These occur in most of the fittings usually designed by the architect, and the better modes of construction should be familiar to every draughtsman.
The successful operation of a drawer depends both upon the construction of the drawer and of the case in which it works. The case should be made so that there will be only sufficient contact with the drawers to support and guide them. Fig. 318 shows the usual construction of the case with the top omitted. The bottom edge of the drawer slides on the piece A, while the piece B guides it. The piece C, which separates the drawers, is usually but J or 1 inch thick. If a greater space is desired between the drawers a strip is glued to the edge as at D.
Long drawers are often made with a centre guide, as shown at G, blocks being glued to the bottom of the drawer to slide each side of the guide. Long and shallow drawers work much better with such a guide, and the guide also serves to support the bottom. In the best work a "dust panel" is placed in the frame between the drawers so that when the drawer is removed from the pocket it is impossible to reach the contents of the drawer below ; the panel also keeps out more or less dust.
When it is desirable that the drawer may be withdrawn its entire depth without falling, sliding pieces, S, may be arranged at each side of the drawer, in the manner shown by Fig. 319. As the drawer is
Fig. 320 drawn out it slides first on the sliding piece S, and when half open a pin, P, engages in the sliding piece and draws it out. The piece s holds the drawer and keeps it from falling. The slide S is prevented from tipping by the shoulder R, which bears against the under side of of the piece A, Fig. 318.
Fig. 320 shows the Kimball Ball-Bearing Drawer Slide, which is similar to the arrangement above described, but with the addition of steel balls inserted in grooves, which decreases the friction. These slides are sold at a very moderate price, and are quite extensively used in libraries and public buildings ; they are worthy of a more extended use in dwellings and for all drawers that are to be much used. The "Turner" anti-friction drawer slide works on the same principle but has wheels in place of balls. The author understands that the slide without the balls is not now protected by patent.
The construction of the drawer itself is quite simple, the variations being only as a rule in the front piece and in the joints.
The sides and back of the drawers are usually from 7/16 to 5/8 inch thick, and the bottom from 3/8 to ½ inch thick. The drawers slide on the bottom edges of the side pieces and the bottom is grooved into the front and sides. The back is commonly tenoned or grooved into the sides and rests on the bottom. The bottom should always have the grain of the wood running across the drawer, and should extend a little beyond the back piece to allow for shrinkage. It should not be fastened except at the front.
Drawers may be either plain front, panel front or lip front, as shown in Fig. 321. The panel front is usually formed by nailing or gluing a panel mould around the edges of a plain front, the drawer being pushed back until the moulding is flush with the front of the case. When the front and sides are connected by a full dovetail joint this makes a very strong and handsome drawer. The front of a "lip front" drawer is rebated around all four edges, so as to project about ¼ inch over the face of the case to keep out dust. The lip front drawer should be used where the appearance is not of great consequence and where it is desirable to keep out dust as much as possible, such as drawers for linen, clothes, etc. Lip front and plain front drawers are usually lap dovetailed to the sides, as shown in the illustrations. Carpenters often simply rebate the ends of the front and nail the sides in the rebate, but this makes a bungling piece of work, and the nails are apt to split the sides.
In furniture work the back and sides of the drawers are usually dovetailed together, but in most mill work they are simply grooved and nailed together, as at D. The groove in the side pieces for the bottom piece should be kept up $ inch from the lower edge. If a greater thickness than ¼ inch is necessary for the bottom piece, it may be cut away at the edges as shown.
Specifications for drawers should state the kind of front desired and how the parts are to be joined.
When a drawer is hung from a table top or shelf, the best arrangement for the slide is that shown in Fig. 322. When the slide is placed at the top of the drawer there is sure to be friction against the under side of the table top unless the drawer is loosely hung, which is also objectionable.
A drawer for a corner cabinet cannot of course be made to slide, but it may be pivoted to work as in Fig. 323.
Mantels, Sideboards, etc. - The details of mantels and sideboards depend almost entirely upon the design, and as this may vary indefinitely it is impossible to give any illustrations that would be of much value. In general the same principles of construction that have been given for cabinet work or finish apply to these fixtures.