Post-Haste Project: Instant Drawer

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If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to build rock solid drawers, we’ve got exactly what you need on how to build drawers. All it takes is a router table, a slot cutting router bit and a little practice, and you’ll be building perfect drawers in no time.

Drawers Get Abused
Drawers take a lot of abuse. How many open/closed cycles does a drawer see in its lifetime? Lots and lots. Add heavy items to the drawer, like tools in a workshop drawer or utensils in a kitchen drawer, and the demands on a drawer become significant. For the drawers to hold up, you need to know how to make cabinet drawers. This doesn’t have to become a time consuming woodworking project, provided you know a few tricks of the trade.

Router Table Drawers
There are two keys to Instant Drawers; the router table and a slot cutting router bit. Once the bit is correctly set you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can make perfect drawers. This technique will deepen your arsenal of skills on how to use a router table.

More on How to Build Drawers
WoodWorkers Guild of America provides lots of great video instruction on how to build drawers. You can learn how to set up a dovetail jig and how to make sliding dovetails, both great techniques for making drawers that will stand up to the test of time. We’ve also got tips on drawer slides and attaching drawer fronts.

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23 Responses to “Post-Haste Project: Instant Drawer”
  1. ron.berntson

    When I tried this, setup was a pain in the posterior, but what killed it for me was all the tear out I was getting on the side pieces (front and back were okay). I’m using 1/2″ baltic birch plywood.

    Any suggestions?

    • WWGOA Team

      Hi, Ron!

      Sorry to hear that you are having this problem. Sounds like you were getting tearout when cross-cutting the face veneer on the BB plywood. BB can be chippy stuff. Here are a couple suggestions that you might try:
      – Most likely your problem is caused by open spacing on your fence which allows the router bit to freely tear away at the wood surface without any reinforcement holding the wood in place. I suggest trying this approach to fixing the problem first first: If that doesn’t address the problem, then perhaps look into these other options.- score your cut lines with a utility blade prior to routing, using a straight edge to follow the line. A couple strokes across the veneer to slice through the top layer should give you a clean cut.- dampen the wood prior to routing. Sometimes this can help minimize tearout.- A dull router bit can cause tearout, so be sure that the bit you are using is sharp.- This technique also works well on a table saw using a dado blade, so if you cannot get it producing good results on your router table, you might want to try it on a table saw.

  2. Duane

    The video says to use 1/2″ stock. Why can’t a guy use 3/4″ such as a 1×4 or such instead? Raise the bit to 3/8″ instead of 1/4″?

    • WWGOA Team

      1/2″ stock is common for drawer sides but you can use the approach presented here for drawers of other thicknesses by making the adjustments that you have described.

  3. Duane

    The video looks like the box is put together by the short ends, so what is the reason for the grove on the long sides of the four sides? I know I,m missing something in the video but I don’t know what. It just does not like this grove is being used?

    • WWGOA Team

      Great question. The long groove is for the drawer bottom, which would be made using 1/4″ plywood in this case.

  4. Duane

    I think I answered my own question. The groves are for installing a bottom to the box. Knew it was something simple!!! 🙂

  5. ezgoing

    Very good tip, but have to say I’m not a fan of the music. I understand your trying to keep the younger generations happy too, but at least keep the volume level down to around the same level of the other video clips please… GREAT idea on a quick and simple drawer though… Thanks!

  6. roger

    Awesome Geo. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Gr8 video. Really like the jams/harmonica/guitar/etc.

  7. Randy

    Dumb question. I restarted the video several times, but all I hear is music. Did I miss something? Is there any audio (not music) to go with this vid?

  8. Becky Lidolph

    Is a slot cutter the same thing as a wing slot cutter? I’m trying to make the instant drawer and it’s too loose of a fit. I have the wing slot cutter

    • Customer Service

      Hi Becky, these two items serve the same purpose and as long as you have the right size you can do this with a wing slot cutter. Paul

  9. Paul

    I logged in to watch your post haste video on building drawers with a slot cutting bit on a router. However, the video does not load. I use Firefox browser. I did attempt it using Internet Explorer (first time in a year or so I have used IE), and it worked. Is there a setting that I need to use with Firefox to view your videos?

    • Customer Service

      Hi Paul. I am sorry you are having trouble viewing the video. I have emailed you a troubleshooting email that should help you with this. If you are still having trouble viewing the video, please contact our customer service at 1-855-253-0822 and they can assist you.
      Jean-WWGOA Video Membership

      • Todd

        Sorry ezgoing, but the first thing this old guy liked WAS the music, a real toe tapper. The video was on the spot. I am starting a load of drawers today and just might switch to this style of construction just for the fun of it. Great job George and team.

  10. Herb

    Great short and to the point video – the kind I like. But the best part for me was the music. What song was that?


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