Workbench Drawers

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Project by Daris posted 07-10-2012 03:56 PM 4722 views 10 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Workbench Drawers
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Completed Case and Drawers
A few weeks back I built a new workbench.  I have an excellent plan that I recommend from (Basic Workbench and 6 Ways to Beef it Up: Downloadable Woodworking Plan).  It includes six different upgrades to the bench.  I really liked the drawers upgrade that is in the plan and I decided to build those and attach to my bench.  If you want to see more information on what it took to make the workbench and drawers check out my other post over at:

For lumber, I purchased everything I needed at Lowe’s.  The plan called for using MDF for the frame of the shelf.  I’ve only used MDF a couple of times and I’ve never been happy with it.  I wanted to give it another shot, but my opinion still stands.  It’s cheap and easy to handle, but everything about it just feels like Extremely Heavy thick cardboard.  It dings easy, doesn’t hold screws very well, and you just get the feeling that about 1 oz. of water poured on it and the whole thing would swell up and fall apart.  That having been said, I suppose if there was ever a good application for this wood a shop project would be it.  Not a lot of lumber is required for this.  My total cost for the shelf of drawers was approx. $50.

  • (1) 3/4” x 4’ x 8’ MDF
  • (3) 1/4” x 2’ x 4’ Hardwood (You could buy larger pieces and cut down, but I had some scrap I wanted to use)
  • (4) 1” x 4” x 8’ Pine Boards

  Milling & Assembly

Cutting Grooves for Drawer Bottom

After rough cutting my lumber per the plan.  I then cut grooves that were 1/4” wide to support the bottom tray of the drawer.  I completed this by doing two passes on my table saw.  Just as accurate and a little faster than pulling out my router table.

Drawer Joints Using Kreg Jig

After cutting all of my grooves I then drilled pocket holes into my boards.  I used my Kreg Jig to do this.  The plan calls for cutting a dado on one end and building your drawer that way.  It’s definitely a little prettier to do that, but I chose to make it quicker (this is for a workbench in my garage not my living room).  Another benefit of using pocket holes instead of a dado was that it shortened the length of two boards per drawer by 1”.  Which allowed me enough room to get an extra side on my 8’ pine board.  I saved some money by doing that.

Drawer Assembly using Pocket Holes

I completed the assembly of my drawers using pocket hole screws

Completed Drawer

Completed Drawer (1 of 3)

Cutting Grooves into Shelf to Support Drawers

After completing the drawers it’s time to move on to the case.  I cut 1/4” grooves into the sides (using the same technique that I used for the drawer bottoms) of the MDF case.

Case for Drawers

I built the case using glue and 2” screws.  I also used hard wood strips inserted into the grooves on the sides to support the drawers.

Completed Case with Cleats

I completed building the case, and inserted the drawers.  Next up I attached the two top cleats that will be used to hold the case in place on my workbench.  I glued and screwed them in on top, however in hindsight I think it would have been a tighter fit had I screwed it in from the bottom.

Not a lot to finishing this one.

I applied one coat of Danish Oil to the drawers (not the case).  I also attached some handles to the drawers. If you want to see more information on what it took to make the workbench and drawers check out my other post over at:

-- Daris, Indianapolis,

8 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3185 days

#1 posted 07-10-2012 04:01 PM

Nice Set of drawers !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3333 days

#2 posted 07-10-2012 04:08 PM

Well done!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Revrand1's profile


46 posts in 2682 days

#3 posted 07-10-2012 06:48 PM

I built the same workbench, but I still need to do the drawers. Thanks for the details on the process!

View JohnnyAbe's profile


8 posts in 2320 days

#4 posted 07-11-2012 12:33 PM

Exact project I did! Well done.
I love mine!. Love the Kreg jig too. Create my whole case and drawers using pocket holes.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3377 days

#5 posted 07-11-2012 02:26 PM

Your disdain for MDF is slightly less than mine. I hate that material. Produces a dust cloud that would compete with LA smog, swells up if you look at it while sweating, holds a screw like a kid in the rodeo holding on to a greased pig… Poor excuse for a material…

Having said that, I love the work you did with this addition. Never would have thought to use pocket screws for something like this. I might have to break out my pocket hole jig for a couple of projects I have coming up.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2335 days

#6 posted 07-11-2012 08:46 PM

great job!!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Daris's profile


120 posts in 2418 days

#7 posted 07-11-2012 08:46 PM

These really turned out better than I thought they would. (I still hate MDF) but the Kreg tool made it a little easier.

-- Daris, Indianapolis,

View RKaste's profile


144 posts in 2301 days

#8 posted 07-11-2012 08:49 PM

Nice, a real handy addtion to the workbench

-- --May you have fair winds and following seas--

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