Building Doors & Drawers
|by Andy Rae
Taunton Press: 2007
Paperback, 186 pp., $24.95
My impression of Andy Rae is that he is an author and a craftsman who promotes beautiful work. There is a finesse in his photographed examples that draws a reader in for a closer look. Even if his demo pieces, made by himself or others, use metal drawer slides or are made of plywood, there is a precision to the joinery that gives them real class. Of doors and drawers, the spacing of the surround is always perfect, and he tells us how to accomplish that. The brass escutcheons are inlaid with precision, the dovetails set into a coved drawer front are perfect, and very fine. His examples make one want to do better.
In this new book, Rae goes beyond the title, showing how to add handmade knobs and pulls, drawer locks, touch latches, secret drawers, special dividers and keyboard trays, TV swivels and turntables. He discusses cabinetry door styles, door structure, proportions, and the selection of stock. Building them, and fitting and finishing them, are all covered in detail.
Then there are the classy little touches, such as a pair of sliding cabinet doors with a finger-hook touch latch in figured maple that pops out from the door edge so it can be grasped to pull the sliding door closed. He describes how to make James Krenov's wooden flipper stops, spring-loaded door stops set into shallow mortises, and how to inset a slip of wood beneath a door to ramp it up the height of the surrounding reveal to maintain a constant lift position opposite the hinges. There are many little touches that will take a piece of furniture from functional work to master cabinetry. This is a very inspiring book.
. . . Barb Siddiqui