Let’s take a look at dovetail drawers and the many benefits associated with this style.
What Is A Dovetail Drawer?
The term “Dovetail Drawer” pertains to a particular design structure of the drawer, where the drawer compartment is made of solid wood and a dovetail joint secures the sides of the drawer with its front. This distinctive joint that resembles pieces from a jigsaw puzzle perpendicularly joined together at the drawers outside corners makes dovetail drawers easily recognizable.
There are several benefits to designing a drawer to have this structure, some of which we’ll outline further in the article.
Considered a premium drawer option among homeowners, dovetail drawers differ from regular drawers in how they’re constructed and the kind of joint they use is exclusive to dovetail drawers. Some drawer manufacturers even use Dovetail Joints on pull out shelves. This particular joint is called a locking joint, and comprises of wedge-shaped cuts at the end of the wooden frame that fit into each other from each side, forming a box. These cuts, or pins and tails as they’re called, form an incredibly strong and resistant box when they fit into each other. The joint is so strong, in fact, that even when the drawer breaks, it rarely breaks from the area of the joint.
Large Surface Area
It’s not just the mechanics of the locking joint that make it so durable, but also the large surface area it provides to apply glue on, and this increased amount of glue between the joints enhances the drawer’s durability and strength.
Dovetail Drawers Design
The design of the joint also allows for increased storage space, and even more so in English dovetails, which are the ones that attract most popularity and easily become a part of all kinds of furniture. French dovetail drawers lean towards the specialty and luxury furniture market with pieces that have curved fronts, and joints on the drawer sides shaped such that they slide upwards and fit in a trench shaped opening running through the front piece.
The English Dovetail is one where you can see the ends of the adjoining pieces at the corners of the drawers. This is the premium type of dovetail joint design as it is the tightest and longest lasting joint. The English Dovetail makes the joint at the very edge of the wood, which means you get the most space inside the drawer. In the finest drawers and furniture you will find the English Dovetail as it’s simply stronger and better looking.
The French Dovetail differs greatly from the English Dovetail. Instead of having numerous “fingers” that joint to create an incredibly strong corner the French dovetail is 1 channel cut in board A and board B is shaped to fit in that channel. This design is simply inferior as it hinges the durability of the drawer on thin edges of wood inside the channel. French dovetail joints also must be made a distance in from the corner of the wood, which means the drawers are more narrow or not as deep.
Believe it or not all dovetail joints are sliding dovetail joints. Dovetail joints are by nature and definition those where two pieces of wood are machined to have corresponding sections that slide together. So all dovetail drawers are sliding dovetail joints. With that said a lot of consumers call the French Dovetail a “sliding joint” as it does slide together further.
Dovetail Drawer Joints
As mentioned earlier, the way the joints are constructed is what makes dovetail drawers unique, and this is also what brings its advantages. These locking joints enable the drawer to be stronger and sturdier, at the same time offering a larger storage space. Although often seen as a standard for good quality drawers, this isn’t always the case. With a variety of different drawer constructions, you should assess the drawers’ sturdiness and storage capacity when on the lookout for the right drawers for your cabinets.
Dovetail Drawers Vs Standard Drawers
Dovetail drawers feature locking joints, which are constructed from triangular wedge-shaped channels cut into the edges found on each side of the drawer box. The obvious difference is that the sides of each crenel angle appear like dove tails.
These dovetails are offset on adjoining sides of the drawer box so they can interlock with one another, creating the box. This provides a very strong joint, further enhanced by the addition of glue applied to the edges of all tails and pins. Dovetail drawers are always made of wood as opposed to any lesser material.
Standard drawers are joined differently than dovetail drawers. Commonly, standard drawers use biscuits, dowels or nails to join the boxes. The joints are not as strong with these drawers, plus the dowels and biscuits are not interlocking. The biggest benefit of buying standard drawers is the lower cost.
Advantages Of Dovetail Drawers
There are 3 key advantages to quality dovetail joints when constructing drawers or furniture. These advantages are primarily about the English Dovetail Joint, as it is the standard for the highest quality and most durable woodwork.
As the sides of the drawer seamlessly fit into the front, this creates a strong bond that glued or stapled drawers can’t match. The use of solid wood rather than thin and less sturdy particle boards in making drawer boxes also enhances the durability and strength of the drawer. The perfect integration of solid wood and a locking joint in the drawer makes for a premium drawer that ordinary drawers can’t compare to.
As mentioned above, the solid wood and the locking joint enhance the drawer’s durability and make for a drawer that could easily last a lifetime. Whereas regular drawers have drawer glides on each side, open to wear and tear, dovetail drawers feature glides underneath the drawer box. Since they are the only part of the drawer that takes the brunt of the work and consequential wear, the best place for them is underneath the drawer, which is exactly where the dovetail drawer puts them.
Due to the amount of detail, precision, and craftsmanship that goes into the production of a dovetail, they have a premium feel to them that is still considered a standard in luxury cabinet making. Those with a refined taste will appreciate the drawers’ seamless construction and how smoothly it slides in and out of the cabinet. To ensure a premium drawer that looks stunning and works without a flaw, dovetail drawers need to be crafted with utmost precision, focus and above all, patience; all of which makes way for a product superior than most its counterparts.
Buy Dovetail Drawers Online
If you don’t have the time, tools, or woodworking skills to build your own drawer boxes but need drawer box replacements for your kitchen or bathroom DC Drawers is happy to build the replacement for you. Simply take measurements for how wide, high, and deep you need the new drawer box to be and we will fabricate your replacement drawer box and ship it to you. If you have any questions about how to measure for your replacement or would like to place your order by phone please call 877-917-4887.