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Chest of Drawers

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John15

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The photo is of the first dry fit-up of the carcass - the draw runners are still to be made and fitted. The overall size is 880 wide x 1030 high x 450 deep. There will be 4 full width drawers and 2 half drawers at the top. The sides, legs and front drawer dividers are African ''Mahogany'' and the back rails are beech - unfortunately I have only set these back 6mm and so will need to take off a further 2 or 3 mm to give room for the backing. The sides are set 6mm into an 8mm deep rebate in the 40 x 40 legs. I've used plastic washers as spacers to give a constant movement gap.
This is my first attempt at a chest of drawers and so I'm feeling my way as I go - I'm very lazy at doing comprehensive drawings which doesn't help, I only do them for joints and corners etc.
Any suggestions for improvements at this stage would be very welcome.

John
 

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MikeG.

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It's hard to see precisely what's going on there, John, but so far so good, it seems. Be sure to do all the joints for the runners before you assemble, because trying to work inside a cabinet is a frustrating experience.

On the design side of things, are all your full-width drawers the same size? I'm quite partial to smaller drawers at the top down to large ones at the bottom. I also like to have at least one more in the top row than in the row below, so I am glad to see you're following that notion.
 

AndyT

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Either there's a lot of bits missing or you're going to be using mechanical drawer runners - which is it?
 

John15

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Thanks for your comments, Andy and Mike.
Yes, I agree it's hard to see whats going on with so many clamps and the carcass lying on it's front (restricted for headroom!), but I've checked and am pleased with the way everything lines up well dimensionaly for drawer fitting.
Regarding drawer runners, I shall be taking the assembled pieces apart again to do that. I needed to carry out this assembly stage to get the correct front to back dimension. I propose to connect them to the front and back rails with mortice and tenon joints. As mentioned above, the side panels will have room to move within the rigid frame.

John
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":2rjkfcmh said:
On the design side of things, are all your full-width drawers the same size? I'm quite partial to smaller drawers at the top down to large ones at the bottom.
As do I as it adds visual 'weight' to the piece. Similarly, drawer pulls/handles should be positioned progressively slightly higher than centre as the drawers get lower, so say the bottom drawer has it's pull positioned 15mm higher than centre. The reason is that when standing up and looking at the project, the pulls 'appear' to be in the middle - Rob
 

MikeG.

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woodbloke66":2cbpadvl said:
.........Similarly, drawer pulls/handles should be positioned progressively slightly higher than centre as the drawers get lower, so say the bottom drawer has it's pull positioned 15mm higher than centre. The reason is that when standing up and looking at the project, the pulls 'appear' to be in the middle - Rob
Interesting one Rob. I hadn't thought to do that. I'll give it some thought.
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":2kfyynce said:
woodbloke66":2kfyynce said:
.........Similarly, drawer pulls/handles should be positioned progressively slightly higher than centre as the drawers get lower, so say the bottom drawer has it's pull positioned 15mm higher than centre. The reason is that when standing up and looking at the project, the pulls 'appear' to be in the middle - Rob
Interesting one Rob. I hadn't thought to do that. I'll give it some thought.
It doesn't need to be very much but they ought to be slightly higher as I've indicated. There's no hard n'fast rule set in concrete because every job is different. It's really a trick to attempt to deceive the eye - Rob
 

John15

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Still working on the carcass but thinking ahead to drawer construction. On the 800mm x 430mm drawers I'm unsure if I should provide a centre muntin. For the bottoms I'm thinking of using either 4mm thick birch ply or 7mm thick C of L.
Ernest Joyce on page 246 says they should be used on wide drawers but he doesn't say how wide. He says an alternative is to increase the thickness of the bottoms.
I'd be very grateful for any advice. Thanks.

John
 

John15

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Carcass assembled. I'm pleased so far. Progress has been very slow - a lot of detail that has only become apparent as I've stumbled upon it. Anyway, all the joints are good and everything is square ready for the drawers. A lot of sanding to do. The drawer support frames are glued and hope to do the final glue-up in a few days.
John
 

John15

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Only just started the drawers - too many distractions. The fronts are a Mahogany type, recycled from a gate-leg table. The wood is fairly soft and very easy to work. It's lighter in colour than the carcass and hopefully will make a good contrast. The scribed lines are an experiment which I'm hoping will add to the overall look.

John
IMG_9613.JPG
 

Cabinetman

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Hi John it’s all looking good up to now apart from one thing – sorry, you have the drawer front sticking up higher than the sides, this isn’t really going to work unless you add some more wood as kickers to the underside of the frames you have fitted. Without the kickers the drawer will drop down a bit when you open it, sacrilege in my view!
Ian
 

John15

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Thanks Ian. I didn't see that one coming. Are kickers an acceptable way out of the tipping problem? I planned to use the material I have available, not wishing to buy anymore.

John
 

Cabinetman

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In the normal way of doing it, the drawer rests/ slides on runners (The top surface of the frames you fitted) and relatively close fitting to the top of the drawer sides are kickers, which would in the normal run of things be the underside of the frames that you fitted, another way of thinking about it is, if you were to make a drawer side that slid in between the frames as you have them now that’s how it normally works. I think you are going to have to just thicken up the frames underneath so that the drawer runs smoothly in and out. It will never be seen so it doesn’t really matter if the timber matches. If you were to do it accurately you could use the bits you are going to add as the drawerstops as well, they would normally be bits of wood resting on the top of the frames at the back to stop the drawers going in too deeply. Ian
 

John15

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Thanks Ian. I don't fully understand your remedial method on first reading. I will take it to bed with me and come back if I need more help!

John
 

John15

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Ian,

Reading your post (in bed) it is making sense to me now.
Another thought - the distance from the top of the side to the top of the front is 20mm. Now, I have off-cuts of the beech I am using for the sides and back, presumably I could glue a 20mm strip to the top of the sides to bring them up to the same level as the front - would this be an acceptable option?
This is a lesson to me. I should have bought sufficient timber to do the job properly in the first place!!

John
 

MusicMan

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That would work. Try to match the grain pattern and direction, then it can be near invisible.

Looking good!
 

Cabinetman

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Yes that would work unless you have already glued the drawers together of course, but as the music man said unless it’s done perfectly it will stand out like a sore thumb.
I still think its best to cut your losses and thicken up the underside of the frames. That’s what I would do.
 

AndyT

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You also need an extra piece between the two small drawers, at the top, under the uppermost frame, so each drawer will be supported on both sides when pulled out and tilted.

As it is, even with the extra pieces under the frames, the left hand drawer will be unsupported on its right and the right hand drawer will be unsupported on its left. I think this will invite twisting and jamming, but you can rescue the situation as Ian suggests.
 

John15

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Thanks Musicman, Ian and Andy. I'll be out in the shed shortly to mull over my options.
Andy - thanks for spotting the need for pieces between the front and back rails at the top. Wondering if I can dovetail them to the rails?
I assume I am OK with the lower drawers if I make the sides flush with the top of the fronts?
Thanks again everyone.
John
 
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