webframe vs drawer slides - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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webframe vs drawer slides

Hi all,

My wife has requested I make a dresser for her. Her dimensions are odd at approx. 50" tall, 30" wide and 12" inches deep.

6 drawers, top being 5" and the rest being 9".

My first consideration was to use Blum undermount drawer slides in a frameless case, inset drawer fronts. The case would have to be a tad deeper to accomodate the length of the slide + the thickness of the drawer front, and these slides require the bottom of the drawer to be at least 1/2 inch off the bottom of the drawer sides.

I also considered regular side mount slide, but who wants to see them?

Then, as I was thinking about the case being tall and narrow, i'm concerned about racking, so I start thinking about a web frame at each drawer interval.. which led me to wonder if I should use drawer slides at all, and just use the web frame for the drawers (with a drawer stop of course - toddler in the house)

That got me wondering... what ARE the actual merits of drawer slides VS web frame? Is it just new technology vs old school? Are slides needed?

since my experience level is low, I'd like to hear what anyone has to say about anything on the subject.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 03:33 PM
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With that shallow of depth you really need to consider fastening it to the wall, especially if you have young children.

A web frame is the construction on the inside of a cabinet with drawers which you are not using mechanical slides. It's the wooden rail a drawer slides on like old furniture. Given the shallow depth of the cabinet I don't think you want that type of drawer. You would really have to remove the drawer from the cabinet to make use of it. Part of the drawer would have to stay in the cabinet and it's just too shallow where full extension slides would allow the drawer box to come completely out.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
With that shallow of depth you really need to consider fastening it to the wall, especially if you have young children.

A web frame is the construction on the inside of a cabinet with drawers which you are not using mechanical slides. It's the wooden rail a drawer slides on like old furniture. Given the shallow depth of the cabinet I don't think you want that type of drawer. You would really have to remove the drawer from the cabinet to make use of it. Part of the drawer would have to stay in the cabinet and it's just too shallow where full extension slides would allow the drawer box to come completely out.
Yes, strapping to the wall is a must. I see your point and I agree with using full extension drawer slides.

Any thoughts as to keeping the carcass from racking side to side? My plan was to lay the top directly on top of the sides with a full web underneath at the top of the sides including center rail from front to back, dowels and glue butt joint, screw up through the web into the bottom of the top. Same for the bottom.

There will be rails at the front of the cabinet that the drawer fronts will stop against. My plan is to set the rails back enough for the drawer front to close flush with the edges of the carcass instead of full overlay outside of the carcass.

Back to racking, so you would have the top, bottom, back and front rails.. but I just don't feel that's enough side to side support.. Maybe I'm wrong, but It seems like I should have some rails at the back matching the rails at the front simply for stability.

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post #4 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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with the fronts in place

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post #5 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 05:15 PM
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As long as you put a back on the cabinet there won't be any side to side racking. As far as the racking aspect the deeper the cabinet the more chance you would have of doing that.

The only problem you might have if built under tight tolerances is if the rails for the drawers sag they might rub the drawer.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 06:37 PM
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I'm starting a dresser project too, so I've just been through the same thought process. Blum 563 slides can be bottom mounted, so I decided to go with web frames, and bottom mount the slides. My design is different than yours, so my conclusion is different.

My design is a 9 inset drawer double dresser, with wide ends for turned columns at the corners. I didn't want to use the rear mounting brackets for the slides that attach to the inside of the back.

That meant I would have needed to pack out the inside of the frame and panel ends for the slides. In addition, I needed something in the center, between the two columns of drawers, to hold the inner sets of slides. By the time you get all those stretchers in place, it's the same amount of wood as doing web frames, since you essentially need a front face frame, a rear face frame, and the stretchers for the slides.

I drew up both options in sketch up and decided web frames would be better in my situation.

With the web frames, I can attach them to the frame and panel ends with sliding dovetails, so they it will self-square, and help prevent racking.

Your design looks like a great candidate for side mounting the slides to the carcass.

Good luck with your project!
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
I'm starting a dresser project too, so I've just been through the same thought process. Blum 563 slides can be bottom mounted, so I decided to go with web frames, and bottom mount the slides. My design is different than yours, so my conclusion is different.

My design is a 9 inset drawer double dresser, with wide ends for turned columns at the corners. I didn't want to use the rear mounting brackets for the slides that attach to the inside of the back.

That meant I would have needed to pack out the inside of the frame and panel ends for the slides. In addition, I needed something in the center, between the two columns of drawers, to hold the inner sets of slides. By the time you get all those stretchers in place, it's the same amount of wood as doing web frames, since you essentially need a front face frame, a rear face frame, and the stretchers for the slides.

I drew up both options in sketch up and decided web frames would be better in my situation.

With the web frames, I can attach them to the frame and panel ends with sliding dovetails, so they it will self-square, and help prevent racking.

Your design looks like a great candidate for side mounting the slides to the carcass.

Good luck with your project!
Yes, My plan had been to side mount them. I also thought if I made webframes, the webframe could guide the placement of the slide by setting them on the side rails. But I don't know that this is necessary.

Since I'm setting my rails back from the front edge, I figure a stopped dado and notch in the rails would work. Heck, I might even just pocket screw them in.. I always have bad luck with pocket screws moving my wood as the screw seats home.... so that's at the back of my list for this project.

Certainly the piece will have a back. I haven't decided yet how I want to set the back.... in a dado groove or a rabbit.

Likely, the top drawer I'll use a regular side mounted slide.. that way I can get the maximum depth to the that already shallow drawer.

And then, should I put the thing on feet, or a base? hmmmm
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 09:01 PM
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With your plans to make your drawers only 12” front to back, you will need full extension slides to use the short drawers. Pull more than one out at a time and chest starts falling forward.
I really don’t think you or your wife will be happy with 12” drawers. That’s just not much of a drawer.
18” would be a minimum for a Chest of drawers.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-16-2018, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
With your plans to make your drawers only 12” front to back, you will need full extension slides to use the short drawers. Pull more than one out at a time and chest starts falling forward.
I really don’t think you or your wife will be happy with 12” drawers. That’s just not much of a drawer.
18” would be a minimum for a Chest of drawers.
It's HER closet... thankfully, in this house, we have two separate closets.. and happy wife, happy life.. I'll just strap it to the wall. And she only has so many panties, socks and bras and comfy shorts. I can totally see where her head is, especially having seen the space.

Think of this as "walk in closet furniture" and it starts to make better sense

We also have separate toilets.. what a BOON!

Last edited by plasma800; 05-16-2018 at 10:53 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-17-2018, 11:23 AM
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Plas… I would rabbit and inset 1/4" plywood for the rear to prevent racking. I would dado the sides for one permanent shelf somewhere in the middle height wise. I would consider stop dados for the bottom and the top to receive the sides. I would use full extension ball bearing type side slides mounted directly to the sides of the cabinet and drawers. I would make the drawers with 1/16" extra drawer clearance width wise. I would consider a toe kick at the bottom, in which case I would add a second permanent shelf. I would consider a French Cleat to hold against the wall. I would draw the whole thing up with Sketchup first to work out any problems...by working out the problems with Sketchup will make it a lot easier to build.
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-17-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gmercer_48083 View Post
Plas… I would rabbit and inset 1/4" plywood for the rear to prevent racking. I would dado the sides for one permanent shelf somewhere in the middle height wise. I would consider stop dados for the bottom and the top to receive the sides. I would use full extension ball bearing type side slides mounted directly to the sides of the cabinet and drawers. I would make the drawers with 1/16" extra drawer clearance width wise. I would consider a toe kick at the bottom, in which case I would add a second permanent shelf. I would consider a French Cleat to hold against the wall. I would draw the whole thing up with Sketchup first to work out any problems...by working out the problems with Sketchup will make it a lot easier to build.
All great ideas, thanks
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