MOUNTING A DRAWER

T

here are probably as many draw­er-mounting methods as there are drawer joints. The technique you select is determined by the piece of furniture in which the drawer will be housed: a frame-and-panel cabinet requires different hanging methods than does a carcase. The following pages consider both types of casework.

A drawer can be supported in one of two ways: along its sides or along its bottom. As shown below and on page 88, a side-mounted drawer has grooves routed in its sides before glue up, allowing it to run along slides attached to the carcase. A side-mount­ed drawer in a frame-and-panel case (page 92) is held in place by the same

MOUNTING A DRAWER

A side-mounted drawer is slid into
a carcase for test-fitting. A lipped
front conceals the runners and
grooves when the drawer is closed.

system of corner strips and supports used to install shelves.

Commercial slide runners (page 93) offer another method for side-mount­ing drawers in a carcase. Although many purists regard them as a poor alternative, commercial runners are actually stronger than wood runners, making them ideal for drawers that will bear heavy loads.

A popular way to support a bot­tom-run drawer is by a system of run­ners and rails affixed to a carcase, as shown on pages 90 and 91. Some woodworkers prefer to rout a groove in the carcase sides and install a shelf, which serves not only as a drawer sup­port but as a dust panel as well.

SIDE-MOUNTING: CARCASE

MOUNTING A DRAWER

1 Cutting grooves in the drawer sides

Before final assembly, cut a groove in the outside face of each drawer side. There are no rigid guidelines for the groove width, but it should be able to accommodate slides that are large enough to support the drawer. On your table saw install a dado head the same width as the groove. Draw cutting lines for the groove width in the middle of the leading end of one drawer side; also mark the depth of the groove—no more than one-half the stock thickness. Butt the lines for the groove width against the dado head, then crank the blades up to the depth line; position the rip fence flush against the stock and make the cut. If the groove width exceeds the width of the dado head, turn the board end for end and make another pass. Repeat to cut the groove in the other drawer side.

2 Ripping the drawer slides

MOUNTING A DRAWERInstall a combination blade on your table saw. Crosscut a board so that its length is a few inches shorter than the width of the carcase side panels. Then position the rip fence to set a cutting width equal to the width of the grooves you cut in the drawer sides (step 1), less Уз 2 inch for clearance. Cut two slides from the edge of the board, using a push stick to feed the stock into the blade (right). Smooth one edge of the slides with a hand plane to make sure that they will rest flush against the side panels of the carcase. (Caution: Blade guard removed for clarity.)

MOUNTING A DRAWER

3

Installing the slides

Insert the drawer into the carcase and hold it in place while using a pencil to mark the location of the grooves on the front edges of the side panels. Then use a carpenter’s square to extend the marks across the inside faces of the panels. To mount the slides, bore three holes for countersinking screws; make the clearance holes slightly wider than the screw shanks to allow for wood move­ment. Holding the slides back from the front edge of the carcase between the marked lines on the side panels, screw them in place (left). Test-fit the drawer. If it is too loose, add shims under the slides; if it is too tight, enlarge the groove in the drawer side. You can also recess the slides in the carcase sides using a jig (page 89).

Подпись: 3UIL9 IT YOURSELFMOUNTING A DRAWERПодпись: Side panelMOUNTING A DRAWERDADO-ROUTING JIG FOR DRAWER SUPPORTS

To rout a series of evenly spaced dadoes in the side panels of a car­case for drawer runners, use the shop-made jig shown at right. Dimensions depend on the size of the carcase and the spacing between the runners.

For the jig, cut a piece of Winch plywood as a base. Make it about the same width as the carcase side panels and a few inches longer than the gap between the runners. Set the jig base on a work surface and place a router on it near one end. Mark the screw holes in the router base plate on the jig base; also draw a spot directly below the tool’s chuck. Bore holes for the screws; cut a hole below the chuck wide enough to allow clearance for the router bit. Screw the jig base to the machine’s base plate and install a straight-cut­
ting bit the same width as the dadoes you wish to rout.

Next, cut a spacer to fit snugly in the dadoes; make it slightly longer than the width of the panels. Screw
the spacer to the bottom of the jig base, making the distance between it and the router bit equal to the spac­ing you want between the runners.

To use the jig, clamp a side panel inside-face up to the work surface. Set the jig on the panel with the spacer flush against one end of the workpiece and the router bit at one edge. Gripping the router firmly, turn it on and feed the tool across the panel to rout the dado; keep the spacer flush against the panel. Turn off the router, then insert the spacer in the dado, repositioning the clamps, as necessary. Rout the next dado, sliding the spacer in the first dado. Continue until all the dadoes have been cut, then repeat the operation on the other side panel.

BOTTOM-RUN: CARCASE

 

MOUNTING A DRAWER1 Preparing the rail

Crosscut a board long enough to span the gap between the side panels, adding the thickness of one panel to allow for twin tenons at the ends of the rail. For the twin tenons, mark the ends of the stock to divide its width into fifths. Then, install a dado head wide enough to cut out the waste between two of the marks. Set the cutting height at one-half the thickness of the panels. Next, install a commercial tenoning jig on your saw table. Clamp the rail to the jig end up; shift the device sideways to align the marks on the rail with the dado head to cut the shoulder in the middle fifth of the board. To make the cut, push the jig forward, feeding the stock into the blades. Move the jig to cut the shoulders at the outside edge of the rail. Turn the stock around to cut the remaining shoulder (left). Then cut the twin tenons at the other end.

MOUNTING A DRAWERChiseling the double mortises

MOUNTING A DRAWERHold the end of the rail against each carcase side panel at the desired height of the drawer bottom and outline the mortis­es. Extend the lines to the edge of the panels, then butt the two workpieces face to face to make sure the marks are at the same height. To cut the mortises, first clamp a panel to a work sur­face. Then, starting at an end of one outline, hold a mortising chisel square to the face of the panel and strike the handle with a wooden mallet. Use a chisel the same width as the mor­tise and be sure that the beveled side is facing the waste. Make another cut Ve inch from the first. Continue until you reach the other end of the outline, using the chisel to lever out the waste to the required depth. Chop out the adjacent mortise and the double mortise on the other panel the same way. Test-fit the twin tenons; widen or deepen a mortise with the chisel, as required.

SHOP TIP

Fixing a bowed drawer side

A bowed side can prevent a drawer from sliding properly; a shop-made glue block will correct the problem. Cut the block slightly narrower than the gap between the bottom panel and the bottom edge of the drawer side. Spread some glue on the surfaces of the block that contact the drawer, then butt the piece of wood against the bottom panel and drawer side as shown, centering it between the front and back. Install a clamp acroee the middle of the drawer, tightening it until the side straightens out. Once the glue has dried, remove the clamp.

SIDE-MOUNTING: FRAME-AND-PANEL

 

The same system of corner strips and supports for installing adjustable shelves in frame-and-panel cabinets can be used to mount a drawer. Before the cor­ner strips are screwed to the stiles of the cabinet, they are held in place with handscrews. This way, the drawer can be test-fitted in the opening and the strips can be raised or lowered as needed. Once the drawer slides smoothly and is cen­tered, the strips are fixed to the cabinet.

 

Corner s trip

 

Attaching corner strips and supports

Prepare the drawer sides as you would to side-mount the drawer in a carcase (page 87). Glue up the drawer, then hold it at the desired height in the cabinet and mark the position of its grooves on the stiles. To mount the drawer, use corner strips and supports (page 61). Make the strips long enough to reach from the top edge of the cabinet to the bottom of the drawer. Rout a dado across the strips, aligning it with the marks you made on the stiles.

Cut two supports to fit between the dadoes, less Vie inch for clearance. Hold the corner strips flush against the stiles with handscrews, lining up the dadoes with the position marks. Fit the supports in the dadoes, then slide the drawer into posi­tion. It should move smoothly and sit centered and level in the opening. If not, loosen the handscrews and adjust the height of the corner strips, as necessary (above). Screw the wood strips to the stiles.

 

Drawer

support

 

Groove

 

MOUNTING A DRAWERMOUNTING A DRAWER

MOUNTING A DRAWER MOUNTING A DRAWER

COMMERCIAL SLIDE RUNNERS: CARCASE

Подпись:2 Installing the slides

Hold the slides on the drawer, then test-fit it in the carcase.

If the drawer is loose, shim the runners; if the drawer binds, plane some stock from its sides (page 94). Then set the drawer upside down, position the slides and mark the screw holes on the drawer. Bore pilot holes, then screw the slides in place (above).

MOUNTING A DRAWERSHOP TIP

Positioning Jig

To help you correctly position commercial slides on drawer sides, use a shop-made jig. Cut a rabbet in a scrap board; make the depth of the rab­bet equal to the desired distance between the slide and the bottom of the drawer side. To use the jig, hold it up against the bottom of the drawer side as shown. Then set the slide on the drawer side, bottom edge butted against the jig. Holding the slide and jig in place, markthe screw holes. Then bore pilot holes and screw the slide to the drawer.

FINE-TUNING DRAWER FIT

MOUNTING A DRAWER1 Planing the drawer sides

MOUNTING A DRAWER

Подпись: 2 Planing the top of a drawer To hold the drawer in place, set it on a work surface and nail three scrap boards to the table flush against the sides and back of the drawer. Gripping a hand plane firmly, make a smooth pass on the top edges of the drawer sides from the front of the drawer to the back. Move to the adjacent side of the table to plane the top edges of the front and back. Test-fit and continue planing until you are satisfied with the fit.

A drawer may bind in a piece of furniture even after a thorough sanding. If the top or bottom of the drawer rubs against part of the casework, plane the top (step 2). If the sides bind, remove the drawer and mark any shiny areas on the sides—high spots that can be shaved off with a hand plane. To secure the drawer for planing, clamp a wide board to a workbench with one edge extending over the side. Hang the drawer on the board so that the binding side is facing up. Then clamp another board to the workbench, butting it against the drawer; use a bench dog to keep the second board from moving. Gripping the plane with both hands, shave off the marked spots with smooth, even strokes (right). Test-fit the drawer in its opening peri­odically, planing the sides until the drawer fits perfectly.