Step 3: Building Drawers
I built very basic drawers for this project using butt joints instead of dovetail joints. The width of the drawer box should be 1" less than the width of the opening to allow for drawer slide clearance. I had a 20" drawer opening so I built my drawer boxes 19" wide by 23 7/8" deep. I started by ripping 1/2" plywood into strips 8" wide. Then I cut the pieces to length with the miter saw. I used a block of wood , screwed to my bench top, as a cutting stop to assure all of the pieces were exactly the same length. It only takes a second to set up and it takes all of the measuring and guess work out of it. I made the front and rear drawer pieces fit inside the side pieces. I cut a 3/16" deep slot along the bottom inside edge of the drawer pieces. It is 5/8" in from the edge. Then I moved the table saw fence just a little, about half of a saw blade thickness, and ran the pieces again. The end result was a groove just over 3/16" wide, just the right size to accept the luan bottom panels. The last step is to raise the blade of the saw and run ONLY the drawer back pieces, to rip off the previously grooved section. This is done to allow the drawer bottom panel to overlap the back piece and be fastened. I used the table saw to cut drawer bottom panels out of 1/4" luan plywood , taking care to cut them as perfectly square as I could. The dimension of the bottom panel should be 3/8" larger on the sides and 5/8" larger in length.
Before assembling the drawers I finish sanded all off the sides of the pieces that would be inside the drawer once assembled. Its much easier to do it before hand than to try and do it after the drawer is assembled. I start drawer assembly by fastening one of the drawer sides to the drawer front. I used glue and an pneumatic nailer with 1 1/4" finish nails. I sparingly applied glue to the slots in the drawer pieces and slid the bottom panel in place. I installed the other side piece the same way. The back drawer piece goes in next. I used a carpenters square to align the drawer frame, then fastened the luan in place, nailing it into the bottom edge of theback drawer panel.