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How to make deep drawers slimmer with:
Double Drawer Fronts
9/03

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I really hate amours, and I really hate deep drawers too! They just have that bulky look. But this job requires deep drawers so that's what the customer gets! But to make things look more graceful, I decided to create drawer fronts that look like there are two drawers for each drawer.

Now I've never done this before, so I had to do a little research, mainly upstairs to my night stand. Didn't look too tough. But I thought it would be safer to make a mock up of the drawer front, to see if I liked the look, and more importantly, my customer liked the look!

 

First thing I realized was that the space made between the two panels needs to be the same as the real space between the drawers. I wanted a 3/4" space between all the drawer fronts. So the filler panel that makes the fake drawer divider is actually wider than it appears from the front of the drawer.

I recommend you draw the whole assembly out on paper to get your figures right. You need to figure out in the drawer opening, desired panel size, clearance so the inset drawer fronts don't rub on the face frame, and the half lap joint that joins the fake divider with the drawer
panels.

Door Lip Router Bit
Door Lip Router Bit


After cutting the drawer fronts to overall size, I used my "Door Lip bit" to round over the front (this will match the doors above) and give me a lip on the back. But I soon found out the lip on the back left an angle (see pic at left) on the side wall of this rabbit. So next I switched over to a straight cutting bit to square things up. 
I ended up with a 3/8" rabbit on the edge that would join with the fake divider, and a 1/2" rabbit on the remaining edges.
You must use a router table with the door lip bit, and I would not recommend cutting the end grain by hand, a miter gauge is safer...keep your fingers on your hands!
Opps!
Also when exiting a rout on end grain you will have chip out if you don't back up the cut with a scrap piece of wood. The pic at left shows this chip out. It doesn't matter to me here tho, because this is just a mock up piece, but you wouldn't want to do this with the finished product!

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Four-piece router accessory kit and Featherboards


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When I was happy with the panels, I measured for the fake dividers. First I cut some stock to 1-1/2" wide, 3/4" for the exposed fake part, and 3/8" on both edged for the half lap joint.
This pic shows the fake divider. Notice the meat of this piece is shorter than the over all lenght. That thin little piece needs to be long enough to cover the opening in the drawer case, and thin enough so it doesn't stand out too much. You will see it if your lookin for it, but for the most part, this disappears when you view the entire project. I chose to make it 1/8" thick.
On the front side you can see only the divider between the drawer fronts. I secured this assembly with glue and 1/2" staples
I wish I had taken a picture of these mock up drawer fronts after I stained them. I think they looked pretty good!
But I never got a chance to make the real ones, my customer decided to hide the drawers behind another pair of raised panel doors. Oh well!
You can see the results of the drawers behind doors here!
 

 
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