The drawers are everything in this project. They literally define the key dimensions, the angles, proportions, and the functionality of the table. In order for the table to look right the drawers also have to line up; not only with each other, but the edges of the fronts must exactly match the edges of the cabinets. In short, square, plumb, and level and all in relation to the other parts. So the question is how to design a drawer pocket or slides that are adjustable to allow for minor variations in fit and aid in the effort to keep them from sagging when open (given they are very long drawers and the lip of the table’s top protrudes quite a bit from the sides of the cabinet).
In order to do all this my solution was to use a single drawer slide, or track, that is beveled on both sides to keep the drawer body from lifting up when extended. And away we go…
I started by cutting a (dovetail) beveled channel the length of the center-line of each drawer bottom. I can’t remember the degree angle of the bevel, but I think it was 8 degrees. Later I used the same router bit to form the slides.
At some point in the process I also used the same router bit and set up to make some custom sanding blocks. Smart, very smart.
After sanding smooth and making sure the slides are working perfectly, I cut one more beveled rail slightly wider for a tighter fit. I cut off equal lengths of this rail to glue in as a drawer stop. Note: It doesn’t matter if the stops line up or are the same distance from the front or back edges. The depth will be set when I install the drawer slide on the shelf. I also set the angle to accommodate each drawer’s peculiar dimensions to ensure a tight fit. I used hand tools to cut, trim, and shape the stop blocks to match the contours of the drawer bottom.
And here’s the outcome. You’ll have to trust me when I say with a little wax on each side, the opening/closing action is extremely smooth and precise.
In these last two pictures you can see there is a gap between the bottoms of the top three drawers and their drawer fronts extend beyond this gap. This is to accommodate and ultimately cover up the drawer shelves upon which each drawer sits. The shelves also serve to connect the case sides and back and keep the spacing of these square and parallel. And, since there is a very small gap between the drawer sides and the shelf above each, the resulting drawer pocket aids in the stability of the drawer when it is near fully opened.
-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com