What is a Dovetail Drawer?
A dovetail drawer is one that is constructed using a dovetail joints to secure the back and front of a drawer to the sides. These drawers are very easy to recognize, by their distinct dovetail joint on the outside corners, which looks like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle joined together. The dovetail joint have been frequently used in furniture, cabinets and construction for thousands of years and can be seem in furniture from ancient Egypt and China.
A dovetail joint is a joinery method used to connect two pieces, typically perpendicular to each other. One part is machined with a series of pinscut (inverted V shaped trapezoids) that project from the part and fit into a series of tails (opposite V shapes) that are cut into the adjoining part. Glue can be used to help fasten the joint, but is not necessary nor are any other types of no mechanical fasteners. The dovetail joint is known for its tensile strength, because of the way the pinscuts and tails interlock. Making the joint incredibly hard to pull apart. This is why it if often used in box or drawer construction where extra strength is required. There are a number of different types on dovetail joints, but the through dovetail is the most common.
When putting together an RTA (ready to assemble) dovetail drawer, you may not achieve as crisp of a finish as you would if the drawer was are assembled and finished by the manufacture. However, the dovetail joint is still the strongest option.
There are many different types of joints used in drawer construction, but the dovetail drawer construction is considered the strongest in the cabinetry industry. Because of its strength, durability and craftsmanship, these drawers can withstand the wear and tear that is crucial to your kitchen cabinets longevity.
Discussion of Dovetail Drawers
You can easily recognize a dovetail drawer by looking at its joints. The joint at the corners will look like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been put together. There are advantages to choosing this type of drawer over others. Dovetail drawers are made with solid wood as opposed to pressed board planks that are glued and stapled together. Each individual board is cut and sanded. After that, each dovetail joint is cut to perfectly fit its matching piece. It is the mark of true craftsmanship. Another advantage is the tensile strength. Tensile strength refers to the maximum amount of force it takes to break the object. Since dovetail drawers are made of solid wood and each joint is made with care, they are much stronger than your average drawer. What does that mean for you? It means that your drawer will stand up much better to every day wear and tear, especially for families. Attesting to the durability to this type of drawers is the location of the glides. This may not seem like a big deal, however, the glide takes the most abuse of any part of the drawer. On most drawers, the glides are placed on the outside of the drawer, making them susceptible to wear and tear. On dovetail drawers, the glides are hidden underneath, giving the glides additional protection and adding to the durability of the drawer. The craftsmanship that goes into creating dovetail drawers is worth talking about. Like was previously mentioned, it is a quality that you can see. It truly takes an artisan to cut and fit perfect joints. The craftsmanship can be felt as you pull the drawer out and see how it effortlessly glides in and out of the drawer bank.
If you ask to see a dovetail drawer, you will immediately notice the superiority to other drawers. You will notice higher strength and durability leading to a longer life span of your drawer. When shopping for drawers, dovetail drawers are worth your serious consideration!