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Thread: How to do these drawers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    6,660

    How to do these drawers?

    I am planning another build as a wedding gift, this time a niece. She picked out this entry hall table, which she wants in Jarrah.





    Straightforward enough build, with the case in mitred through dovetails the only tricky bit. I've done a few of these now, so know what lies in store.


    There appear to be two drawers. The question is, how does one build drawers without handles?


    I am not in favour (and will not do) drawers on runners. Or use those Push-it mechanisms, which are made of plastic and will last about 5 years, if lucky. I build traditional dovetailed drawers.


    One idea I had was to incorporate the lower bevelled case edge/rail into the drawers, and use this as a handle. However, I foresee the difficulty in getting everything to line up perfectly. I like the concept, but not sure about the practicality.


    Any other ideas for handless or, if nothing else, complementary handles?


    Regards from Perth


    Derek

  2. #2
    Nice, elegant piece. A few thoughts:

    What about slightly extending the top bead of the drawers to provide a fingerhold? Or maybe just a swell in the center of the top bead.
    Or go the opposite way and carve a slight depression into the drawer front to allow using the top bead as a fingerhold.
    You could leave openings in the bottom to allow someone in the know to reach under and slide the drawers out enough to open.
    You could have two recesses in the lower rail that would allow pulling the drawers out.
    You could make an arm and pivot that would push one drawer out when the other was pushed in a bit, although I can see that leading to never having both drawers pushed in and even....

    In terms of a pull, I'd probably go with rectangular blocks with matching veneers on their fronts, tapered on the sides to provide a hold.

  3. #3
    Finger slot under the case and recess in drawer bottom to ease the drawer out a bit. Or, just tip the table forward until the drawers fall out.

    Honestly, I would make a practical alteration, a recess with a slightly raised bar of ebony across the recess.
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 10-20-2019 at 11:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    638
    I thought the same thing - have a finger pull depression in the bottom of the drawer so someone could slide the drawer out enough to pull it the rest of the way from the top of the drawer.

    Another thought: judging from your work Derek, you like curved fronts, so how about splitting the drawer front horizontally and let the top half swell outward enough for a finger pull? If the swell was the full height of the top half of the drawer front you would have to make the drawers deeper, but you could also feather the swell for the finger pull back as it approaches the top of the face of the drawer. I've only 1 cup of coffee so I may not be explaining it right. Kinda like this:
    2019-10-20_09h01_47.jpg

    And there are always varieties of these types of finger pulls:
    2019-10-20_09h00_44.jpg
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    1,406
    Great minds think alike. Leave the carcass bottom open and incorporate pulls into the drawer bottoms.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Missouri
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    1,523
    Derek, I suggest these two methods. Let the drawer face hang below the rail. Put a pull bar under the drawer bottom, all of the way across, so it can be reached at any point and allows the drawer to pass the top edge.
    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    4,174
    False lower face rail actually part of drawer bottoms, and one drawer instead of two, as it appears. Bottom rail becomes pull. It could still have a divider between the two drawer sections for strength, that doesn't go all the way to the front, but helps support carcass bottom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    2,183
    IMHO anything other than some way to open the drawer from below (as suggested above) will compromise the clean look. I just don’t think you want to interrupt the cockbeading around the drawers and molding around the opening. It’s a really nice design, that obviously incorporates modern opening mechanism. I’m sure your niece will understand that a traditional woodworker just doesn’t do things that way

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I am planning another build as a wedding gift, this time a niece. She picked out this entry hall table, which she wants in Jarrah.





    Straightforward enough build, with the case in mitred through dovetails the only tricky bit. I've done a few of these now, so know what lies in store.


    There appear to be two drawers. The question is, how does one build drawers without handles?


    I am not in favour (and will not do) drawers on runners. Or use those Push-it mechanisms, which are made of plastic and will last about 5 years, if lucky. I build traditional dovetailed drawers.


    One idea I had was to incorporate the lower bevelled case edge/rail into the drawers, and use this as a handle. However, I foresee the difficulty in getting everything to line up perfectly. I like the concept, but not sure about the practicality.


    Any other ideas for handless or, if nothing else, complementary handles?
    You could just build it and let _them_ figure it out. :^)

    Seriously, how does the original work?

    There's an old Russian proverb, to some problems there are no solutions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,753
    Here's an unusual approach.... The drawer box is recessed about 1" from the back of the visible drawer front. The drawer front is pivoted on a vertical axis at the middle of the front. If you push in on one side, the other side moves forward. You can get your finger around that to pull out the drawer. The drawer front has a spring -- perhaps wood -- so that if you're not pushing on it, it sits in the position you'd expect, parallel to the front of the casework.

    I like this approach. It is a little bit of a puzzle, for the family to know, and nobody else. It is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    8,753
    When I say "wood spring" I'm thinking of a long thin slat, not a fancy coiled up thin. The long thin slat is a leaf spring. Hold it firmly at one end, and try to move the other end away from where it is. It keeps trying to return to the un-bent position. That's a spring.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Clinton Township, MI, United States
    Posts
    1,548
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I am planning another build as a wedding gift, this time a niece. She picked out this entry hall table, which she wants in Jarrah.





    Straightforward enough build, with the case in mitred through dovetails the only tricky bit. I've done a few of these now, so know what lies in store.


    There appear to be two drawers. The question is, how does one build drawers without handles?


    I am not in favour (and will not do) drawers on runners. Or use those Push-it mechanisms, which are made of plastic and will last about 5 years, if lucky. I build traditional dovetailed drawers.


    One idea I had was to incorporate the lower bevelled case edge/rail into the drawers, and use this as a handle. However, I foresee the difficulty in getting everything to line up perfectly. I like the concept, but not sure about the practicality.


    Any other ideas for handless or, if nothing else, complementary handles?


    Regards from Perth


    Derek
    Large hole in bottom just inside the the lower frame, centered on each drawer. Place indentation/pull strip/finger hole, etc. on bottom of drawer. Place palm of hand on lower frame, curl fingers through hole to bottom of drawer and pull open a couple inches. Complete opening drawer by putting fingers on top of now exposed drawer front and open as far as required. Invisible unless you crawl on the floor.
    Mike
    From the workshop under the staircase, Clinton Township, MI
    Semper Audere!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,597
    Sorry Derek, but I'm having trouble getting past the leg attachment to the carcase before I can even look at the drawers. I guess I'd think about attaching a short piece cut out of the lower rail? frame? cock bead? to the bottom of the drawer with some type of finger pull incorporated. Would have to be a thin kerf, clean cut so that it had a continuous look (with a bump added for the finger pull), but hard wood like your jarrah should hold a crisp edge for a long, long time. Those legs, though. Have to beef up the attachment area without altering the clean look too much somehow so you can spread the attaching load out from what looks like a single screw. My Mother had a Danish Modern couch that revealed the single screw attachment of the legs to the couch after one leg got broken off. Useless.
    David

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by David Eisenhauer View Post
    Sorry Derek, but I'm having trouble getting past the leg attachment to the carcase before I can even look at the drawers. I guess I'd think about attaching a short piece cut out of the lower rail? frame? cock bead? to the bottom of the drawer with some type of finger pull incorporated. Would have to be a thin kerf, clean cut so that it had a continuous look (with a bump added for the finger pull), but hard wood like your jarrah should hold a crisp edge for a long, long time. Those legs, though. Have to beef up the attachment area without altering the clean look too much somehow so you can spread the attaching load out from what looks like a single screw. My Mother had a Danish Modern couch that revealed the single screw attachment of the legs to the couch after one leg got broken off. Useless.
    Here's something nobody's pointed out. What makes you think those are even drawers?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    8,036
    I seem to recall Ishitani doing finger pulls....cut from brass sheet, bent and soldered. counter sunk holes to screw the pulls into the doors...and the drawers inside.

    IF you place small versions of these at the top edges of the drawers...to where they do not show from above the top of the table.....you can also feather the sides of the pulls to blend into the drawer's top edge....leaving just enough for a fingernail...or.....trim all the way around the drawer like a cock-bead....and maybe colour the metal to match the colour of the table...can even mitre the corners of the metal...

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