The following drawer design is intended to appeal to the middle-ground
woodworker who wants to craft a solid drawer but who may also
want to take advantage of using a drawer slide.
The pieces should be in an almost-finished state before cutting
any of the joinery. Crosscut everything to rough length, leaving
things slightly long (approximately 1/8"), so that the
ends can be squared up later. To dimension the stock, I use
a tenon saw (filed crosscut with 13 tpi) with a bench hook.
After the pieces are rough-cut to length, use a shooting board
to square up and finish one end of each piece. Measure and
scribe the exact length, which should be a hair shorter than
the piece. With the finished length scribed, do the final
fitting on the shooting board to ensure a square end that's
perfectly parallel to the other. I use a 5-1/2 bench plane;
I find the extra heft helps to push the plane through the
cut. A very fine plane iron setting is recommended, and be
sure to keep the blade sharp.
the stock slightly long.
up the ends using a shooting board.
Scribing and Cutting the Stopped Dado
After shooting all of the ends, use a marking gauge to scribe
lines on the inside of the drawer's front face piece to establish
the width of the dado, which will be equal to the thickness
of the drawer sides. Mark the height and width, and scribe
the bottom edge of the drawer front to show the depth to cut
to. With a chisel, make a thin cut just inside your scribe
lines. This will help prevent tear-out when you rout out the