We recently filmed the making of the workbench drawer as a follow up to the workbench build for YouTube (not out yet). It doesn’t take too long to make a drawer but filming makes the wholly simple process much more complicated and it takes longer because of a variety of things. The thing is that I lived without this drawer for a few weeks in the new garage workshop and the negative result of not having the drawer made me ever more aware of just how handicapped I am when it is not there.
Three issues spring to mind with regards to the drawer being there resulting only from questioners suggesting problems rather than because the problems are really so real at all. perhaps they are more perceived as possible hangups whereas in reality no issues actually exist. So I thought about it and remembered that I occasionally get a letter where someone wrote to ask how I clamp long boards to the edge of the bench top when planing the edges of boards in the vise. The question seemed to suggest that this was a normal procedure but in my woodworking world it’s not real at all. I never use this method at all. Such questions come along with my preference for having the vise protrude past the face of the edge of the bench. Add to that that the knob protruding out from the drawer and it can indeed seem that there are problems, but again, the truth is, I never do clamp long boards to the front edge of the workbench that way and I have never felt it of any benefit. There might be an occasion when the drawer handle is in the way, and by that I mean perhaps once in three years. In that case I take the drawer out. The last issue comes from those who have categorically stated they would never have an apron drawer because inevitably you will have something clamped in the vise that prevents access to the drawer. I want to encourage them so I don’t say, ‘Get a life.’ but why forfeit the massive benefits of so convenient a place to stow all the misfit tools associated with our craft? It is definitely another of those first world problems though. Either think ahead and take out what you need or remove the item from the vise.
I say all of this to encourage everyone to build this drawer. Follow the steps and you will have a drawer that will only enhance your woodworking. It takes a massive amount of tools as you will see.