Sunday, April 22, 2012

Drawer Pulls

As I draw near to completing this little storage cabinet for my shop, I'm taking care of details. This weekend I realized that I'm about ready to install the drawer faces, but didn't have pulls yet.

I've used a version of these pulls on other furniture built for myself, and find them quite practical. They're easy to grip, they're friendly to the hands, they don't stick out enough to hurt you as you walk by. And they're free! I won't go into lots of details here, just show you some photos of making them.

They're made from white oak that's 5/8” thick and 2-1/2” wide. I think if I were doing these over again, I'd go for 1/2” thick stock, but I had a bunch of 5/8” left over from making drawers and it was on top of the pile.
Hard to tell in this photo, but I'm using a following block to make it easier to hold the pull blank square to the fence.

Rounding over with a 1/16 radius makes them friendly to the hand and resistant to splintering. I shouldn't have done the rear of the pull, where it will be inside the mortise in the drawer front, because now there's a tiny gap to amuse the nitpickers.

Hopefully when I install, I'll keep the end grain lined up consistently from piece to piece.

The mortise in the drawer face is cut almost completely by hand, then finished with the router and a pattern bit.

At the end, you see them mocked up on the walnut drawer faces they'll be glued and/or screwed to when installed for good. I'm not sure about the white oak/walnut contrast, though I don't think it will look bad when the finish goes on. My approach in making these shop cabinets has been to use whatever material I have on hand as often as possible. This year, that has meant white oak, walnut, and wormy maple, with birch countertops. Next year it will probably mean thick, bluestained pine.

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