What is the preferred way to fit drawer backs? I am currently
starting drawers for a bedroom chest & dresser and have a question
about the drawers. I am fitting the fronts with half blind dovetails.
I have mostly seen the backs just set into dados and nailed. I am
thinking that as long as I have the dovetail jig set up I could also
do the backs that way too.
What is your preference? Also, has anyone used any kind of friction
reducing tape on the runners? The runners and side guides are cherry.
Drawer sides & backs are of poplar.
Charlie in Kentucky
On 25 Jan 2004 13:55:38 -0800, email@example.com (Charlie Campney)
I either use a dado, or through dovetail joints. Dovetails are
probably overkill, but I find myself using them more frequently as
they are strong, give a tad more drawer space, and they are fun to
make. Nails? We don't need no stinkin' nails! I have not used any
anti-friction stuff on my drawer runners, not even candle wax. A
properly made drawer will slide sweetly without any help.
Jeez, man. Not nailed, that's for sure. If you've got the jig set up, do the
dovetails all around.
"Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
firstname.lastname@example.org (Charlie Campney) wrote in message
I often wondered the same thing... why take the time to do nice
dovetails joints on the front, then cheap out with dado and (horrors!)
brad nails to hold the drawer bottom in place.
In a discussion here a while back someone pointed out that the back of
the drawer does not need the "pull" strength that the front needs so
no reason to use dovetails all around. But, say something (paint,
nail polish, or anything sticky) spills in the drawer - the dado and
brads method makes it much easier to replace the bottoms.
In my mind it depends on how much work you are willing to do.
Functionally the rear part of a drawer has very little force applied
during normal usage except for shifting drawer contents or helping
support a load of paper leaning against it as with a file cabinet.
Decoratively speaking, dovetails at the drawer back won't be seen unless
the drawer is removed or is on full extension slides.
If you are all set up for the DTs and don't mind spending the extra few
moments cutting the pieces and dealing with the extra wear on your bits,
you certainly have nothing to lose with the DT's over other joints and
gain a bit of satisfaction knowing everything is "right" with your project.
Given that the back of a drawer is generally completely above the bottom
(i.e., the drawer bottom is nailed to the bottom of the back) I don't see
what difference the joinery of the back corners would make to bottom
On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 21:18:43 -0500, "John Grossbohlin"
That's right. The traditional way is to slide the drawer bottom in
from the back and use one screw or nail into the back to hold the
bottom in place. But, I have also seen drawer bottoms fit into a
drawer back groove, although I do not recommend this method.
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