.  Fasten roller drawer guides to bottom corner of the side panels, and in the bottom corner of your drawer opening in your cabinet.  The directions that come with the roller guides will describe this in more detail. Figure 1 shows the location of the roller guides from the front view. Attach a handle of your choice, and you have a drawer that will last many years, and the satisfaction you did it yourself.




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