Easy-to-make plywood drawers and trays
I needed a dozen small trays to hold hardware. I wanted them strong, but quick and easy to make
I needed a dozen small trays to hold hardware. I wanted them strong, but quick and easy to make. Then I remembered a technique Roy Underhill used on The Woodwright’s Shop years ago. He cut V-shaped grooves in a wood panel by hand, just short of breaking through the opposite side, and folded up the edges of the panel to form a box. I used a router fitted with a V-groove bit and traded the solid wood for plywood.
To size the initial panel, start with the length and width of the finished tray and add the height of the sides to all four edges. Then put the V-groove bit in the router and set the fence so that the distance to the point of the bit is the height of the box sides. Simply run all four panel edges against the fence. Do the first box in multiple passes, creeping up to the perfect depth of cut for easy folding without breaking. You can make multiple boxes with the same setup, as long as you use plywood from the same panel.
Use a sharp knife to remove the squares at the corners. Then spread glue in the grooves and fold the sides up to meet each other. I use blue tape to hold the sides together while I put a band clamp around them and tighten it. To avoid getting breakage at the folds, cover the back of the V-grooves with blue tape before folding them.
—JOHN BURKE, Northfield, N.J.