How tight should drawers fit?


I am confused about how tightly a drawer should fit. My recollection of the Frank Klausz video is that he made them fit very tightly. He would size the front and back to fit exactly and then once he assembled the drawer, would plane it a little to make it fit. However, I'm concerned the the wood will move, particularly in the height (depth of a the drawer), and make the drawer too tight. Of course if you make the drawer too short, it will tip out easily. Any advice out there?
I made a small chest of drawers for the shop and fit them as Klausz suggested and they seem to work pretty well in all seasons, although some are a little tight. My next project is a large chest of drawers and I want the drawers to work well.
Mark
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Mark Wells wrote:

When I get really lucky, I can make drawers that, when closed, force another drawer open from air presure. And that's allowing a little clearance in the height. I love it when a plan comes together :-).
Mine have never stuck, but if yours do, just get out the plane and do a little modification.
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"Mark Wells" wrote in message

On wooden drawers with no drawer slides I generally go for 1/16" on all sides. Be sure to use paste wax on all sides and bottom where the drawer rests.
A tip for getting the bottom 1/16" of an inset drawer front to always look good is to plane a small 1/16" rabbet in the bottom front edge, just wide enough where the back of the rabbet is not visible from the front ... generally an 1/8" - 1/4".
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I'm going to slap a front on the drawers so I won't have to mess with getting the inset right.
Are you saying the drawer is 1/8" (1/16" + 1/16") or 1/16" smaller than the opening?
Mark
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"Mark Wells" wrote in message

3/16 - 1/8" smaller than the opening is what generally works for me. With overlay drawer fronts you can err on higher side, although I will generally use a sliding dovetail drawer runner for those which allows you much more freedom in drawer width and height without a lot of slop.
See the below and scroll down to the "wooden drawer slides" caption toward the bottom of the page, for examples of both:
http://www.e-woodshop.net/Projects3.htm
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"Swingman" wrote in message

Sorry, that should have been 3/32" to 1/8".
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Mark raises an interesting dilemma in which constancy of local humidity must be a factor.
However, as a matter of possible interest, I was taught that a perfectly fitted drawer should tighten slightly as it is pulled out, offering a nice challenge to the fastidious woodworker and reducing the chances of a spillage.
Jeff G
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wrote:

for an overlap front I use about 1/8" clearance all around with a center maple dovetail slide and a stabilizing nylon pad on each side under the drawer sides which extend below the bottom. Every couple of years I wax the slide and the bottom of the sides with paste wax. even very large drawers with heavy loads seem to work well with this drawer system.
A friend put all the lower dimensions on CAD for us a few years ago. dimensioned drawer bottom slot on the sides,back, and front. Dimension for the short slot for the dovetail slide tongue and the back cuttout dimension for the rear end of the dovetail slide. No matter what the other drawer dimensions are, this under carriage design remains the same.
Never done an inset drawer. Not sure I'm skilled enough to get it consistent.
Frank
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I see. Swingman actually suggested that, but I missed it on his site. I really like the idea of a dovetail runner because it keeps the drawer from tipping forward and it doesn't seem that difficult to fit because all you have to do is cut a dovetail in the back of the drawer and then make sure the runner is straight.
Mark
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"Mark Wells" wrote in message

Very last thing on the referenced page.

Very easy to do. The drawer bottom rests on the top of the dovetail drawer slide, which provides minimum slop side-to-side, or up and down, and the drawer will not tip until it's fully extended.
Actually, on the last above, you may find that they work so well that you need to put what cabinet makers call a 'button' at the top of the back of each drawer (with one screw so that it can be swiveled out of the way when you want to remove the drawer) so that the drawer can't be pulled all the way out by accident.
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Until your voice rises, and your vision blurs... then wear the next size larger. Sorry, couldn't resist... <GD&R> Tom

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wrote:

Somebody had to say it. ;-) Gotta admit, that was kind of my first thought also. I like the way you think. <G>

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I think it also depends on type of wood and type and size of drawer. A teensy-tiny drawer would use less clearance than a big one. I don't know too much about wood types and expansion coefficients, but for a large drawer I think that should probably be taken into consideration. Same if using regular wood versus plywood or some synthetic material.
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