Home & Garden Antiques & Arts & Crafts

Drawers For Assembling and Installing

Some methods for making drawers and runners call for the skill of a professional cabinet maker, but those written here are both simple and sure.
Drawer Construction Regardless of the construction method, each drawer will normally require the same number and size of grooves and cuts.
By standardizing your procedure, you can repeat the same grooves and cuts for several drawers.
Be sure to cut all pieces exactly, and remember to allow 3/32-inch between drawer and frame, so that the drawer will have room to slide.
Use ½-inch material for drawer ides and ¼-inch stock for the drawer bottom.
If you have a power saw (with dado-blade assembly) or a router, the best method is pictured in the top drawing.
After adjusting the blade to cut at 1/2-inch width, either rabbet or dado the front of the drawer to fit the sides (depending upon whether you want the drawer front to overlap the sides of the frame).
Using the same adjustment, cut dadoes in the sides to fit the back into, and dadoes along the sides for the drawer runners.
Readjust the blade to 1/4-inch (or make two passes with a regular table-saw blade) to cut grooves about ¾-inch up from the lower edge of each side to allow for the drawer bottom.
The back can fit flush against the bottom.
If you have a router, you can join front, back and sides with dovetail joints.
Check for fit before assembling with glue.
The second drawer shown is best if you don't have a tool that will easily cut dadoes.
Again, check for proper fit before starting assembly - you will be using glue to insure rigidity.
Brad and glue a piece of ¼-inch plywood to the inside of the drawer front.
Nail the sides to this.
(Instead of the single plywood piece, you could mount a ½ by 1/2-inch block inside each of the two front corners with glue and screws.
) Nail the back in butt fashion to the inner face of each side.
A ¼ by ¼-inch strip, nailed around the lower inside perimeter of sides and front, holds the bottom in place.
If the drawer is not expected to hold heavy items, nail the bottom flush to the lower edge of each side.
Drawer Guides A drawer obviously requires a system of guides, to slide in and out on.
Side guides are usually all that's needed except for very wide or heavily-loaded drawers.
The center slide, while requiring a little more work, helps avoid binding and keeps drawer centered.
For every smooth-moving drawer, install ball-bearing drawer guides.
Locating Wooden Guides First, prepare the guide strips by drilling three holes in each strip.
These should be countersunk so that screws won't protrude past the surface.
If you use 1-inch flathead screws, the counter bore should be approximately 3/8-inch.
For drawers with sides dadoed to fit runners, you will need one strip for each side; for the other type shown, you will need two.
The location of each glide can be calculated and the glide installed before assembling the frame.
But to eliminate the risk of error in calculation, most craftsmen prefer to install glides after the drawers have been assembled.
This way you can check the exact location for each pair of glides.
Follow this procedure: Start with the lowest drawer and fit two glides loosely into place in the grooves on the outside surface of each drawer side.
(If the drawer isn't grooved, place the glides under the sides.
) Set the drawer carefully in place inside the frame.
Shim up the drawer from 3/32-inch so that it doesn't rest on the bottom brace, then sight down through the crack at the exact location for each glide on the sides of the frame; then remove the drawer and use the 2-foot square to mark the guidelines inside the frame.
Screw the glides into place and fit the drawer back into the frame.
If it binds, sand or plane down the glide rail until the drawer slides smoothly and easily.
Two bumper strips, nailed and glued to back ends of the glide rails, will allow the drawers to recess about 3/8-inch back from the front edge of the frame.
By changing the dimension of these strips, you can make the drawers flush or recess them even further, as you prefer.

Leave a reply