Router Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently building a bedroom dresser with six larger draws , 23" wide x 6 3/8" tall x 17" deep. I was planning on doing dovetails but now I'm wondering if the draws are too large to be manageable with dovetails for opening and closing or should I do metal slides for easy pulling out and closing later. I like the idea of adding dovetails for the quality look but it also has to be functional as this is a gift for my son. Any thoughts are appreciated? Thanks, TR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
When I re-did our kitchen about 8 years ago all the bottom where drawers, not cabinets except under the sink and the corner. The largest of the twelve was 32" wide x 10" tall x 23" deep. Full of cookware. All dovetail construction. I used full extension drawer slides. I can see no reason not to use dovetails for your project. The strength and beauty they add are worth the effort. And if it were me I'd skip the metal slides and make wooden slides. The wooden drawer slides in my workbench, about 40 years old, function as well today as when I made it. Furthermore metal slides in bedroom furniture just "feels" wrong to me for some reason. Just my 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,773 Posts
Either way you can't go wrong as only when it's opened one may notice. 2 Christmas's ago I built a chest of drawers and nightstand and used old Broyhill/Basset drawers for them. Those drawers were center track drawer slides but I made them side metal slides. When all said and done I would not have repurposed the old drawers.
To answer your question I would go with the center track dovetail drawer slides. To me they look better and are easier to install. Can't wait to see your finished dresser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I re-did our kitchen about 8 years ago all the bottom where drawers, not cabinets except under the sink and the corner. The largest of the twelve was 32" wide x 10" tall x 23" deep. Full of cookware. All dovetail construction. I used full extension drawer slides. I can see no reason not to use dovetails for your project. The strength and beauty they add are worth the effort. And if it were me I'd skip the metal slides and make wooden slides. The wooden drawer slides in my workbench, about 40 years old, function as well today as when I made it. Furthermore metal slides in bedroom furniture just "feels" wrong to me for some reason. Just my 2 cents.
does that mean you did dovetail construction plus full extension slides for the large draws? Were the slides undermount? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,698 Posts
does that mean you did dovetail construction plus full extension slides for the large draws? Were the slides undermount? Thanks
I think he is talking abut a wood construction under the drawer. Cut a dovetail grooved piece that goes under the center of the drawer opening. Then a closely fitted slider that fits the groove is attached to the drawer.

Make sure the bottom part is 90 to the face or the drawer will bind. I'd put a bit of double stick tape on the top piece so it sticks to the bottom of the drawer, Drill starter holes if you use screws to attach the door part, although glue is probably sufficient. I'd use hyde glue in case you need to repair it at some point. Here's a picture of a wood drawer slider.
Product Rectangle Wood Wood stain Hardwood

My own personal preference is full extension metal drawer slides on each side. You could probably use medium duty sliders for a dresser. I like to be able to get to the stuff in the back of the drawer without worrying about accidentally pulling to drawer out too far, which happens with wood sliders. But it's practical, and not classical furniture construction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think he is talking abut a wood construction under the drawer. Cut a dovetail grooved piece that goes under the center of the drawer opening. Then a closely fitted slider that fits the groove is attached to the drawer.

Make sure the bottom part is 90 to the face or the drawer will bind. I'd put a bit of double stick tape on the top piece so it sticks to the bottom of the drawer, Drill starter holes if you use screws to attach the door part, although glue is probably sufficient. I'd use hyde glue in case you need to repair it at some point. Here's a picture of a wood drawer slider.
View attachment 401373
My own personal preference is full extension metal drawer slides on each side. You could probably use medium duty sliders for a dresser. I like to be able to get to the stuff in the back of the drawer without worrying about accidentally pulling to drawer out too far, which happens with wood sliders. But it's practical, and not classical furniture construction.
How much space do I need to allow under the drawer for the undermount slide? Also is this something I could add later after the drawers are built if I felt I needed more stability? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,698 Posts
How much space do I need to allow under the drawer for the undermount slide? Also is this something I could add later after the drawers are built if I felt I needed more stability? Thanks
You can allow any amount of space you want because it's a matter of the thickness of the slider. That can be adjusted. More important is having enough thickness on the rails of your faceframe and a support in the back, for mounting the pemanent piece. The pix I posted are prefab and available at Rockler, But with a table mounted router, both pieces should be fairly easy to make. I have never seen a big drawer with more than one, centered, wood slider.
 

·
Registered
I always like to trade....always like to sell
Joined
·
329 Posts
My personal opinion is that metal slides have always seemed out of place for nice furniture and seem more in place with kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets and utility cabinets. I built a 7 drawer teak dresser back in 1975 that has wood dovetail slides still works like new today. I did line the bottom sides of the drawers with UHMW tape. My shop router table cabinet with 4 drawers is also made this way in addition another shop cabinet with 4 large drawers.
The only cabinets in my shop with metal drawer guides are 2 metal tool cabinets and a file cabinet I bought really cheap on craigslist
 
  • Like
Reactions: jw2170

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Greg, that is reassuring as I did the dovetails on nine draws yesterday. Most draws are large but I think I am going to be fine without the slides. But if it is a problem I've allowed room underneath for a middle slide too. TR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Thanks Greg, that is reassuring as I did the dovetails on nine draws yesterday. Most draws are large but I think I am going to be fine without the slides. But if it is a problem I've allowed room underneath for a middle slide too. TR
I think you made the right choice. I live in S. Louisiana, where the humidity swings as much as any other place. I love dovetail slides on furniture drawers, but when the humidity swells the wood, they can get sticky. A single center tail can eliminate some of that issue by allowing some freedom of movement to either side. Keep 'em waxed, and GOOD LUCK!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top