Simple and Fast Rabbeted Drawers: Hi, I’m David and I Break Things


I wouldn’t call it reckless, but I tend to push, pull and slam things a little harder than I should. I’d like to blame my father who operated on an “I can fix anything” mentality that gave him the leeway to be overly rough while working on cars and around the house, but really, I just enjoy making loud noises and the efficiency of tossing things across the room.

With that said, I was sharpening one of my plane irons in the Popular Woodworking shop when I decided to have a look through the drawers below our sharpening station. In the six months that I’ve worked here, I’ve learned that there are marvelous goodies hiding in every nook and cranny of this shop. So I made my way down the set of drawers, open-slam, open-slam, open-crack. While opening the third drawer down the hardboard bottom fell out of its dado and I became the guy that broke the sharpening station drawer.

Judging by the construction of the drawer, I doubt it was made by the Popular Woodworking staff – there’s a distinct lack of dovetails. So I didn’t feel too bad about breaking the drawer, but I did feel compelled to fix it. So I grabbed Jacob Motz, one of our video guys, downloaded one of our most popular drawer building articles, and made a video on how to build a simple rabbeted drawer.

I used 1/2″ plywood for the sides and bottom and reused the hardware from the previous drawer. I imagine this would have been a 20-minute fix if we hadn’t been filming.

You can find the article I followed here and the video we made is embedded below.

Am I the only one that likes to slam things? 

– David Lyell 

p.s. Yes, I had a 50/50 chance of putting the front of the drawer on so that the knobs would line up and I failed. Who would have guessed that they were almost an inch off center?!

4 thoughts on “Simple and Fast Rabbeted Drawers: Hi, I’m David and I Break Things

    1. Loxmyth

      I still have a rescued dresser serving as one of my shop cabinets. I should at least subdivide the space with more drawers….

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