Drawers with recessed handles
A few weeks ago I made three tool stands including this one. I quite liked the recessed handles I put on the bandsaw drawers so I decided to make the drawers for this one with recessed handles as well.
At right, cutting the pieces to length using a table saw sled.
Here I have the sides placed into the rabbets of one of the front pieces lying flat on the workbench. I'm measuring the distance between the rabbets to figure out how long a piece I will need for the back of the drawer.
I like to work out dimensions like this rather than calculating to cut down on mistakes.
My plan was to glue the bottom flat onto the drawer instead of putting it along the groove, and this rabbet would allow the front of the drawer to cover the bottom. But I changed my mind later and put the bottom into a groove after all.
I wanted a straight clean cut between the two holes, so I made that cut with the table saw. I raised the table saw blade only so far that it would cut between the two holes. This wasn't deep enough to cut all the way through. I made plunge cuts by lowering the workpiece onto the spinning blade from both sides. That cut away enough that the waste between the two holes could be knocked out easily.
I chamfered the edges of the holes with a chip carving knife
Both pieces are pushed up against a block of wood on my workbench, but I have a spacer to offset the drawer front by a few millimeters because I want the holes in the drawer fronts to be slightly further up. That way the drawer veneer forms a sort of lip at the top edge to make it easier to pull the drawer.
Drilling all those holes sure made a mess around my drill press. I used my small dust collector to suck it up.
The fronts are too thick for the table saw plunge technique to work effectively. But these edges won't be very visible, so it doesn't matter if the cut is not as straight.
It might have made more sense to make the holes in the drawer fronts not go all the way through. But that would have required routing out the holes, and I didn't want to have to make a router template for just six holes.
Up this point, I was planning on gluing the bottoms flat onto the bottoms of the drawer. But then I realized I hadn't subtracted the thickness of the bottom and the runner from the height of the sides of the drawers. So rather than waste wood by trimming the sides down, I cut a groove for the bottom to fit into them instead.
I used a small block plane to chamfer all the edges of the drawer and add a slight round-over to the front of the drawers.
I made some wooden runners to go inside the cabinet. These runners have a side-guide glued onto them to keep the drawers straight. Otherwise they would end up hitting one of the back posts of the cabinets as I pushed it in.
I made some spacer blocks about 1.5 mm taller than each drawer to space the runners evenly. I leaned the cabinet to one side a bit, then stacked the spacers and runners against the side to check the fit.
This worked out well. Often, while screwing in something like a runner, it moves to the side a little bit, but the spacers and clamp on top prevented that.
Fitting the drawers, I found the runners were just a bit wider than the cut-out on the fronts would allow, so I had to taper the ends of the runners down a bit. I should have tapered them a little bit less so they would force the drawer front on center when closed, but I thought of that too late.
As usual, I made the drawer as large as I possibly could for the size of the cabinet. But I forgot to account for the thickness of the 8 mm thick veneer layer on the front. Which means, with the drawers flush to the front, they stick out that much on the back. Oops!
So I added a spacer to the back panel to make room for that.
More drawers with recessed handles:
Drawers with holes in the front (from 1990)
Knock-down dresser (from 1991)
drawer knobs (2012)
More tool stands and drawers:
More tool stands (2017)
Mobile bandsaw stand (2010)
First mobile tool stand (2009)
Making drawer pulls
Round drawer knobs, no lathe (2020)
More about wooden drawer slides (2008) Back to my Woodworking website