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What's In A Drawer?

As we've said many times, your cabinetry is an investment in your home. Well constructed cabinetry uses some of the best construction methods in order to insure both the quality of the final product as well as its durability and longevity.


There are many construction methods when it comes to cabinet-making. For doors, we use either a cope and stick or mitre construction method. For drawer boxes, the most well-known method is the dovetail drawer box. At Sullivan’s, however, we build our drawer boxes out of 9-ply baltic birch using rabbet and dado joints.

Here are some key differences of each:


  • 9-ply baltic birch, very thick & strong material

  • Rabbet corners with dado bottoms

  • Glued & nailed together

  • More cost-effective construction method


  • The dovetail “locking joint” is constructed from wedge-shaped channels cut into the wood. The wedge-shaped pieces are called “pins” and “tails.”

  • Extremely strong joint, especially once it’s glued together, which allows the drawer to hold a lot of weight without breaking

  • Some of the earliest examples of dovetail joinery date back to ancient Egyptian furniture

  • Expensive & time consuming to make

Both drawer boxes carry the same warranty. In our experience, the only reason clients want dovetail drawers is if they specifically want this "look."


In the past, cabinet drawers would slide in & out on wood rails - either mounted to the sides of the cabinet or as a middle rail underneath the drawer. When the drawer slid out of the cabinet, the weight of everything in the drawer was literally hinging on the sturdiness of the drawer itself. Perhaps you've had this experience with a drawer, either it falls out or gets off its wooden rail. It's not fun and can be quite a hassle!

However, that’s not the case anymore. Most drawers we construct today use Blumotion undermount drawer guides. These guides fully extend with the drawer box helping to stabilize and carry the weight of the drawer as it extends. This detail makes a world of difference for such a mundane task as opening and closing a drawer. Read more about our Drawer Guides here >>


From hinges & hardware to your doors and drawer boxes, the quality of the construction method and the materials you use matters. Take care when choosing methods, materials and, of course, your cabinetmaker.


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