Art Deco TV Table #10: The Bottom of the Bottom Line

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Blog entry by newTim posted 12-08-2015 05:56 PM 1442 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Bottom's Up! Part 10 of Art Deco TV Table series Part 11: Put On A Happy Face: Another Round of Veneering »

The drawers are everything in this project. They literally define the key dimensions, the angles, proportions, and the functionality of the table. In order for the table to look right the drawers also have to line up; not only with each other, but the edges of the fronts must exactly match the edges of the cabinets. In short, square, plumb, and level and all in relation to the other parts. So the question is how to design a drawer pocket or slides that are adjustable to allow for minor variations in fit and aid in the effort to keep them from sagging when open (given they are very long drawers and the lip of the table’s top protrudes quite a bit from the sides of the cabinet).

In order to do all this my solution was to use a single drawer slide, or track, that is beveled on both sides to keep the drawer body from lifting up when extended. And away we go…

I started by cutting a (dovetail) beveled channel the length of the center-line of each drawer bottom. I can’t remember the degree angle of the bevel, but I think it was 8 degrees. Later I used the same router bit to form the slides.

At some point in the process I also used the same router bit and set up to make some custom sanding blocks. Smart, very smart.

After sanding smooth and making sure the slides are working perfectly, I cut one more beveled rail slightly wider for a tighter fit. I cut off equal lengths of this rail to glue in as a drawer stop. Note: It doesn’t matter if the stops line up or are the same distance from the front or back edges. The depth will be set when I install the drawer slide on the shelf. I also set the angle to accommodate each drawer’s peculiar dimensions to ensure a tight fit. I used hand tools to cut, trim, and shape the stop blocks to match the contours of the drawer bottom.

And here’s the outcome. You’ll have to trust me when I say with a little wax on each side, the opening/closing action is extremely smooth and precise.

In these last two pictures you can see there is a gap between the bottoms of the top three drawers and their drawer fronts extend beyond this gap. This is to accommodate and ultimately cover up the drawer shelves upon which each drawer sits. The shelves also serve to connect the case sides and back and keep the spacing of these square and parallel. And, since there is a very small gap between the drawer sides and the shelf above each, the resulting drawer pocket aids in the stability of the drawer when it is near fully opened.

-- tim hill

9 comments so far

View Brodan's profile


178 posts in 2101 days

#1 posted 12-08-2015 06:57 PM

Beautiful! Your explanation is very clear. Great job. Thanks

-- Dan, TN

View Woodknack's profile


13428 posts in 3179 days

#2 posted 12-09-2015 04:50 AM


-- Rick M,

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3568 posts in 4511 days

#3 posted 12-09-2015 05:36 AM


The single sliding dovetail was a great solution. I used sliding dovetails on both sides of some drawers and have occasionally had a little problem with one of them because of seasonal and humidity changes in the bathroom where they’re installed. I don’t think that would have happened had I used a single sliding dovetail.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View newTim's profile


622 posts in 4406 days

#4 posted 12-09-2015 05:51 AM

Thanks again all.

L/W I’m still a bit worried about that and suppose I’ll find out real soon if they stick. You’d think the drawers would be hard to line up when resinserting them, but not so. Very easy. And hard as it is to believe, the drawers are slightly crooked. Just enough that if they were all inserted square and parallel to each other for the sides and backs, the fronts would be noticibly staggered. But by setting each one individually to compensate I can line up the front and hardly anyone will ever know, and nobody will care. :)

-- tim hill

View oldnovice's profile


7589 posts in 4167 days

#5 posted 12-09-2015 07:32 PM

You nailed it … I suppose that should be dovetailed it!
You got the Art Deco look that’s for sure. That is a beautiful reincarnation!

When use dovetail slides I cover the runners with PTFE, Teflon tape available at Grainger , and they slide like ball bearing slides.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3274 days

#6 posted 12-10-2015 02:25 AM

WOW….Thas is pretty awesome. Great finish as well….

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View newTim's profile


622 posts in 4406 days

#7 posted 12-10-2015 09:38 AM

Old novice you sound more like an old Pro. I looked up the tape on Granger’s site and it looks like an interesting alternative to wax. Thanks.

-- tim hill

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3603 days

#8 posted 12-26-2015 07:16 PM

Really something Tim. So very cool.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1739 days

#9 posted 12-26-2015 07:21 PM

The table turned out beautifully. Looks like it would feel right at home in the Chrysler Building :) It screams roaring twenties. Nice job!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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