Forgot to trim before gluing


Corporate Member
I'm making a cabinet for my brother that is going to have a part of the cabinet with 9 drawers (3x3). When I made the drawer components I made them slightly taller than needed and figured I would trim all the components at the end before gluing. Well, as the title says, I glued the drawers last night and now I need to shave about 1/16 to 1/8 off the top of each drawer. Ugh!

Anyway, they are simple drawers with the top edge at the same level on all four sides. The fronts are wider than the drawer box (and longer on the bottom to cover the shelf they will rest on when assembled in the cabinet) which means they won't lay flat on the table when cutting the sides if I use the table saw (It will still be perpendicular to the saw blade, but wouldn't lay flat on the table). My initial though was to bury the blade into a sacrificial fence and cut all four sides of the drawer on the table saw. The cut will be less than the thickness of the saw blade so there won't be any off-cut to worry about.

If you wanted to trim just a little off the top of 9 drawer and wanted a clean cut, how would you do it?

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Board of Directors, President
Staff member
Corporate Member
You can use a filler piece on the sides and run it through the saw. You will still have to sand the cut surface to ease the edges as well.


Corporate Member
Bandsaw. Board under to support the drawer level. Sand. Or nosing plane? Not sure of the name as I ain't no neanderthal but I am sure someone here can correct me.
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Corporate Member
Can't tell the height from the pictures but a tall drum sander would work.

The drawer fronts are 5 3/4” tall. Looking at it this morning, I’m wondering if running them across the jointer would work?


Corporate Member
RIck, I can't recall exactly what I was building, but I recall doing the same thing that you just did. I resolved the issue by making several very light passes over the jointer...when I was close I sanded it flush.


Heath Hendrick
Senior User
build a "sled" to fit the lip of the drawer face, w/ stops in place to register each box in the same places, and then run everything through the TS? Easy and repeatable to make them all come out the same in the end.


Corporate Member
tablesaw. Cut two sides all the way through, 2 about 1/32 short of all the way through. then hand cut those with a pull saw and trim up with a plane.

Wiley's Woodworks

Corporate Member
Using a table saw, you could run into some nasty tearout with the outside faces of the 2 long sides because the boards won't be sitting flat on the table saw top. If that won't make any difference, the TS would be the quickest and probably the straightest. I foresee same tearout problem with a jointer. Masking tape on the trailing edge may solve this. If you have access to a large edge sander, I think that would be best. Take really light passes and keep flipping the drawer box, and you should be able to get the two end pieces to line up so close no one can tell. Hand sanding the seam between the two sanding passes cures that. Only drawback to edge sander--each drawer has to be done by hand and by feel; not as precise as making a jig for the table saw and dealing with tearout afterwards. On table saw I would definitely put tape on every trailing edge and switch to specific blade (80T and sharp) for plywood.

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