Close Up on Craftsmanship: Drawer Construction

8 Min.


Drawers are the workhorse of kitchen cabinetry and their construction needs to be able to handle the load. Here are a few guidelines to recognizing quality drawer construction and ideas to create functional and beautiful drawer space into your kitchen design.

Materials. Because they are hidden, many lower end drawer boxes are made from materials that are less durable and will not stand the test of time. When choosing your cabinetry it’s important to open the drawers and investigate them. Ask if the drawers are made in house or if they are manufactured somewhere else. Avoid any kind of stapled together particle board construction. Look for solid wood drawer construction, Maple is a great option for drawers. It has good dimensional stability so it expands and contracts less than other wood species. JF offers Maple as standard, as well as upgraded Walnut or Butternut drawers, both look great and are strong and stable. Consider the thickness of the drawers also, we use 3/4″ hardwood for every drawer to ensure that the drawer will stand up to the rigors of everyday use.

Photo May 16, 12 18 17 PMConstruction. We start from scratch with our drawer construction. First, our cabinetmakers mill the drawer stock from rough timbers and dado the bottoms. They then cut sides, fronts and backs to size and then cut all of the box joints on a table saw with a custom made sliding jig.
When you’re shopping around, check the sides of drawers for well-made joints, such as a dove tail or box joint. Back in the early days of JF, as we honed our construction methods, we decided a box joint was a beautiful, tried and true method and we have used them ever since.

Design. Incorporating drawers into your kitchen plan creates more usable space, where items could be lost in the back of standard base cabinets, if they are replaced with drawers everything is easily accessible and easy to keep organized. Drawers can fit in behind cabinet doors if you want to maintain the traditional cabinet look, or can create a smooth contemporary look.

Photo May 17, 11 49 43 AM

Accessories. We all know about concealed hardware and soft-close slides, those are standard operating procedure in the JF shop. The most fun part about drawers are all the creative and beautiful interior organizers! We custom make hardwood silverware dividers and even an in-drawer knife block. Organizers for plates, large bowls, pots and pans, even small spice jars are available so that every drawer can be organized to perfection.

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Unique style. From oversized drawers to teeny tiny ones, a good cabinetmaker will be able to create the perfect drawers for you. A great cabinetmaker will go the extra mile and customize your drawers for your needs. Because we make all our drawers in-house, we can fully customize the design and construction giving us almost unlimited options. Check out these cool vegetable drawers – no more sprouted potatoes when you have a drawer that is both dark and airy! And how about this set of curved drawers? Space was tight and keeping the flow was key, so the JF crew created some pretty amazing curves.

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Dream Drawers. Whatever your storage needs, JF can help make them a reality. Extremely cool drawers are just the tip of the iceberg. Visit us in Boston to see how we can bring your kitchen dreams to life.

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