by Megan Fitzpatrick
Well-made and well-fit drawers are a calling card of the best furniture makers; David Charlesworth’s video “Drawer Making and Fitting” (Lie-Nielsen) can help you achieve such mastery in the high-end English Arts & Crafts tradition.
What this means is drawer construction with excellent materials, perfect joint layout for the stock thickness and drawer size, drawer slips, stops and perfect reveals – but it also means a drawer that glides out for about two-thirds of its travel from the carcase, then slightly tightens in its opening to prevent the user from pulling it out by mistake.
As with all of Charlesworth’s videos, the amount of detail he goes into on almost every step of the high-end drawer process is remarkable. While it’s not intended for beginners (he doesn’t teach you herein to cut dovetails, for example), if you already know the basics of construction, drawer joinery and fitting, this video will make you better at all three.
Even if you don’t aspire to the insane level of precision he displays, Charlesworth’s techniques can be adapted piecemeal to solve many construction and fitting problems – and who among us doesn’t have a drawer-fitting problem from time to time? (And perhaps you’ll resolve to try a new technique – look for drawer slips from me in the near future.)
Some might argue the pace of instruction is a little slow (the video runs 162 minutes) – but I find Charlesworth’s methodical approach allows even the most perplexing concepts to sink in.
The DVD is available at both shop woodworking.com and lie-nielsen.com; a download is available only from Lie-Nielsen.