Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 2
   November 2009
   Handmade Drawer Pulls

  Handmade drawer pulls enhance these simple nightstands
  Handmade drawer pulls enhance these simple nightstands.
I recently made some simple plywood boxes into arguably attractive pieces of furniture by adding some special touches to them. These small nightstands are plywood carcasses enhanced with solid walnut face frames, a top with breadboard ends and dovetailed drawers and bases. The feature I would like to discuss in this article is the pair of modern drawer pulls, which were hand milled using special purpose planes.

For this project, I could have purchased some drawer pulls and declared these nightstands finished; however, I like to make my own hardware whenever I can. I find that doing so adds a special touch, and gives the piece a handcrafted appeal. To begin making the pulls, I first established their length, in this case 3-1/2". I then planed the stock on all four sides, leaving the pieces long. I actually milled the entire stock length and then crosscut it into two pieces; this assured continuity between the pulls. I used some 3/4" walnut that was 2"x7".

I began by shaping the upper front bevel of each pull. Using some special molding planes really made this operation painless; however, this could also be done using a low-angle block plane or even a spokeshave. To ease the process, I drew the desired profiles on the ends of the pieces and slowly planed down to them. Different profiles will appeal to different woodworkers
— the shape is easily adapted. I gave the pulls a nice gentle round over and then flipped each one over. Using a hollowing plane, I shaped the undersides where one's fingers grab when pulling out the drawer. I worked slowly along the length of each, stopping and checking as I went.

Shaping the front of one of the pulls   Shaping the underside
Shaping the front bevel of one of the pulls.   Shaping the underside.
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