Three Ways to Clamp a Drawer
Support the sides well, and you can plane them to fit without worry
Synopsis: To achieve the perfect fit between drawer and pocket that every furniture maker wants, you need to use a handplane—removing small amounts from each side of the drawer until it slides in and out beautifully with an even gap all around. But it’s not so easy to secure a drawer in your bench vise while handplaning. If you clamp it too hard, you can crack the side at the bottom groove. If you don’t clamp it hard enough, it will slip when you start planing. Here’s how two woodworkers solve this problem.
Fitting a drawer to its pocket is a precision operation, which is why the handplane is the go-to tool for the job. With it you can remove material from the sides methodically to achieve a perfect fit. However, to take whisper-thin shavings from a drawer side, you need to secure the drawer in…