2 Options for Lipped Drawers
Clever construction tips for both
Synopsis: More decorative than flush drawers, lipped drawers are also more work. But this is an elegant method of drawer construction, with a molded profile on all four edges that covers the gap on the sides and top of the drawer. Christian Becksvoort shows two approaches to making lipped drawers. The first, more traditional method involves cutting the molding on the drawer front before the parts are dovetailed. The second method is to simply apply a thin, oversize false front to the completed drawer, then trim it and rout the molded profile.
Lipped, or half-overlay, drawers have a distinct appeal. They are more decorative than flush drawers, with a moulded profile on all four edges. And they cover the gaps on the sides and top of the drawer. Just as half-blind dovetails are more involved to make than through dovetails, so lipped drawers require more work than flush drawers. I’ll show you two approaches to this elegant method of drawer construction. In one approach, you make the lip integral to the drawer front. In the other, you create the lip by first building a drawer box, then gluing on a thin, oversize false front.
Traditionally, lipped drawers were built by first rabbeting and molding the drawer front and then dovetailing the parts. Assuming the drawer front is 3 ⁄4 in. thick, you would cut 1⁄2-in.-deep by 1⁄4-in.-wide rabbets on the two ends and the top. The bottom does not get rabbeted because a lip there would be vulnerable to breaking if the drawer were removed and set down. However, a decorative profile, whether quarter-round or thumbnail, is cut into all four edges. The rabbeted portion of the drawer front should fit tightly into the case opening, just like a flush drawer, with appropriate room at the top to allow…