Have you ever had a set of dresser drawers that just didn?t close right? Or a kitchen drawer that was never level or cracked under the pressure of heavy gadgets and utensils? Proper drawer construction for furniture is essential to its longevity. Not all drawers are created equal! And if you?re attempting to ?DIY? a set of your own, this run down of the best and worst drawer construction is sure to be helpful.
English Dovetail Drawers– The best! This is considered to be the highest quality drawer among homeowners and furniture collectors, and it is often found in heirloom pieces. The difference between this type of drawer and others lies with the joint system. The wood contains wedge-shaped channels that interlock with each other on either side of the drawer to form a box. This locking joint system is extremely sturdy and resistant to force, and it allows room for extra glue to be placed around the joint surfaces. Since glue is stronger than wood, this extra glue helps dovetails drawers last longer. This type of joint also allows woodworkers to create drawers with a larger holding capacity, and for this reason, dovetail drawers are often found in kitchens and closets.
French Dovetail Drawers– This type of drawer uses a slightly different type of drawer joint than the English dovetail joint. It?s sturdy, but usually provides less storage capacity. The French dovetail features long grooves in the drawer fronts that the sides slide into. These drawers are often found on less expensive and imported furniture.
Rabbet or Dado Drawers– Woodworkers like this type of drawer joint because it?s fairly simple to create and provides a strong joint. Depending on the guiding mechanism, rabbet drawers can be made two ways? with a lipped front to hide metal sliders or with a flushed front if the sliders are concealed within the side of the cabinet or dresser. Either way, the concept of tongue and dado is the same. A tongue on the front of the drawer fits into a dado on the sides of the drawers. As with the other types of drawer construction, glue plays a major role in the drawer?s overall strength.
Butt joint drawers– The worst! A butt joint is easy to make, but weak. These types of drawers are often seen in self-assembly furniture. A ?T? or an ?L? is formed by placing one end of the board flat against the side of another drawer. Butt joints can be strengthened with dowels and glue. Many folk art pieces use this type of construction.
At Contemporary Woods, we can help you “dress your drawers” in a style that’s perfect for you and your home decor. Give us a call today or stop by to see our selection or to have us help you build a piece of furniture customized just for you!