How to Build Desk Hutch Shelves

Building the Drawer Exploded View
Step 1

Rip 32 inches of 1/2-inch-thick pine to 6-5/8 inches wide. Cut one piece to 7-5/8 inches to make the drawer front (L), two pieces to 8-1/2 inches for the sides (M), and one piece to 6-5/8 inches for the back (N). Rip the back down to 6-1/8 inches.

Step 2

Set your table saw blade height to 1/4 inch. Set the fence 1/4 inch from the blade and cut a groove along the bottom inside edges of the front and sides. Run the ends of the drawer fronts against the fence to cut a dado from top to bottom.

Step 3

Reset the fence so the outside of the blade is 1/2 inch from the fence. Run the pieces through again to widen the grooves and dadoes to 1/4 inch.

Step 4

Lay out a line on the top edge of each sidepiece 1/4 inch from the front end. Put a sidepiece against the miter gauge, align the blade to the line, and cut a groove. Move the piece and make another pass to remove the rest of the waste and create a 1/4-inch rabbet 1/4 inch deep.

Step 5

Apply glue to the ends of the back and attach it between the sides with four 4d finishing nails into each side. Apply glue in the dadoes in the drawer-front ends and on the rabbets in the sides. Assemble these joints with clamps. Check for square.

Step 6

Cut 1/4-inch plywood to 7-1/16 inches by 8-7/16 inches. Slide it into the grooves in the sides and front and nail it to the bottom with four 1-inch brads. It will be slightly loose to ease assembly and allow for wood movement. Don't use glue.

Step 7

Add a knob to the front or drill a 1-inch diameter finger hole as shown. Sand all the edges of the shelf and the finger hole.

Set Blade Height with a Combination Square

To set the height of your table saw blade, first set your combination square to the height you need -- in this case 1/4 inch. Then crouch down so the saw table is at eye level and raise the blade until the topmost tooth touches the body of the square. Make a test cut and use the square to check the groove depth.


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