Making a Custom Drawer Pull

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Blog entry by RussInMichigan posted 11-08-2011 09:50 PM 9251 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For a tool cabinet I recently posted here at lumberjocks, 30 Drawer Tool Cabinet to go with Workbench, I made custom drawer pulls.

Having had several inquiries about them, I decided to blog my drawer pull process. I tried a few different prototypes trying out size, feel and aesthetics, and settled on the profile shown in the template.

During the prototyping I tried several thicknesses of stock. I would have preferred 7/8” over 3/4” but threatening weather forced me to go the easy route using the 3/4” stock I had easily accessible. What I had envisioned was 3/4” maple stock laminated between two layers of 1/16” padauk or walnut to get the 7/8”. I thought it would have looked nice. Anyway I traced the template onto my 3/4” maple stock.

Then, off to the band saw.

Keep the cut just outside the line.

And, voila’, a roughed out drawer pull, ready to be sanded.

So, it’s off to the suite of sanders, disk, belt, and spindle which will be followed by hand sanding to 220.

When the wood is hard and the band saw blade has seen better days, you get burns for free!

Cutting outside the line and sanding back to it rather nicely gets rid of the scorches.

The inside curves on the handle have burns and machining marks of their own that the spindle sander will make go away.


Leaving square edges on the drawer pulls would make opening the drawer painful after it’s been loaded up, not to mention how just bumping into those square edges would hurt, so I stick a 1/8” round over bit in the router and make a zero clearance work surface, then, proceed to knock off those sharp edges.

Then, there we have it, a handy dandy custom sized maple drawer pull ready to be finished then installed.

I finished them with two coats of shellac. To get as much of the drawer pull securely connected to the drawer as I could, when I installed them I chose screws long enough to get through the drawer box, the drawer face, and nearly pierce the drawer pull itself.

I hope this answers the questions I’ve received about the drawer pulls, and thanks for reading along.

Have a great day,


5 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#1 posted 11-08-2011 10:33 PM

Beautiful work! So much nicer than the cheap looking garbage that you see ready made! You did a great job, Russ and they are a wonderful finish to a beautiful piece! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 2778 days

#2 posted 11-08-2011 10:57 PM

Thanks, Sheila.

I’ll post some scroll saw work when I get something finished. I’m working out my technique bugs. I’ll get it soon.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3710 days

#3 posted 11-18-2011 03:42 PM

Those are good looking handles, and a great ‘step by step’ to go along with them.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 2778 days

#4 posted 11-19-2011 02:49 AM

Thanks Mark.

I know a lot of woodworkers who always buy their hardware. I wanted something special for my friend.

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2501 days

#5 posted 12-04-2011 04:28 AM

Those are awesome

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