Friday, February 22, 2013

Nothing Like a Well-Hung Drawer!

Almost One Down
     The drawers for the Star Jasmine table are hung using traditional, shop made runners.  These would consist of the side pieces, the bottom runner, and the top kicker designed to keep the drawer from tilting downward when it's pulled out.  I made everything but the runners out of soft Maple including the drawer itself.  The runners are made of Sapele since they're close to the bottom of the apron and I didn't want to have a light colored piece of wood there.  As you can see in the picture, it was easy to place the table on top of the table saw to bring it up to an easier height to work at.

As planned, the drawer runner rests on top of the cross piece.  It was planed to give me an even reveal along the top edge of the drawer.  The drawer guides are screwed to the apron sides through 4, over-sized and counter bored holes.

Positioning the Guide
     The first step was to clamp both guides to the apron and adjust it so the drawer front was flush and square to the opening.  Once I was satisfied with that a hole was pre-drilled for a round head wood screw.  One side needed to be shimmed out at the rear so a shim was sized to fit, you can see that in the top picture.  To make sure it wouldn't ever fall out, it too was drilled so the screws pass through it.

Securely in Place
    In the above picture you can see how the runner sits on top of the crosspiece.  The drawer front extends to just below the crosspiece.  When I do something like this my habit is to put in one screw at a time, tighten it, and then check the drawer alignment.  Since the holes are oversized a slight tap of a small hammer can be used to tweak it as needed.
     One side needed to be shimmed out a little bit and the opposite side needed to be taken the other way.  This was quickly done with a jointer plane.

Adjusting the Drawer Guide
Just had to take a close up of this shaving, the Sapele drawer runner is glued to the Maple and the shavings stayed together!

Nice Shaving!
  Last step was to glue and tack the kickers to the top of the guides.  My next challenge is to design drawer pulls that will be functional but fade into the piece.  Having drawers on the ends of a sofa table isn't that common; guess that's why I chose to incorporate it into my design!  Here's a picture of the completed runners:

Guides, Runners, & Kickers

     Wanted to share this final photo of trimming the ends of the radio weave.  After allowing the glue to dry completely I prefer to use a sharp, utility chisel.  That's my preference over a razor blade because the razor can slip and slice the wood or spline around it.

Trimming the Cane
At this time I've given it one more of the top coats -- we're getting there!


  1. I see that you have attached your drawer slides with screws. I am just about to attach drawer slides in a tool chest and have been debating whether to attach them with screws or glue them in place. Do you have any thoughts?


    1. Hello Richard, My preference has been to screw them in place using a slightly oversized and counterbored hole so that I can make minor adjustments if needed. Same on a tool chest where there is a single runner that rides in the side of the drawer. I have a router bit that makes the hole and usually elongate it a bit. I use it in the drill press for better control. I like your website!