A Woodworker’s Notebook
Jeff Gorman
Drawer Design

The lap (half-blind) dovetails are formed on drawer fronts whose top edges are slightly off-square. The ends are similarly planed.

This creates a tapered front (in effect a truncated rectangular prism) that will just enter the opening to a depth of a couple of millimeters or so.

The back is dimensioned so that it will just fit inside the opening.

Note the use of glued-in slips that increase the bearing area of the sides (detailed below).

The remote ends of the sides are shown chamfered to ease entry of the drawer, although some people credibly argue that if the lower edges were to be chamfered, the drawer would have slightly less droop when nearly fully opened

Muntins avoid problems from overloaded drawer bottoms.

The crafty cabinetmaker sets out his carcase dovetails (or whatever) so that the cabinet is very slightly wider at the back). To have the converse is to be unable to effectively fit the perfect drawer that gets slightly tighter as it is pulled out)

When setting out the rail mortises, ensure that twist is not induced into the system.

It would be better for the bearer rails (that are also kicker rails for the drawers below) to be very slightly concave in length rather than convex.

The small drawing shows an end view of the alternative tapered dovetail housing (sliding dovetail).

At the time of assembly, the more stable are the frame members, the better. A small amount of distortion can make a great difference to drawer fitting.

A no-shortcuts construction for a top-quality table with drawer. The guide should fit into a shallow rebate formed on the upper surface of the bearer rail…
A general scheme for a drawer divider.
Some drawer slips. Type 'E' offers a nice challenge. The quirk and bead formed on type 'C' is not too evident on the drawing. Make sure that when fitted, the bottom panels do not distort the drawer sides. I've been a bit too economical with the drawer back's allocation of pins. The top edge bof the back should have been drawn slightly lower than the edge of the side (see above).
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