Jig for Side-Hung Drawers
Simple router table setup makes wooden drawer slides easy
A number of readers were mystified by the description of a drawer jig used in “Quick-to-Make Tool Cabinet” by Jan Zoltowski (FWW #188). The simple but clever jig does double-duty. It is actually just a few spacers that first set up the router table for grooving the side-hung drawers, and then locate the runners for hanging the three stacked drawers in the cabinet.
Start by ripping three spacers: one to the exact width of your straight router bit (the author uses a 1/2-in. bit), the other two so that the combined width of the three spacers adds up to the height of a drawer side.
Set up the jig. Cut the center strip in two, raise the router bit to a height of 1/4 in., and place all of the spacers on the router table as shown. Turn the bit so it touches the outside spacers. Then clamp two thicker, outer guides in place (see above) to create a track for the drawer side. Now you can remove the spacers.
Rout the drawer groove. Use the track to rout a centered, 1/4-in.-deep groove in the side of each drawer. Mark a stopping point on the router table so the groove ends just before reaching the finger joints at the front of the drawer box.
Align the drawers. Before hanging the drawers, use the drawer boxes and some laminate shims to mark the location of the bottom shelf (part of the gallery). Stack the drawers with laminate shims to mark the location of the dado in the cabinet side.
Install the drawer runners. After installing the gallery, install the drawer runners using the same shim stock and the two outside spacers from the router-table setup. To install the lowest pair of runners, stack a single shim, one of the outside spacers, and a drawer runner inside the cabinet, and screw the runner into place. To install each subsequent runner (see above), stack one outer spacer, a shim, and another outer spacer onto the last runner you installed. Slide in the drawers. You will have thin, even gaps above and below each one.