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Dovetail Drawer Box Construction

Joinery & Parameters

Available drawer box thicknesses are 1/2” and 5/8” with 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” thick matching bottoms. Drawer box construction is completed with either dovetail or bore-dowel joinery.

Dovetail Joinery

  • Half Blind – The dovetails in the style are cut partway through and lock into the front and back of the drawer box. The dovetails are only visible from the sides of the drawer and not from the front or back.
    • Spaced on 1” increments.
    • Clean cut, with no tear-outs, tight fit.
    • Drawer bottom concealed within dovetail joint (some exposure for 1/2” thick bottom).


  • Through – The dovetails in the style are cut all the way through the front and back of the drawer box. This style is designed for a more traditional look from the side of the drawer and is recommended for a box that gets a drawer head attached to the front.

  • Traditional – This style is designed as a true traditional dovetail with the joint cut square all the way through to the front of the drawer. This design is best used for pullouts and/or drawers with exposed fronts.  This style is gives a traditional look from all sides.


Bore-Dowel Joinery (for Melamine Drawer Boxes)

  • Dowel thickness is 6mm.
  • Dowel length is 25mm.
  • Dowels per joint varies with height of box (a minimum of 2 dowels are used).

Minimum and Maximum Parameters for Building a Drawer Box

  • Height: 2” to 23” in 1/16” increments (for dovetail joints); 2” to 16” in 1/16” increments (for bore-dowel)
  • Width: 5” to 48” in 1/16” increments
  • Depth: 5” to 31” in 1/16” increments

Drawer Box Construction Parameters

An upcharge will be applied if the box size is: 1) under minimum or 2) assembled and over maximum (UP-020).

Bottom Placement

Bottom Information

  • routed in 1/4” deep on all 4 sides.
  • thicknesses available: 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2”.
  • bottoms are pinned with 3/8” staples.
  • bottom dado is concealed within dovetail joint (except with 1/2” bottom).

Inset options for 1/4” and 3/8” thick bottoms

  • 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, and 9/16” insets are available to match various drawer slides.
  • For our drawer box construction, even inch height boxes with 3/8” thick bottoms and a 9/16” inset are used, and we recommend that 1/8” be added to the drawer box height. This will to eliminate a dovetail void at the top when building a drawer box. See “Dovetail Layout” below.

Dovetail Drawer Construction

Inset options for 1/2” thick bottoms

  • 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, and 9/16” insets are available to match various drawer slides.
  • Since 1/2” thick bottoms do not fit cleanly between the dovetails, the following construction methods are offered.
  • When ordering please indicate the construction method.
    • Construction Method 1 – Results with small voids above and/or below the lowest dovetail, which are puttied.
    • Construction Method 2 – Flush mount option maximizes interior space which could result with void below lowest dovetail, depending on height and inset of box. Any voids are puttied.

Custom Dovetail Drawers

Flush Mount Options*

  • Flush and recessed mount construction can be ordered for 1/2” and 5/8” thick sides, and only 1/4” or 3/8” thick bottoms. This option can not be used with melamine drawer boxes.
    • Flush mount Bottoms are attached to the bottom of the sides of the drawer box, NO Rout.
    • Recessed Flush mount Bottoms are routed into the bottom of the sides.

*An upcharge is applied when ordering this option: UP-010

Melamine Drawer Box Layouts

Dovetail Layout

1 Inch Height Increment

Drawer Box Insers and Thickness

1/8 Inch Height Increment

Dovetail Thickness and Inset

1/4 Inch Height Increment

Melamine Drawer Measurements

1/2 Inch Height Increment

Wood Box Construction

3/4 Inch Height Increment

Environmentally Friendly Drawer Boxes