How To Build A Drawer Without Dovetails

If you’re searching for how to build a drawer without dovetails this post will help you.  There are many ways to fabricate drawer boxes for your cabinetry.  Whether you’re a DIY’er, contractor, or cabinet maker speed, aesthetics, and durability all play a roll in which type of drawer box joint you choose.

Drawer Boxes Joints

When building drawer boxes there are 3 joint areas you need to keep in mind.  The sides to the back, sides the front, and how to join the bottom to the drawer box.

Attaching Sides To Front & Back

When it comes to attaching the sides to the front and back of the drawer box there are several methods in addition to the dovetail.  Dovetail joints tend to be one of the hardest and most technical joints to make, so this guide will focus on the alternative ways to build a drawer boxes without the dovetail joint.

Dowel Joints

One of the very best ways to build a drawer without dovetails is a dowel joint.  The dowel joint offers much of the strength and durability of the dovetail and still has an attractive look.  A dowel joint is made by drilling holes through the sides of the drawer box into the edges of the front and back.  Then tightly fitting wooden dowels are fitted into the wood to hold it in place.  Strong wood glues are used to anchor the dowels and joints together.

Dado Joints

Dado joints are also an option for drawer construction without dovetails.  A dado is when one of the edge pieces is cut to the exact thickness of the rest of the wood.  Then the sections are fitted together tightly with the addition of wood glue.  This type of joint relies heavily on the tightness of the joint fit along with the strength of the wood glue.

Rabbet Joints

Rabbet joints are those that have an recessed open channel on the end of board where the side, front, or back will fit into.  This joint can be mixed with dado joints for additional strength.  There are a number of types of rabbet joints such as mitered rabbet joints, half-lap rabbets, shiplap joints and more.

Reinforced Butt Joints

Butt joints are by far the most simple type of joint imaginable.  They are when a section of wood simply butts up against the other section of the drawer frame and is fastened. Fastening can be done with staples, screws, but the most visually attractive and longest lasting is when dowels are used.

Stapled Drawer Boxes

In our experience this is a recipe for wasted money and frustration.  The staples tend to slide out when weight is put in the drawer.  In addition, the front of the drawers get loose as they are opened hundreds of times a year.  While staples are used by some DIY’ers and companies, we recommend against choosing to use staples with cabinet drawer boxes.

Attaching The Bottom

The bottom of the drawer is typically always going to be joined by sliding it into a groove which is cut in the bottom of the sides, front, and back.  The height this is done at is variable and should be considered depending on what depth of drawer is desired.  You can leave a whole inch above the bottom of the drawer or they can be flush mounted for maximum storage space.

Shop Drawer Boxes Online

If you’d like to simply purchase high quality drawer boxes so you can avoid having to spend hours in your garage Drawer Connection has you covered.  Even if you’re a cabinetry company our team makes drawer boxes faster and inexpensively.

Let us take care of the details while you focus your skilled labor on custom work and installs.  We build high quality dowel joint drawer boxes and are happy to ship your drawer boxes assembled or in flat pack quick assembly kits.

Click here to shop for dowel drawer boxes online

Wood Joint Pros & Cons

Wood Joinery Pros & Cons

Are you searching for the Pros & Cons Of Wood Joinery? If so, this article should help!

What is Wood Joinery?

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Wood joinery is marrying 2 pieces of wood into a single joint, it is an ancient craft which is used for making furniture, flooring, framing, and cabinetry. How easy the production of wood joints is depends on what is being constructed. Each project will also be different on its strengths and its purpose.

Pros & Cons Of Wood Joinery

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There are different joints used for different projects, for not all wood joints are made the same. You will find that there are some advantages and also disadvantages in the different methods of wood joining, as well as for each of the species of wood that are joined.

Butt Joint Pros & Cons 

Replacement Drawer Box Page DivderButt Joint Pros & Cons

When joining wood joints together, you will find that the easiest to join will be the butt joint. The joint butt is merely gluing one piece of wood to another piece. An end grain of wood is joined to a long grain of wood by the weakest sections using plates, pins, and/or dowels to reinforce the connection so that it is going to stand up to a certain amount of pressure. A butt joint can be broken apart with your hands if it is not stabilized.

Dovetail Joint Pros & Cons 

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The most common place you are going to see a dovetail joint is on the front of drawers, as they are used to connect them together. Pins extend from one of the boards and is connected to tails that are cut on the end of the adjoining board. The dovetail joint will be extremely strong and is resistant to pulling apart. This is because after it has been glued there are pins and tails that are trapezoidal-shaped that take on a permanent hold. There will be no need for nails. This type of joint may be too hard for a beginner, as it needs precision cutting.

Dowel Joint Pros & Cons 

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Dowel joints help to remove the need for screws, staples and nails. This helps to remove the potential injuries that often happen while working with hardware, but it can also help to give the project a more finished look as there is nothing to disrupt the grain pattern.

Dowel Joint Pros

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  • Dowling is a quick process.
  • It helps to ensure a neat finish.
  • There is no need for screws, nails or other equipment.
  • Dowel joints are the strongest type of joints when it comes to woodworking, especially when using multiple rows of dowels.
  • Dowels help to create strong joints that are easy to make at home.

Dowel Joint Cons

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  • Misalignment Of Joints
  • Dowel Shearing
  • Weaker Joint
  • No Face To Face Grain Contact

Read more from our other post about the advantages and disadvantages of Dowel Joints.

Mortise & Tenon Joint Pros & Cons 

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Mortise & Tenon is used generally when corner joints need to have sturdy frames for making things such as doors, tables, windows, and beds. A rectangular slot is referred to as a Mortise cut, and it is cut into the (exact) center of the end piece of wood so that it will except the protuberance fitting (the Tenon), thus, making a clean, strong joint. After it has been glued and well fitted, the wood joints will not move, and will be very hard to get apart. To be sure that the mortise is perfectly one-third as thick as the wood, it has to have precise measurements, this is to avoid any splitting of the mortise, and Tenon breakage.

Rebate Joint Pros & Cons 

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A rebate joint has commonalities to the butt joint in woodworking.  The biggest difference between the two is a groove that is cut out of one of the ends that increases holding strength.  It is used most commonly when a simple joint is wanted but when strength is required.  It is used commonly in cabinet  making and other carpentry projects.  In some cases dowels, screws, or nails can be added to increase the strength for load bearing joints.    The surfaces of a rebate joint are typically big enough that timber blocks shouldn’t be necessary.

Tongue & Grove Joint Pros & Cons 

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You are going to need a tongue and grove joint when joining a wood edge to another wood edge, like if you were making a tabletop, laminating a floor, or connecting hardwood or paneling. The entire length of one piece has to be slotted or grooved so that it accepts the tongue cut that runs down the edge of the adjoining piece. The boards will be drawn together (without any lateral pressure), and they remain this way. Depending on what the product is, glue may not be necessary to use. It is easier to measure the Tongue and grove joints, and also easy to produce if you use a router having a depth setting capability.

High Quality Joint Drawer Boxes

If you’re in the market for drawer boxes DC Drawers proudly crafts the best cabinet drawer boxes using the dowel joint or durable dovetail joint.  When you place your order with DC Drawers you’re getting the best quality, fastest turnaround, and best prices anywhere.  Shop drawer boxes by clicking here.

Thank you for reading “Wood Joint Pros & Cons“! Stay tuned for more from the expert drawer box manufacturers at