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How to Add Drawers to a Mobile Workbench

In part three of the series, House One Editor and DIY Expert Jenn Largesse shows how to build and add drawers to the Ultimate Mobile Workbench.

In the first two parts of this series, I built the functional base and an organizer to give a few of my tools a permanent home. In this video, I’ll demonstrate a simple method to build drawers, another way we’re adding storage to the Ultimate Mobile Workbench.

For the cut list, tools, and materials needed for this project, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Steps for Adding Drawers to a Workbench

Mobile Workbench with Drawers, finished front view Jenn Largesse
  1. First, determine the number of drawers you want to add. I thought about creating four deep drawers but landed on the functionality of five slightly shallower drawers.
  2. Next, rip plywood strips to the height of the drawers to create the walls of each drawer.
  3. The depth of the drawer opening is 14 inches. To determine the depth of the drawer boxes, I’ll subtract an inch to account for the inset drawer front and a bit of wiggle room behind the drawer.
  4. The width of the drawer opening is 26 inches. To determine the width of the front and back of my drawer box, I’ll subtract 2 ½-inches to account for the width of the sides and the ½-inch thick drawer slides on each side.
  5. Lastly, I’ll size the base fit between the drawer box sides.
  6. With my pieces cut I can now drill pocket holes at the ends of the front and back walls, and around the perimeter of the base.
  7. To assemble the parts, attach the base to the front and back wall using glue and pocket hole screws. Next, attach the sides to the front and back wall and the base using glue and pocket hole screws.
  8. To install the slides, I’ll first mark a centerline of the side of each drawer. Separate the parts of the drawer slide. Position one part onto the drawer centered on the line. Use a block to position the slide flush with the front edge of the drawer box. Secure the slide with screws.
  9. Because I can remove the workbench top and have access from above, I’m able to rejoin the two-part drawer slides, set my bottom drawer on blocks, pull it forward so that it’s still supported by the blocks, and screw the back of each drawer slide into place. Now I can slide it further forward and insert a screw near the front of each slide as well. Once installed I can remove the blocks and push the drawer back into place. Then I can place my blocks, stack the next drawer and install its slides with screws.
  10. To install the drawer fronts, start from the bottom up, positioning the drawer front centered on the drawer. I like to use two shims to create my vertical spacing. Now clamp it in place, and pull it forward to drive two screws through the inside of the drawer box and into the drawer front.
  11. I also like to attach a piece of tape to the top edge of the drawer to act as a pull until I install my handles.
  12. To install the handles, I first mark a centerline and then use a hardware installation guide to drill perfectly spaced holes for the screws. Next, drive the provided screws through the inside of the drawer and into the handle to secure it in place.

In the end, I have functional drawers that will keep my tools close at hand.

To see the other customizations I made to this bench, click the links below this video:

Cut list

Mobile Workbench with Drawers, cutlist drawing
  • ¾” Plywood sides – 10 @ 5 ¼” H x 13” D¾”
  • Plywood front and back – 10 @ 5 ¼” H x 23 ½” W
  • ¾” Plywood base – 5 @ 23 ½” W x 11 ½” D
  • ¾” Plywood drawer fronts – 4 @ 6” H x 25 7/8” W