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Drawer size

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  • Drawer size

    As part of a closet I am building the customer wants a built-in chest of drawers next to the closet. They would like as much drawer space as possible. The face frame openings are 20" wide and 9 3/4" high. There is room for a 29" long drawer. My concern is that over time, with a drawer that long fully opened, the pressure from the drawer top will push up on the internal drawer frame and cause it to break or loosen. Should this be a concern or am I worrying for nothing?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  • #2
    Re: Drawer size

    A lot of it depends on how it's mounted and what's kept in it. If you're just going to have a loose fit with a lot of weight, then sure, if it's pulled out all the way, you'll have a lot of weight pushing the front down and the back up against the internal framing. If you mount it on heavy-duty full-extension drawer slides, then it won't make a difference, the drawer won't pitch as it's moved in and out. There really isn't enough information given to make a determination.

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    • #3
      Re: Drawer size

      That's a deep drawer! Coupled with being nearly 10" in height you could have a potential boat anchor there..

      Two thoughts:
      1) Medium or heavy duty drawer slides. Move the weight to the carcass sides and remove that pesky element of leverage.

      2) How about offering them a hidden space in the back. What I mean is, make 24" drawers. The back 5" could be accessible from inside (removing the drawers), or *even better* through a hidden access panel in the adjacent closet. You know, someplace to store sensitive papers, jewelry and other valuables, firearms, etc. There was a fascinating article about hidden spaces in furniture somewhat recently in another mag... Hopefully a competitor link is OK, and you don't need a subscription to open this summary:
      http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki....aspx?id=26008

      I know they requested maximum drawer space, but maybe this'll tickle their fancy, and give you something new and interesting to make. ;-)

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      • #4
        Re: Drawer size

        I am somewhat reticent to install side mounted drawer slides on what I would like to consider furniture in a bedroom. I don't think I have ever seen any, although I agree that would be the optimal solution. In fact I already have the slides and was ready to make the drawers and install the slides when I thought better of it. I have never installed under mount slides, which would be almost invisible, are they sturdy? The idea of a hidden compartment accessible through the closet is intriguing and I think I will do something with it at least on two of the drawers. I incorporated a hidden compartment on a desk I built a couple years ago for a guy to hide some pistols. He didn't ask for it when we talked initially but when he saw it he was thrilled.

        Thanks,
        Tom

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Drawer size

          On large drawers like you described, I would use the full extension slides. These will maximize the users ability to get all the way to the back of the drawers and alleviate the worry of the drawers failing or falling and causing possible damage or injury to the users.

          Consider too, if it is a tall chest of drawers, that if the top 3 drawers are deeper than 20", (and the drawers are almost 10" high) most "average" sized people (5'3" - 5'10") won't be able to reach all the way to the back of those drawers without the aid of some type of step.

          I too, have done built-ins for customers where I incorporated hidden compartments into the back of the carcass and in the bottom of the drawers. While most people don't think about a feature like that, they do appreciate the the fact that you thought about them enough to consider their valuables and their privacy. With a drawer that is almost 10" high you could incorporate a "false bottom" to make the drawers shallower and give them a place to hide valuables (jewelry, papers, etc.). I saw a chest made in the 1700's where the false bottoms of the drawers were divided into compartments and velvet lined for the lady's jewelry.
          Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
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