Making drawer pulls on the tables saw

I picked up some old drawers from the curb. The drawer pulls on these were far too ornate for me. So I decided to make some plain wooden ones. I made these using mostly the table saw, using some mahogany I found with the drawers.

I cut a few scraps of wood on the bandsaw to work out the design.


I glued two pieces of mahogany together to form L profiles as a starting point.


Then I used my "prototype" to set the blade angle and fence for the first cut.


The second cut is the bevel that will be the top of the handles.


And finally, cutting out a bevel for under the handle to give the fingers more room to grab.


I rounded the corners, using this technique...


...and then cut each rail nto three handles. The ends are bevelled cuts. Initially I cut with the side facing the drawers flat on the sled, but this made the front side look tapered, sort of a keystone shape (because the front is also slanted). This looked odd. So I cut them with the front of the handle flat on the sled instead. This makes the back edge look tapered, but that's less noticeable.


Six handles all ready. The front face of these is the original finish that was on the boards that I started with. This was deliberate. I figured I'd more closely match the finish of the drawers that way.


I used a spray on polyurethane to varnish the pulls.

After two coats of varnish, I drilled screw holes in the back. I had to make a cradle to hold them at the right angle for drilling.


I would have used the original holes from the drawer pulls, but that style of pull had the holes quite far down. I wanted the new pulls to cover the mark from the old ones, so I needed holes further up.

I made a simple drill guide out of a scrap of hardwood. Two washers screwed on to overhang the edge help to position this piece of wood. I also drilled a hole in the board to make room for the protrusion from the lock.


Drilling through my guide for the holes. Three holes, for good measure.


I think the new drawer pulls are a big improvement over the original ornate ones. And they totally look like they had always been part of the drawers.


See also:

Making drawer handles
(a different style)

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