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Drawers for Cabinetry & Fine Furniture

Learn the secrets behind beautifully built and installed drawers that deserve the admiration they're sure to draw!
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Start by reviewing face frames and frameless cabinet construction, and learn which style of drawer is right for your project. Then, WOOD magazine contributing craftsman and educator Jim Heavey will demonstrate how to build a drawer box with drawer-lock or impressive dovetail joinery. Moving on, you'll learn how to construct flat-panel and classic cope-and-stick raised-panel drawer fronts. Find out how to select the right wood for your front, discover proper router-table techniques, bit selection and more. Then, explore a variety of available hardware as Jim discusses full-extension and undermount soft-close slides, as well as epoxy-coated roller glides, plus, get troubleshooting tips for hardware installation! Finally, learn how to use a dovetail jig. Successfully set up and adjust your jig, test for fit and cut a perfect half-blind dovetail for professional-looking results you'll love.


Jim Heavey



Jim Heavey has been a woodworker for more than 40 years. Today, he serves as contributing craftsman and educator for WOOD magazine. Throughout his career, Jim has worked as a consultant and tool evaluator for Bosch Tools, consulted for various advertising campaigns and television commercials, and presented national educational programs through Sears, Ridgid tools and The Woodworking Shows.

By This Expert

Carcass Construction

01: Carcass Construction

Meet your instructor, woodworker and WOOD magazine instructor Jim Heavey. Then, gather Jim's wood recommendations depending on what type of cabinet you're making. See how quickly a cabinet frame, or carcass, comes together as Jim offers proper technique for cutting the side panels, making dado and rabbet grooves, as well as attaching face frames. Then, learn how to square up your frame to ensure it is sturdy and secure. Jim shows you how his basic cabinet construction is suitable for nearly every room in your house.

32 min
Drawer Construction

02: Drawer Construction

Start constructing your first drawer as Jim shows you how to properly measure for your drawer box based on the cabinet's opening and your chosen drawer slides. Then, learn to create a simple lock joint for boxes that never fall apart. Jim shows you how to set up your table saw to make all of the tongue-and-groove cuts you need, and offers invaluable advice for getting perfectly snug fits on all of your joints. Finally, see how to create a removable drawer bottom that allows you to change it out, should it ever need to.

33 min
Dovetail Drawer

03: Dovetail Drawer

Want a drawer with a little more design appeal? Use a half-blind dovetail joint in your drawer box. Jim demonstrates how to make joints with a router and a dovetail jig, and offer tips for plank placement and marking. He also demonstrates where to place your dado cut so it doesn't show through on the front of your box.

14 min
Flat Panel Drawer Fronts

04: Flat Panel Drawer Fronts

Master creating a basic flat-panel drawer front. First, discover why you need to use a tongue-and-groove joint for maximum stability. Then, learn how to create a dead-center grove in any piece of wood and pick up Jim's tips for using your table saw to cut perfect-fitting joints. He offer several troubleshooting tips, should you find your joint is too tight or has too much headroom. Finally, learn how to keep your panels from moving as your wood shrinks and expands throughout the seasons.

30 min
Raised Panel Drawer Fronts

05: Raised Panel Drawer Fronts

Build upon the method for making a flat-panel drawer front to create a decorative and architectural raised-panel front. Expand your jointing techniques as you learn how to make a cope-and-stick joint using your table saw and a router bit. Learn best practices for setting up both your cope and stick bits to ensure snug joints that fit securely. Then, create the rise in your panel with the help of a third router bit, and see how to work your panel to minimize tear out and maximize smooth results.

26 min
Slide Hardware

06: Slide Hardware

Now that you've crafted your drawer boxes and fronts, it's time to install them into your cabinet. Jim takes you through three different types of slide hardware, so you'll always have smooth-sliding drawers, no matter the project! First, tackle full-extension slides, which allow you to see all of the contents of your drawer. Next, see how to add quick-and-easy roller glides, perfect for small kitchen or bathroom vanity drawers. Then, learn to install undermount soft-close slides, perfect for heavy loads and showing off your beautiful dovetail work. Finally, learn how to attach your flush, flat-panel and raised-panel drawer fronts!

43 min
Using a Dovetail Jig

07: Using a Dovetail Jig

Delve deeper into using a dovetail jig and learn how to get perfect tails and pins every time! Jim offers detailed advice on what to look for in a jig and then demonstrates proper technique for using it. Gather professional tips for setting up and adjusting the jig and router. Not getting the exact cut you're looking for? No problem; Jim shares several troubleshooting tips to help you get a perfect joint.

26 min