The Drawer & Finish | Nicole’s Desk Pt. 4

Video - September 11, 2020

The mortises for the drawer front were cut in Part 3 and now it’s time to make the drawer side tenons. I use a “hybrid” method making the shoulder with the table saw and using a hand saw and chisels to cut out each tenon. One thing you might notice is that the mortise and tenons joints are not arranged in the way that benefits the drawer. Most times, you want your drawer joinery oriented in such a way that the interlocking components resist the front to back motion of the drawer. But in this case, I wanted to make a strong visual statement and given the kind of use this drawer will see, I have zero concerns about the drawer coming apart in the future. The tight fit and the glue bond means that drawer is going to easily outlive anyone reading these words.

You should also notice that keeping the drawer sides at an angle creates a lot of extra work for us. Installing the drawer bottom and the slides both become trickier than usual but I think the extra work is worth it for such a unique drawer. And the angle is necessary for our parallelogram through tenons so I’m very happy with the design choice.

The finish I’m applying here is Rubio Monocoat, a hardwax oil. It’s an incredibly easy to apply, low-luster finish that provided enough protection for a desk. And perhaps most importantly, makes future finish repairs very easy.

I hope you enjoyed this series and thanks for following along.

Links & Stuff


  • 0:00 – Drawer Side Tenons
  • 8:58 – Drawer Back
  • 11:47 – Drawer Bottom 1
  • 16:56 – Slide Attachment
  • 23:30 – Drawer Bottom 2
  • 23:53 – Drawer Glueup
  • 27:19 – Drawer Test
  • 28:26 – Applying Finish
  • 29:36 – Pinned Rabbets

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Other Parts in this Series


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