How to Build a Basic Drawer

How to Build a Basic Drawer

Need to build a drawer, but want to avoid fancy tools and joinery? Build a simple drawer with just a saw, drill, and kreg pocket hole jig.

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Tools & Materials:

Lumber:

  • 3/4″ Plywood
  • 1  |   1 x 4 @ 6′
  • 1  |   Drawer Face

Cuts:

  • 2  |   1 x 4 @ 15″ (sides)
  • 1  |   1 x 4 @ 10″ (front & back)
  • 1  |   Plywood @ 10″ x 15″ (bottom)

I used scrap pieces of lumber for this drawer, so the lumber and cut lists are just for reference. Adjust as necessary for any size drawer you need. I’ve used plywood or 1x6s for the drawer sides as well, depending on the project. The process is the same no matter how big the drawer is.

Step 1. Cuts

Cut boards to length according to your project and sand until smooth.

How to Build a Drawer step2

Step 2. Pocket Holes

Drill pocket holes in the drawer bottom and the front and back pieces.

I used a Kreg K5, but the Kreg R3 or Kreg mini works just as well.

IF YOU DON’T OWN A POCKET HOLE JIG, you can countersink screws in the sides through the front, back, and bottom of the drawer. Place them in the same locations as I placed the pocket holes. Fill the holes with wood filler afterwards, and you’re good to go. Make sure to pre-drill holes through the sides to prevent the wood from splitting.

You could even use nails. Or just brad nails and wood glue. Or wood staples and glue. The options are endless. You’re just trying to build a box.

How to Build a Drawer step1

Step 3. Front & Back

Position the front of the drawer flush with the bottom and sides of the bottom. Attach with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws (or countersink screws through the front piece into the drawer bottom).

How to Build a Drawer step3

Repeat for the back of the drawer.

How to Build a Drawer step4Drawer – top side view

With the front and back attached, the drawer should look like this:

How to Build a Drawer step5Drawer – bottom side view

Step 4. Sides

Position the sides of the drawer, clamp in place, and attach with 1 ¼” pocket hole screws and wood glue (or countersunk screws).

Start by attaching the sides to the front and back:

How to Build a Drawer step6Drawer – top view

Then flip the drawer over and attach the drawer bottom to the sides:

How to Build a Drawer step6Drawer – bottom view

Let the wood glue dry and you have yourself a sturdy drawer.

How to Build a Drawer step7

Step 5. Drawer Face

Once you finish the drawer box, cut and fit the drawer face for whatever you’re building and attach it to the front of the drawer.

The drawer face hides the pocket holes on the front board, and the pocket holes on the back board face the back of the project – no pocket holes to be seen!

How to Build a DrawerDrawer – isometric view

There are a million ways to build a drawer. This is just one method I like to use – it’s quick, strong, and gets the job done.

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Thanks for stopping by!

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How to Build a Drawer

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