Fitting drawers

Any protruding pins are planed off and the back of the drawer is fitted to the opening. From then on it will be a question of gently easing from back to front until the whole drawer enters sweetly. Chalk-marks along the sides and edge usually disclose high spots, and if the carcass back can be left off, a light can be shone through to show up any tightness. At this stage the bottom is in position to support the drawer, but it is not finally fixed until last, running a little glue into the front groove to hold it, and either screwing or pinning at the back, unless it is a solid bottom in which case it should be open slot screwed so that it is free to move. Drawers which run harshly can be lubricated with a candle end (not soft waxes which quickly pick up dirt), although a well-fitted drawer should run sweetly enough without the need of lubrication.

Drawer stops

Drawers must not hit against the carcass back or they may force the back off in time, quite apart from the noise of the impact. It is, therefore, usual to allow a generous clearance, say V2 in (12.5 mm) at the back, and fit stops to prevent the drawer entering too far. The drawing (239) gives the usual type, two of which are pinned and glued to the front rail. They can be of hardwood or plywood, fractionally thinner than the set-up of the drawer bottom; the thickness of the drawer front is gauged in on the rail, the stops glued and temporarily veneer pinned in position and the drawer pushed home. If the position is not correct the stops can be tapped over, the pins hammered in flush and the glue left to set. Drawer fronts are often fractionally inset (bare V32 in, 1 mm) as this enhances their appearance, but if flush they should be really flush and not slightly proud.

239 Drawer stop Side-hung drawers

Drawers can be side-hung by screwing 1 in (25 mm) by 1/4 in (6 mm) fillets to the carcass sides, and corresponding 1/4 in (6 mm) deep grooves in the sides. The principle is an old one revived; it gives fractionally sweeter running for the drawers as the bearing surface is reduced, but wear on the fillets and in the housings/ dadoes may cause the drawers to drop and foul the fronts below. However, the method is often used, for it saves both space and time fitting drawer rails, although the carcass must be stiff enough to stand on its own without cross-ties, and in tall carcasses it may be necessary to fit at least one intermediate drawer rail to hold the sides in. The screwed fillets should be in a hard-wearing wood and the drawer sides also, and 240:lA shows the usual form, with a machined groove in the drawer side and the side fillet rounded to fit, which automatically becomes the drawer stop. Figure 240:2 is a hand method with the groove running through the length of the side and stopped by an extra wide pin in the front, but this method should not be used for heavy drawers unless front rail stops are also fitted, or the front may be forced off in time. Figure 240:3 shows the application to a plan chest, with 240:3A a cover board screwed to the sides to prevent plans riding up over the drawer back.

Extension drawers

Metal extension slides for filing-drawers are available in a variety of supporting weights (240:4), enabling a heavily loaded drawer to be withdrawn to its full extent easily and without tipping; the larger slides include a quick-release trigger enabling the drawer to be released from the carcass channel. This outer or case channel (240:5, 6) is screwed to the carcass side and the inner drawer channel to the drawer side, which must be set in by the amount of clearance necessary according to the track. The slides are bought in pairs, right and left hand, and in a limited range of lengths, while some can be cut to suit most carcass depths. Fitting the tracks is fairly critical, for the whole of the weight is taken by the slides and the drawer sides are kept just clear of the front rails (no runners are necessary) so that there is no rub. If the carcass back can be left off it will help the positioning, and if a dummy drawer side is cut from waste wood, the drawer channel screwed to the board, the board run in and planed off on the bottom edge until it is just clear of the rail when it is slid into the case channel, it will serve as an accurate

template for the final fixing. Filing-drawers are usually fitted with hanging pocket-type files, and 240:7 shows a 5/8 in (16 mm) by 1/8 in (3 mm) brass strip runner which is screwed to the front and back (or both sides according to how the files run) with brass screws and distance-collars.

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