I will soon start building 7 drawers 24" wide to go below my new workbench. I have
decided to use a CMT drawer lock bit, 1/4" shank, in my old Crapsman router hung
below the smallish Crapsman bench top router table. I am going to do it this way
because I have not yet built a new router table for my Porter-Cable 7518 and I do not
want to learn how to hand-cut through dovetails at this time. I realize I must
practice on scrap pieces to get the bit adjusted correctly. I also must be certain
that the boards to be cut must have perfect 90° ends and that all four sides of each
drawer are prepared to the same thickness. Is there something dumb-assed I am
missing? Any suggestions or "watch out for" or "why not do it this way" comments will
by mistake, I first posted the above on ABWW. Sorry
I haven't used the CMT bits, but I just finished doing some baltic birch
drawers with the small Lee Valley bit and am quite satisfied with how they
turned out. Perfect joints with no gaps, and once set up, you can whip off
drawers by the truckfull.
You're already aware of the critical setup issues. The only other thing I'd
add is that the feed of material across the bit has to be absolutely
perfect. Do whatever you need to to do feed the material precisely and
consistently. Use as many featherboards as needed, and be particularly
careful that the vertical passes do not wobble as they're fed. Also use a
6x6 or larger backup board to prevent tearout at the end of the cut and to
stabilize the piece as it's being fed.
There is no reason for the sides to be equal. I just did some where the
front was 3/4 and the rest 1/2.
With a crappy router you will either have to make several passes, or go real
slowly, which will burn. Take your pick.
Tear out can be a problem; I climb cut the ends first, which helps, but I
wouldn't want to do that without a sled. Fortunately one side be on the
bottom and not seen, so you might be able to bury the problem.
The first time I used them, I made the back piece two small, and when I
assembled them, the drawer locks broke. Poor craftsmanship, no excuse.
That's why I almost always use overlay drawer fronts when using store bought
drawer slides, and wooden drawer runners when I do inset drawers.
If you can ever find a jig that works for the type of cabinets you build,
you can save a lot of trial, error, and interior cabinet sides full of screw
I've seen these bits sold with an optional set up block. My guess is that
you just slide the block against the bit to get a perfect height so both
I considered getting one for my last project but it was only two drawers.
Next time I'm going to give it a try.
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