Problems Holding Up My Drawers

This post goes out to those, like me, that have never planed down a bunch of drawer sides to fit into their corresponding openings. I was looking for a way to easily plane down the sides without awkwardly clamping, unclamping, checking the fit, clamping again, etc. At first I thought the split top nature of my workbench would help but as the pictures below illustrate, it didn’t.

With this new found problem I went to social media and the internet. I found the following:

First try, second try, third try. These are all valid but required more futzing around than I enjoy. I truly can’t stand jigs. Fortunately, a bit a serendipity happened shortly afterward on IG. But still, this was a “jig” and required me to glue up some boards to get a 17 1/2″ piece of scrap to support the drawers. Boo.

I went back downstairs and tried this.

Frustrated, I busted out the domino and some clamps and did this


Last night I trimmed it down and now I’m in business.


Now onto planing

I know there has to be an easier way to do this that’s more adjustable but I need to get to work on these drawers. If you have any suggestions, please let me know below.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
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6 Responses to Problems Holding Up My Drawers

  1. Pete Taran says:


    There are a 1000 ways to skin a cat and you found one that worked. I think you were on the right track with your spacer idea. I would have made two long taper wedges. Put on in place on that ledge with the wide part toward the middle of the bench and then take the other and slide it in place in front of the first one. A light tap and that drawer would be rock solid until you tried to move it. Just like two big door shakes.

    Another thing that probably didn’t help was using a jack length plane for a smoother length job.

    Your dovetails look awesome btw!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Pete,

      I did bust out a wedge a few times but I never thought of two opposing wedges. I see how that work too. Good idea.

      The jack plane is because I simply have too much material to hog off on these drawers. I was ultra conservative when I measured and cut everything (rookie chest of drawers mistake). Now I’m paying for it in the clean up. Oh well, it counts as exercise.


  2. tombuhl says:

    I’ve generally (though I don’t do it often) use two plywood strips that together are less than full support. Held down with holdfasts and some crude wedging scrap to space ’em full width.


  3. Good solution. Its almost exactly what I do, but here’s one place where the leg vise really shines for me. I can almost always get the front in the vise and then I use a scrap 1″x8″ (or whatever fits) extending over the front of the bench and held down with a holdfast to support the side of the drawer. It’s adjustable and sturdy enough.

    I’ve also put the drawer on a saw bench and butted the front or back up against the apron of my bench

    Liked by 1 person

    • Retrofitting a leg vise is on my short list of shop improvements. I can tack this on as another reason why.

      I’ve used the method you described in the past on a case piece. For the larger drawers I might try your method out as I could secure them to the “board jack” (i.e. middle stretcher) using on a Veritas hold down.

      Liked by 2 people

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