Today Chris Schwarz wrote about a drawer he made for a table he’s got underway. http://lostartpress.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/a-different-drawer/ Said it was somehow unusual. Seemed pretty normal to me, but I rarely make stuff with drawers. I have hopes of a new chest of drawers this winter; but we’ll see. Here’s the last full chest of drawers I made, for my wife the year before we got married.
In 17th-century New England joined furniture, drawers are usually nailed together, rabbets front & back. Then the bottoms typically are nailed up to the sides & back, and fit in either a rabbet in the front, or in better versions, a groove in the front.
Here’s one with a half-blind dovetail where the front & sides are joined, then the bottom in a rabbet planed in the front. Nails secure the dovetail. belt & suspenders, this is. This drawer height is 6″, the full width of the drawer is about 45″.
Now a dovetailed one with a groove in the drawer front for the bottom boards.
But the back? Those are almost ALWAYS rabbets w nails. Seen just one or two that were dovetailed there.
Here’s another view:
17th-century drawers in this work are almost always side-hung; they have grooves plowed in the sides, that engage slats fitted into the interior of the framed carcass.
For drawers in chests with drawers, and chests of drawers, usually the bottoms are multi-board affairs, with the boards running front-to-back.
These boards are fitted side-to-side with a tongue & groove between them:
sometimes you find a drawer that has a single bottom board running along its width. This New Haven drawer is a freak; its multi-board bottom runs along the width of the drawer. These are riven oak clapboards that make up this drawer. Very thin.
There. Now you know how to make 17th-century New England drawers.