1 Preparing the drawer for a bottom panel
Dry-fit the parts of the drawer, then clamp the unit securely, aligning the bars of the clamps with the drawer sides. Use a pencil to identify the parts that fit together to make reassembly easier later when you glue up. To install a bottom panel, rout a groove along the inside of the drawer, First, mark a line Уг inch from the bottom edge of the front, back and sides. Then, fit a router with a Winch three – wing slotting cutter and mount the tool in a router table. Set the drawer right-side up on the table and align the cutter with the marked line. Starting at the middle of one drawer side, feed the stock into the cutter. Keeping the pilot bearing butted against the workpiece, feed the drawer clockwise (right). Continue pivoting the drawer on the table until you return to your starting point.
Making the bottom panel and preparing the back
For the bottom panel, cut a piece of Winch plywood to fit the opening, adding the depth of the grooves to its width and the depth of one groove and the thickness of the back to its length. Next, remove the clamps and trim the bottom of the drawer back with a table saw to allow you to slide the bottom panel into position. With the back inside face up on the saw table, align the top edge of the groove you cut in step 1 with the blade. Butt the rip fence against the stock, then feed the back into the blade to make the cut, straddling the fence with the fingers of your right hand. (Caution: Blade guard removed for clarity.)
3 Gluing up the drawer
Before gluing up the drawer, decide how you will mount it (page 87), since some methods require you to prepare the drawer sides before final assembly. Then, sand the surfaces that will be difficult to access after glue up. Squeeze some glue on the contacting surfaces of the joints and spread the adhesive evenly with a brush. Assemble the drawer, then arrange two bar clamps on a work surface and lay the drawer on them, aligning the drawer sides with the bars of the clamps. Install two more clamps along the top of the drawer and two more across the back and front. Place a wood pad between the stock and the clamp jaws to avoid marring the wood. (Do not place a pad on a lipped drawer front, as it will prevent the joints from closing.) Tighten the clamps just enough to fully close the joints (left), then use a try square to check whether the corners are at right angles. If they are not, use a bar clamp placed diagonally to correct the problem (page 59). Finish tightening the clamps until a bead of glue squeezes out of the joints, checking as you go that the corners are square. Once the adhesive has dried, remove any dried glue with a paint scraper. Slide the bottom panel into place, then drive a few finishing nails through it and into the bottom edge of the drawer back to fix it in position.