part from their visual appeal, false fronts have practical applications in drawer-making. For the woodworker reluctant to discard a drawer that is not perfectly aligned with its opening, a properly mounted false front can provide a simple solution. Centering the front on the carcase or cabinet, rather than on the drawer, will salvage an imprecise fit. False fronts can also serve as drawer stops, but avoid exaggerating the size of the overhang. Slamming the drawer when it is filled with weighty items risks splitting the front as it strikes the cabinet.
A drawer pull puts the finishing touch
on a drawer with a false front.
Installing hardware on a drawer is the last—and possibly least taxing— activity in an otherwise challenging operation... >
As the name suggests, a drawer stop controls how far a drawer can slide in or out. There are two basic types depending on where they are located on a piece of furniture. Inward stops are placed near the back and keep a drawer from being pushed in too far. Outward stops are installed near the front and prevent a drawer from sliding in beyond a certain point or pulling right out.
There is a drawer stop for every piece of furniture. Inward stops are ideal for carcases with side-mounted drawers since they can be mounted at any point on the side panels. Outward stops work well for any piece, but they are simpler to install on frame-and-panel furniture.
Attaching an inward stop
With a band saw or saber saw cut a 1- to 1 Winch-diameter disk from a piece of scrap wood the same thickness as the d... >
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
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.
1 Preparing the drawer for a bottom panel
Dry-fit the parts of the drawer, then clamp the unit securely, aligning the bars of the clamps with the drawer sides. Use a pencil to identify the parts that fit together to make reassembly easier later when you glue up. To install a bottom panel, rout a groove along the inside of the drawer, First, mark a line Уг inch from the bottom edge of the front, back and sides. Then, fit a router with a Winch three – wing slotting cutter and mount the tool in a router table. Set the drawer right-side up on the table and align the cutter with the marked line. Starting at the middle of one drawer side, feed the stock into the cutter. Keeping the pilot bearing butted against the workpiece, feed the drawer clockwise (right)... >
he first step in drawer-making is to think the process through from beginning to end. The various stages of the operation are related; the finished dimensions of a drawer front, for example, can depend on the joinery method you choose. And drawer hanging methods can influence the way a drawer is built.
Once you have settled on the size of drawer, choose a joinery method (page 75), a method of hanging and the style of front you will use; then size your stock. Cut the front, back and sides to fit the opening, choosing the most visually appealing piece for the front. The grain of the drawer should run horizontally when it is installed. Make sure that the best side of each piece faces outward; mark it with an X as a reminder.
Not all the parts of a drawer undergo the same stresses... >
rawer-making consists of three distinct steps: joining boards together to form a box, mounting the drawer in a piece of furniture and installing hardware. Each step must be performed precisely if a drawer is to combine grace and strength, gliding smoothly in a piece of furniture while being sturdy enough to bear the weight of its contents.
Although virtually all drawers share the basic features of the one shown below (center), there are an array of variations.
Before making your first cut, consider the options for each step. For example, from among the joints illustrated at right, there is one to satisfy virtually any requirement... >
In essence, a drawer is nothing more than a box without a top—a front, a back, two sides and a bottom. Individual examples, however, belie this simplicity.
They run the gamut from the modern kitchen drawer slamming shut on metal slides to the drawer of a well-made Victorian desk whispering home with a nearly airtight sigh. The former is often an anonymous, interchangeable unit with a false front. The latter may be a finicky individual precisely fit to an opening in a particular piece of furniture, its unique face blending beautifully with the grain of the wood surrounding it.
Puked open, a drawer reveals more of its personality. Each of its five pieces may be cut from a different wood... >
Whether it is store-bought or shop – made, molding fulfills a key role for the cabinetmaker. On a frame-and – panel cabinet, its principal function is to hide the joint between the top and the rails, creating the illusion of a seamless connection. But molding also gives a piece of furniture a decorative and distinctive look.
By shaping the edges of a piece of hardwood with a router or—as shown below and on the following pages—with a table saw, you can transform some of the same stock used for the cabinet into attractive moldings. Crown, cove, bead
and ogee curve are just a few of the common profiles used in cabinetmaking.
When cutting the moldings, make the final pass a very shallow one at half the speed of previous passes... >
ike the bottom, the top of a frame – and-panel cabinet is made from the same stock as the rest of the piece, usually individual boards edge-glued together. To determine the size, measure the frame and add the width of any molding you plan to install under the lip. Also take into consideration a small amount of overhang at the front and sides. Unless the cabinet will be featured in the middle
of a room, make the top panel flush with the back of the case.
Four common methods of attaching tops are illustrated below. One technique features rabbeted blocks, called “buttons,” which fit into a groove cut around the top rails. Metal fasteners can be used in the same way. Ledger strips, such as those used to attach a bottom panel to the cabinet, will work equally well for >
The number and placement of shelves in a frame-and-panel cabinet will depend on the use you have in mind for the furniture. If the cabinet will hold books, for example, you may need fewer shelves than if it will be the place for your compact discs.
Although some shelf-support systems can be put in place after the cabinet is glued up, a little advance planning will make the installation easier. First, choose between fixed and stationary shelves; each has its advantages.
Fixed shelves can add to the structural integrity of a case, but once installed they cannot be moved. One way to install permanent shelves is to mount cleats on the frame inside the cabinet and then screw the shelving to them. Fixed shelves can
also be glued into dadoes routed in the frame before the cabinet is assembled.