Home > Tool Chest, Woodworking > Toolchest – Drawers

Toolchest – Drawers

There have been several posts concerning the drawers in the tool chest. Many of them deal with the softer wood used in the chest to keep it as light as possible. Wear along the drawer bottoms appears to be the problem with many people advocating the use of a harder wood for the runners and glued to the bottom of the drawer sides. My chest has been made out of poplar because of the weight and lower cost so I have been considering my options and have come to the conclusion that it is already too heavy to manhandle and I should use any wood that suits me! Now there’s a bold statement.


In the end I will use oak for the runners and the sides of the drawers. This should place the harder wood at the wear points and keep the cheaper poplar along sides. The first step is cutting all of the runners and support. This must be done first so that the drawer measurement is accurate.  I measured and cut apiece of Oak that is 1 1/4″ wide to support the bottom drawer and the runner fro the second drawer. This runner is supported by the saw till guide and a support in the corner of the chest which is 1″ square oak. The next runner sits on top of this one and is the width of the chest. The top drawer will sit on this runner. The photograph shows all of the runners and drawer slides in position.

All of the drawers are dovetailed together. In the book Chris Schwarz nails the drawer bottoms on. I could not bring myself to do this. Since I used oak sides for the drawers I feel confident that the drawer wear will be under control. The botttoms are made of two pieces of popular 1/2″ thick with a 1/4″ rabbit around the sides. To control movement I will ship lap the boards.

As of this post I have completed dovetailing two of the drawers before being driven out by the cold. My little heater managed to creep the temperature up to 30 degrees but it was not enough. I’ll have to wait for warmer weather, hopefully next weekend it will get into the low 40’s.

Categories: Tool Chest, Woodworking
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