Help: Dresser advice needed

I'm in the process of building my first chest of drawers. The basic plan was derived from here: http://www.restorationhardware.com/page.jhtml?navHistory t160024%2Bcat160035&type=product&categoryIdt160053&idQ1
I have the carcass completed. I am about to start on the drawers and have a few questions. Will be using " ash for the sides, the rest of the piece is solid wood, quarter sawn white oak. When making the drawers how much smaller should the high of the actual drawer be compared to the opening? Is there a general rule of thumb for this? The cavity is (h)8"x(w)39"x(d)17". Also on the bottom of the webs, I have seen some dressers that use dust screens? Basically paper or cloth that looks like it is stapled to the bottom of the web so dust from an upper drawer doesn't settle on the contents of the drawer below. I did not use something like this in my design, and was wondering if it is necessary. I think I could retrofit it onto the webs at this stage. What would you recommend? Cloth, or something else? How to attach? Hot glue?
Any suggestions are welcome.
Thanks.
Chris
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Hi, Chris,
Assuming that your wood is well-conditioned and it's going to live in a fairly stable (MC-wise) environment, you want your drawers to be a very close fit. I've seen articles which talk about a piston-fit, but IME 1/32 - 1/16th would be near enough. I'd make them fractionally oversize and then hand-fit them with a plane. You don't want to use sandpaper on drawer sides or runners, since some of the abrasive will embed itself in the wood and greatly accelerate wear. Rubbing the stump of a candle on the running surfaces will help lube things.
I've no experience of the type for dust sheet you describe. The only arrangements I've seen for dust exclusion are tradional dustboards - these are effectively horizontal panels grooved into the drawer frames. Since you've made the carcase already, it's too late for that, but you could retrofit them by gluing and pinning cleats around the lower edge of the holes in each frame. If you're using 3/4 stuff for your frame, then you'd make your cleats 7/16 tall by say 5/16 wide. This would effectively form a rebate.round the inside of the frame 5/16 x 5/16. You can then make panels out of 1/4 stuff to exactly fit the hole in the frame, and this will be supported by the cleats, leaving 1/16 clearance above the panel.
Is it necessary? Well, I'd say that I've seen plenty of chests-of-drawers without them, but they were usually fitted in high class work.
HTH
Frank

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Chris,

If the drawer slide (mechanical) requires the drawer to be tilted as found in kitchen drawers (as one example) then the height of the drawer side is determined by how much angle is needed to release the drawer from its slide/s.
In traditional furniture building, such as Stickley (they're located nearby) their drawer heights are about 1/4" to 1/2" narrower than the opening height. They use wooden slides and the side of the drawer is rabbeted to accept the hardwood slider fastened to the carcass. Allow enough difference in height of the drawer slide to allow for maximum wood expansion so the drawer doesn't bind but while allowing maximum side height so hanky's, socks and whatever don't get pushed over the side of the drawer.
The cavity is (h)8"x(w)39"x(d)17". Also on the bottom of the webs, I

into rabbets cut into the web frames. Guess you could use a cloth material such as found on the bottom of sofa's and stuffed chairs but that seems like it would becomes a haven for little, many-legged critters after awhile.
Bob S.
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