View Full Version : Dominoed Drawers

Robert Engel
10-22-2018, 10:50 AM
I'm sure this isn't something new, but I've never seen it anywhere so I thought I would post.

After using the Domino a bit, it occured to me it could be used for through tenons and since I had some drawers to build here's what I came up with. This was a "think as you go" type thing so feel free to make suggestions.

First thing was make a jig to hold the sides and front/backs in alignment:


The side is clamped vertically and the front/back held in place with a holdfast.


The cut is made. Note: the is the first test I realized real fast you need the tape to prevent tear out. I set the depth so about 1/8" of tenon was exposed.


Finished result. I cut the exposed tenons off with a reciprocal saw. With a little practice I could get it close enough that just a little sanding is all that is needed to make them flush.


Once I got the process down & got rolling, I made and assembled 6 drawers in less then 1 hour. I know I can reduce this time considerably with practice.

One big mistake I made was not paying close attention to whats the inside of the front and backs. The tape on the sides made that obvious. But it won't be crucial as the tenons are all set the same distance.

The other mistake was not accounting for the groove, which I corrected about 1/2 way thru. The top tenon is 20mm from the edge and the bottom is 20mm from the top of the groove, then center of those for the 3rd. In the future, I'll gang up & mark the drawer bottoms and middle tenons which basically makes all the parts interchangeable.

I clamped them but honestly I don't know they really needed clamping. Next time I'll probably make some clamping cauls with tenon holes to account for the protruding tenons.

I wouldn't use it on fine furniture, but I think it would be useful for cabinetry.

I was surprised how square everything stayed, but I slipped the drawer bottoms in most of the way to keep everthing in place.

Lee Schierer
10-22-2018, 11:32 AM
Clever use of the product. They don't look any worse than dovetail drawers and are probably better for the plywood application.

Mark Gibney
11-01-2018, 2:09 PM
I like this very much.
It bypasses the problem I sometimes encounter where the domino mortises are not strictly aligned - user error of course.

Looking forward to trying this out.

Simon MacGowen
11-06-2018, 11:04 AM
The Festool forum has a similar set-up discussion, but the guy used the MFT table/dog holes and dogs/clamps in the built in track to square up the drawer parts, and nothing was screwed down as in your case. Anyone can do a search there to see the actual presentation and details.

Another way for those who don't have an MFT or don't want to screw things down on the bench can mortise drawers (through dominoes) using the dovetail alignment jig and the vise to secure the drawer parts.