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.
Step 1: Drawers in History
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
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.