I'm making my first project with drawers and discovered I am clueless as
to how much clearance is needed between the drawer face (the drawers are
inset) and the frame. I did a mock-up with 1/8 inch, but that seems way
too big and doesn't look good. The wood is quartered white oak. Any
enlightenment as to how much clearance is necessary will be appreciated.
"Necessary" is a mil or so... :)
Practically, I'll target a 32nd or 16th depending on how wide the drawer
face crossgrain is (for plainsawn red oak in a file drawer height I'll
go larger; w/ q-sawn white the smaller).
Depends on the project. I wouldn't put then in a kitchen, but wooden
drawer runners are actually quite easy to do and a nice touch in
traditional furniture designs, particularly when using dovetail joinery
on the drawer (you don't have to hide part of the joinery with a side
mounted slide, or go to the trouble/fussiness of undermount drawer
slides, both in drawer design and installation).
There are many ways to do them, here are just a couple methods I've used
Scroll down to "A Few Wooden Drawer Slide Details"
My preference is no more than 1/16th on inset drawers.
Slides or runners?
If the drawer is sitting on wooden runners, one of the problems with
inset drawers is getting that bottom "gap" to equal the gap around the
two sides and top, and to stay that way.
A neat tip/trick on inset drawers is to plane a very small "rabbet" on
the bottom of the front edge of the drawer front. Make this small rabbet
equal in depth to the distance of your fitted gap around the top and two
sides. This way, your drawer, even though sitting flat on the runners,
will appear to have the same width gap all around.
Yabbut...if you have their drill - and insert press, they're awesome
quick to built and install, and very reliable.
You can have your 1/16th or 1/32 all around and so easy to adjust.
Do they look nice? Well, with the new mottled silver and other shades,
plus the chrome side bars, it has some appeal to the 'euro-tech' fan.
I can knock off 12-16 drawers in a couple of hours... from scratch.
Oh, and they're finished too.
Nothing but upsides, 'cept the look... and even that's just fine with
the drawer closed *S*
The fact that all my drawers in the house are baltic birch should tell
you the rest.
1/16 each side and you are safe unless you have really, *REALLY* deep
If the drawer faces are horizontal, next to nothing clearance on the ends
If you taper the drawer edges slightly inward, next to nothing all around
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