Stop Those Drawers
6 techniques to keep drawers flush year-round
Synopsis: It’s often stated that drawers are an indicator of craftsmanship, so it’s important that the drawers you build fit well and glide smoothly. But it’s also vital that they stop in the right place, remaining consistently flush with the front of the case. You don’t want drawers that are inset in summer and proud in winter because of seasonal changes in humidity. Here are some tried and tested techniques for using stops to keep drawers flush in all seasons.
It’s common knowledge among woodworkers that your drawers are an indicator of your craftsmanship. A close examination will reveal if the dovetails are well cut and if the drawer fits the pocket snugly and glides smoothly. But a quick glance is all you need to see if the drawers look good and are stopping in the right place. I prefer the look of flush-front drawers, but keeping drawers consistently flush with the front of a case can be tricky. We’ve all seen drawers that are slightly inset in the summer and a bit too proud in the winter. This is a particular problem when building solid-wood slab cases, as opposed to frame-and-panel or plywood furniture. However, there are several stop options available. Here are a few methods that I’ve seen and used for many years.
1) Side-hung drawers stop themselves
Side-hung drawers eliminate the need for traditional runners, kickers, and dividers. Instead, they rely on a groove in the drawer side and a runner attached to the inside of the case. When the runner hits the end of the groove, the drawer stops. The trick, of course, is to position the end of the groove and the front of the runner so that the drawer is perfectly flush in front.
2) Lipped drawers don’t…