Instructables
Picture of Making a Wooden Drawer
An article on Wooden Drawers by Ian Taylor.

Nowadays we take drawers very much for granted. They appear everywhere in the house; in the kitchen, the bedroom, the study and the workshop. They come in different sizes and designs. Some have mechanical slides and others run on wooden supports (called runners). But they all have one common feature: they are basically open-topped boxes that can be accessed separately and conveniently.
 
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Step 1: Drawers in History

Picture of Drawers in History
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It wasn't always this easy. Until the late 16th century, clothes, bedding and other important personal items were all stored in chests and coffers large boxes with hinged lids. They kept things clean and tidily out of the way, but there was one big drawback. If you wanted something from the bottom of the chest, you had to take everything else out first.

Towards the end of the 16th century, this weakness began to be addressed. It occurred to furniture designers that if you stack a set of smaller boxes inside a bigger box, and make sure that they are accessible from the front rather than the top, you can go straight to the items you want without unpacking everything.

To begin with, chests incorporated just a single drawer in the base, but by around 1650, drawers had become a common furniture feature and the chest of drawers, as we would recognise it today, had arrived.

Step 2: The Traditional Way

This article concentrates on the construction of a conventional flush-fitting wooden drawer to be used in a small wardrobe. Next month we'll review some of the variants in drawer design; cock beads, drawer slips, overlapping fronts, mechanical runners and so on.

The drawer we're making here has a traditional dovetail construction and a solid timber bottom. The front is oak, to match the wardrobe it will be part of. The sides and back are ash, this gives a nice contrast to the oak and shows off the dovetails. The bottom is Cedar of Lebanon, which has an aromatic smell when newly worked. The handles are hand-turned knobs, made from American walnut, giving a nice warm contrast to the oak.

Never knew they were called dovetails. Funny, in Dutch they are called swallowtails.
MyHobbyStore (author)  Jos Instructable10 months ago
Interesting.
:-)
spylock10 months ago
Nice job,youll never find anything like that at chinamart.
MyHobbyStore (author)  spylock10 months ago
For sure, thanks.
gralan10 months ago
Thank you very much. I've a project with making an replica of an old toolbox found in New Mexico from the 19th century -- and this illustrates exactly how to do it by hand. Too smooth, too cool.
chuckyd10 months ago
I believe you are confusing your pins and tails. In a single joint, dovetails existing on one piece only. The other piece holds the pins. The side view in step three shows the tails as the wider part, not the narrow parts as you have identified. The parts you call half dovetails are actually the pins.
ledshed10 months ago
Nice!
Bill WW10 months ago
Wow. Those dovetails and wedged dowels are beautiful.
MyHobbyStore (author)  Bill WW10 months ago
Thank you!
explosivemaker10 months ago
2 words...dovetail jig
crazzydesigner10 months ago
hundred or a million times better than a ikea prefab thing that commonly build for 4jears
but this is a real nice handcrafted drawer. thanks for sharing it.
MyHobbyStore (author)  crazzydesigner10 months ago
Thanks for reading!