Drawer and Case Construction


Our bureaus, armoires, TV cabinets and other case pieces are built from solid hardwoods using traditional, centuries old joinery techniques that make for extremely strong furniture that will last for many lifetimes. These joints also add to the beauty of our furniture. We offer 2 options for the backs of case pieces, 2 options for drawer fronts, and 3 options for the bases of most case pieces. The pictures and descriptions below explain these joints and options. Please don't hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.

Dovetailed Cases
Almost every bureau and armoire we make has the case sides dovetailed to the top. Not only is this extremely strong but it is also really beautiful. The Mission Armoire and Mission Lingerie Chest do not have this detail. All other pieces shown on the bureaus & armoires page do. My lateral file cabinet, TV cabinet, Shaker bookcases and barrister bookcases are some other pieces that are constructed this way. My blanket chest and storage chest have dovetails on all 4 corners of the case.
Dovetailed Drawers
All of our drawers feature dovetailed construction. This is the strongest possible construction for drawers. All 4 corners of the drawers are dovetailed. All interior drawer parts, including the bottoms, are solid hardwood - usually either ash or maple. I prefer to use these woods because their light color contrasts nicely with the drawer fronts which are usually a darker wood..
Dovetailed Drawer Frames
Drawer frames are the horizontal pieces that separate one drawer opening from another drawer opening. The drawers slide on these frames when they open and close. The dovetail joint in this case keeps the sides of the case from bowing out - and, of course, it looks nice.

Side Hung Drawer Boxes
In some pieces (Mission Armoire & Mission Lingerie Chest) we use side hung drawer boxes rather than drawer frames. This allows for a set of drawer fronts to be continuous without drawer frames between them. This gives more of a contemporary look to a piece. The drawer boxes have grooves cut in the sides and slide on strip of wood that are attached to the insides of the case side. The elimination of drawer frames also means there's no wasted space between drawers.

Shiplapped Pine Back
The standard back on my bureaus, armoires and most case pieces is 3/4" thick shiplapped pine. This is a strong but economical back. In most case the backs of these pieces are against a wall so there's no need to dress them up. This photo shows the back of a TV cabinet. The holes at the top are for ventilation. The larger opening near the bottom is for wiring.
Frame and Panel Back
In some cases the back of a piece will be visible such as a bookcase that is used as a room divider. In this situation you may decide it's worth the extra expense to have the back made in the same wood as the rest of the case. We use frame and panel construction for finished backs.
Lipped Drawer Fronts
Our lipped drawer fronts have a molded lip on the top and sides that overlaps and closes against the face of the case. The bottom edge of the drawer front also has the molded edge but is not lipped. This style of drawer front gives a piece more of a Shaker look.
Flush Drawer Fronts
A flush drawer front has a square edge that does not overlap the case sides. When the drawer is closed the front is fush with the face of the case. This style of drawer front gives a piece more of a Mission or modern look.
Angled Base
We offer 3 different base styles for our bureaus and other case pieces. The angled base has case sides that go to the floor and simple angled blocks in the corners under the bottom drawer.
Arched Base
The arched base also has case sides that go to the floor but the front has an elliptical arch under the bottom drawer.
Mitered Base
The mitered base is a separate (but attached) base that sits under the case. The corners of the base are mitered and quarter round molding makes the transitions between the base and the case. This is our most popular base for bureaus.