When we think of drawers, we invariably think of drawers like those found in our kitchens. You yank on the pull, they slide out effortlessly, then a bump from the hip has them shut. Such drawers provide quick access to oft used items.
No traditional drawer you or I make will function like these. And I have my doubts they were ever designed to. Period drawers simply don’t fit their cases with “piston” like tolerances. Most probably drooped disconcertingly when half open.
Its entirely possible our whole conception of the function of a drawer is different than those members of the 18th c. Oft needed items were likely placed on shelves or hung from hooks. Instead of ready storage, chests of drawers may have been thought of as holders of boxes. Drawers may have been removed entirely for access. When you think of highboys whose top drawers were well above eye level or the items typically stored in chests of drawers (textiles), the removal of drawers for access begins to make more sense, than having the thing hang open and expecting it to go back into place with ease.