Cutting The Drawer Tails

This lessons objectives:

  • How to layout the tails
  • How to plan for a piston fit drawer
  • How to cut the tails
  • How to refine the tails

Drawer making, quite possibly one of the most confusing and difficult milestones you're likely to face as a beginner woodworker. This is a tricky process that requires a lot of planning, visualisation and accuracy. The lapped dovetails at the front will be a feature that makes or breaks your cabinet, and the dovetails at the back will be one of the most complicated joints you will have likely ever cut.

Please be aware that this lesson focuses primarily on the marking out stages of the drawer as this is the most important factor to achieving an accurate fit. 

Once the marking lines have been established, you should be pretty familiar with how to cut out the dovetails accurately with a saw and a chisel. 

If you do not feel confident with this process, please refer to the supporting resources below that will direct you to various tutorials that provide more in depth explanations of the steps you will cover.

Supporting Material

Click the images below to see supporting material helping you with this part of the project.

How To Cut a Lapped Dovetail Joint

This lesson will teach you the entire process of cutting a lapped dovetail from start to finish. (Front of the drawer)

How To Cut a Through Dovetail Joint

This lesson will teach you the entire process of cutting a through dovetail from start to finish. (Back of the Drawer)

Marking Out the Tails

In this lesson, I show you how to mark out the dovetails on the dovetail box project we completed before this cabinet build.

Have you got the plans yet?

Package includes working drawings, a cutting list, and a 3d SketchUp model!

The Student Series

To be filmed

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