Making a Drawer Lock Joint

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Drawer lock joints made using a drawer lock router bit are a GREAT way to put drawers together. Once the setup is right the joint can be cut very fast, and the mechanical interlock the joint provides makes it very strong. What’s not to like? Well, in all honesty the getting the setup just right can be fussy.

Making this work

For a drawer lock joint to fit correctly, the height of the bit AND the fence position must both be perfect. If either one is off, you’ll have a lousy fit, which compromises the joint. Bit height is especially critical. It’s definitely very handy to have a router lift in your table for making these fine height adjustments.

How to get it right

There’s a logical sequence of events involved in getting a drawer lock router bit set up correctly. Start by using the techniques we provide for getting it close. The, through a series of test cuts and tweaks, you’ll fine tune the set up until things are perfect. It’s important to make the test cuts in the same thickness material as you’ll be using for the project.

Controlling tear out

When making drawers one of the cuts will be across the face grain. This can lead to a lot of tear out and chipping on the face. Don’t sweat it, we provide you with a great way to avoid that.

Alternative methods

Drawer locks can also be created on the table saw using a dado head. This is another great way to create lock joints. You should also check out our content on different types of joinery.

More info

For more information on Kreg products visit www.kregtool.com or call (800) 447-8638
Kreg PRS5000 router lift
Drawer lock router bit

Discussion
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4 Responses to “Making a Drawer Lock Joint”
  1. curtis2

    Can you tell me the maximum material thickness this 1″ bit will work with? I need to use 3/4″ plywood.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Curtis. I believe that you can use it on any thickness by making the proper adjustments to your router table fence, but Whiteside suggests other bits in their product line for thicker stock. Here is something that I found in the documentation for this bit:
      “Thicker Drawer Front – For 3/4”+ drawer front thickness use bits 3350 or 3352 for even more glue surface area andstronger joints. ”
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
  2. Glenn

    I think it would be really hard for me to cut into the fence for zero clearance. I paid a lot of money for my Jessem fence. This would mean my fence would be cut for a specific thickness of stock.

    Reply
  3. Jeff

    This was very useful. I always enjoy watching George’s instructional videos, and this one was exceptionally well done. You’re a wonderful teacher, George. Thank you!

    Reply

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