How to Make a Tongue and Dado Joint

Drawers take a lot of abuse with all the opening and closing that goes on. So you want to be sure the joinery you use for the drawer will stand up.

Tongue and Dado Joint

The drawer joint I like to use is a tongue and dado joint, like you see in the photo above. The joint is strong, sturdy, and simple to make. The first step is to cut a dado in the drawer sides, as shown in detail ‘a’ below. Just be sure the inside edge of the dado matches the thickness of the drawer front and back.

Illustrations 'A' and 'B'

The tongue that makes up the other half of the joint is made by cutting a rabbet at the end of the workpiece, as in detail ‘b.’ To ensure a good fit, I find it best to sneak up on the cut until the tongue slips snugly into the dado.

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