Mr. Refacer
Over 35 years experience
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How to Build a Drawer Box

There are several ways to build drawer boxes.  Some use dados.  Some have dove tailed corners or some other complicated method of joining wood that takes special machinery.  But a drawer box is just that.  A simple box.  So by  keeping just a couple of simple principles in mind, you can build a sturdy, durable drawer box with a minimum of effort and tools.


  • If you are replacing an existing drawer box and re-using the existing or same type of drawer hardware, then copy it's dimensions and skip to step 4.
  • If you are installing standard side-mount drawer slides follow these steps.
  1. Measure the drawer opening in the cabinet.
  2. Deduct 1 inch from the width of the opening and 1 inch from the height of the opening to calculate the width and height of the new drawer box.
  3. Measure the depth of your cabinet from the front of the face frame to the back of the cabinet and deduct at least 2 inches to find the length of the drawer.

Building the Box

Using 5/8" material,  cut out your drawer box pieces.

  1. Cut 2 sides the length and height of the new drawer box.
  2. Cut 2 ends the width of your new drawer box minus 1 1/4"
  3. Cut 1 floor the width and length of your new drawer box minus 1 1/4" in both directions.
  4. Glue and nail the ends of the box to the floor first then nail the sides on.

You now have a very sturdy replacement drawer box that should last for years.  Note the nails are nailed into the sides of the drawer box, not the front and back.  If you nail into the front of the box, when you close the drawer hard it will have a tendency to knock the front of the box off.  By nailing into the sides instead, you eliminate this problem.  Try not to nail too close to an edge to prevent splitting.  Always pre-drill for each nail.

Material:  I recommend 5/8" melamine backed particle board.  Turning the melamine side to the inside of the drawer produces a very durable inner lining that wipes out easily.  Always pre-drill for every screw.