Recently I made this adorable DIY desk with fluted trim for my kids and it was the first time I made drawers. So today I'll explain to you how to make drawers. It's not as complicated as it sounds but involves a little bit of math.
I'll explain to you with dimensions that I used for the desk to make it easier.
I also have plans available for that desk with the exact drawer dimensions that I made. You can find them here.
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- Table saw (or circular saw with a guide)
- kreg jig
- Right angled clamp
- Speed square
- Clamps (these are the best)
Step 1 - Calculate the size of the drawer
Calculate the size of the drawer. Mine was 16x17 ¾" in total.
To calculate the depth of drawers you need to measure the depth of the desk and decide how deep you want the drawers to go.
To calculate the width is a bit more complicated but not that much. Simply measure the opening for the drawer and take off ½" from each side or 1" total.
So the openings for my desk were 18 ¾" each. Which means the width of the drawer is 17 ¾".
To figure out the height of your drawer, measure the height of the opening in your desk. The height of my drawers is 3".
I decided that the trim would come out a little bit from the drawer front. That meant I had to place the drawer a bit further away from the front. To be precise, further away ½" since that was the thickness of the fronts for the drawers.
Step 2 -Cutting wood for the drawer boxes
First, cut the plywood in a height of your drawers. Mine were 3" so I cut a long 3" board on my table saw.
Then comes the fun part. Making dado cuts on the table saw. Measure the width of the liner for the drawer (I used ¼" plywood).
Then measure ½" from one side and make ¼" dado cut on your table saw. To do so, adjust the table blade ¼" high. Drive the plywood through the blade once, then adjust the table saw and drive it again.
It should look something like this.
When you have your dado cuts ready, measure the length of the sides for the drawers and chop it on the miter saw to length.
Here are my dimensions for the drawers. If you are making a DIY desk with fluted trim, just use them and you'll be good! It's already tested😁
Step 3 - Assembling the drawer boxes
To assemble the drawers I used a Kreg jig and wood glue. I know, there are more fancy ways to do it, like dovetails, a half-blind tongue and rabbet, but I don't have time to learn it now. Maybe one day 🙂
If you want the pocket holes to be invisible (and you probably want that since why show them if you can hide them?😁), make the pocket holes on the outer side of the front board. This way it will be eventually covered by the frond of the drawer and you'd successfully hidden all the pocket holes.
Let me show you so you can see for yourself.
Attach side boards with one backboard. Use a right-angled clamp and always check for squares. Then you need to insert the ¼" bottom of the shelf before moving on to close the fourth side.
Close off the last side and pray that it fits your desk. 😂 JK I'm sure it will fit!
But let's move on to the next step. you see, to make drawers isn't that intimidating!
Step 4 - Attaching drawer slides
I got two pairs of these 16" drawer slides from Amazon. To determine what size you need is simple - it's the depth of your drawer. Since my drawer is 16", I got the 16" drawer slides.
Read the instructions on how to attach them. And use ¼" shims or scrap wood on the bottom to make sure the drawer would have some clearance on the bottom.
Screw them in place. To do so, attach the first part of the slides to the desk, then put your drawer on the shims and screw in the second part.
Then do a happy dance because you just made a drawer that fits!!!!! 🎊
I was so excited at that moment!
Step 5 - Attaching front panels
Measure the board from ½" plywood to close off the front side of the drawers. When this part was ready, I used wood glue and attached the front panel from the inside of the drawer with a screw. I used clapms to make sure it's sturdy.
The only thing I regret not doing at this point is adding edge banding. I feel the best time to add edge banding would be before attaching drawer slides.
And that's it! You can add decorative pulls to your draawers or some fun trim. This is how to make drawers.
If you came to read this post from the tutorial on how to make a DIY desk, then continue reading that post to see how to finish the desk with a fluted trim.
Just go for it! Happy buiilding!
If you ever have any questions, please, don't hesitate to reach out! I'm always here to help!
Watch me make it
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