Author Topic: What space around drawers is usual practice?  (Read 3042 times)

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Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 471
What space around drawers is usual practice?
« on: December 01, 2016, 04:51 PM »
Hi, I am in the process of making a kitchen cart with a drawer at the top, and a tilt door under that.
I just would like to know what is the accepted/usual practice given for the space around the drawers?
Is it 3mm each side? I did this for the top drawer and it seems a little big, have I erred and was it to be 1.5 each edge or what?

Is there a common accepted gap? Or is it just whatever people prefer?
Don't wake me, I'm livin' the dream!

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Offline Spiff

  • Posts: 110
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 05:29 PM »
In my opinion it depends on all sorts of factors, most of which revolve around your own choice and taste.

I personally like minimal clearance.  The most amazing fit I've ever seen is on a friends classic yacht interior.  You'd be hard pressed to get a Rizzla paper in between, but the doors and panels open with no sticking or rubbing.  It's the sign of really top rate work.  Big gaps look horrible, clumsy and cheap to me.  But that's just me.

To achieve this takes time, skill, and good materials.  You need a stable and well seasoned wood that's not going to move much.  If you're using cheap pine, forget it!  I specify poplar a lot for painted units.  That yacht I mentioned was all mahogany and teak.  Also you need to consider how stable the humidity of the environment is going to be.

Think how the fittings will interact too.  I like Blum components and specify Blumotion runners a lot.  They're very smooth and the also have adjustment that allows you to fine tune the drawer if the front is going to recess flush with the frame (which I prefer) I've had good success with this.  They cost more, but they make it easier to achieve really fine gaps!

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 471
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 05:44 PM »
Yeah, I really don't like the gap I have but it's in now and I am hoping with a good layer of paint it will reduce the look of it, even if it's a tad.
Point learnt for next time. I think I prefer less gap the better, but since in this case it will be in their kitchen-lounge environment, I guess the temperature and moisture changes will vary, esp with pine, no chance of any binding with the gap it has, so it will be ok, just not as aesthetically pleasing to me.
If I do another one then I will reduce the gap by about half of what I have now.

cheers
Don't wake me, I'm livin' the dream!

Offline Scorpion

  • Posts: 587
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 10:12 PM »
My personal preference seems to be about 1/8-inch gap.  When perfectly consistent, it's tight enough for minimal distraction at a distance without becoming the focal point.  I'm certain though it's personal preference because I've ended up there based solely by trial and error.


Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1986
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2016, 01:08 AM »
Is this regarding inset drawers?
+1

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 471
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 04:34 PM »
This needs painting of the main base and legs etc and staining-oiling for the top.
I ended up with a what I think is a large gap but once it's painted will reduce a tiny bit no doubt and will look ok I think.
Now to figure out a price for the customer.



« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 04:36 PM by Acrobat »
Don't wake me, I'm livin' the dream!

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 511
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 07:32 PM »
I usually plan on 1/16 inch - close to your 1.5mm/side.  It's easier to shave a bit off than to add something back. 

Offline RussellS

  • Posts: 319
Re: What space around drawers is usual practice?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 10:53 PM »
I prefer smaller, tighter.  But looking at your pictures, I don't think anyone will complain.