What Is The Importance Of Door Construction?

What is the importance of door construction? When buying quality furniture, door construction is the most important feature. So much of what is selling today in the furniture industry is a result of the...

So much of what is selling today in the furniture industry is a result of the huge influx of imports. Imported parts and components, finished goods, over 60% of the furniture being sold in America today is imported. Years ago, it was produced domestically.


In the case of domestic production, everybody sort of had their quality level. In the case of imports, it is really easy to re-invent yourself. In other words, if you are looking for a unique style, everybody could recopy it. In the market place there are just tons and tons of copy cats.




If you are going to buy a house, what are some simple things you would do? Would you walk in and open doors or flush toilets? In a piece of furniture, wood furniture, it is hard to tell by looking. So the simplest thing somebody could do is they could literally pull out a drawer. If you remove the drawer, from whatever piece of furniture you are looking at, you can examine it closer.

I am talking about wood furniture pertaining to the bedroom, dining room, hall furniture, accent tables, and entertainment center, all of those things. So at the point you open up the drawer, you get your first cast of what to look at. So the first thing is that you may have a stop on the drawer. That's a little tab that doesn't allow you to pull it all the way out. So you may need some assistance to adjust the stop or remove the stop. Okay, so once you can do that, then see how you put the drawer back in. How is the draw put in there? Does it glide in? Is it metal or plastic? When you get the drawer all the way out of the case, you can really look at the drawer itself.

So assuming that you are able to open up the drawer and get it out, what are the various runner systems or glides that drawers run on? They run on metal glides. They run on wood glides; they run on plastic glides; or they could be side mounted. So there are four different operating systems that hold the drawers in place. So you have basically a wood glide, a metal glide, plastic glide, side mounted glide, or in the case of perfect construction it would be just a box that the drawer would ride on. Now that you have looked at how to pull the drawer out, you have to do a little inspection. What do you see? Is there a dust panel between the drawer and the drawer below that? In other words is there something underneath the drawer that sort of looks like a little dust panel? When you look inside the drawer, look around the edges of the drawers. Is there a lot of running drippy spray? Is it uniform in color? Does it look like somebody sprayed it and got a lot of over run on there? Did the maker not care if you would see the inside of the drawer? That gives you a little better feel for the quality and the details. When you look at the runners, how are they attached to those glides? Are they screwed in place? Are they held with plastic clips or metal clips, how are they attached to the thing. Are they permanently attached? Do they rattle or shake or things like that? If the drawer is over 30 inches wide it really should have two glides, if it is wood. When you get drawers over 30 inches that is always a good idea.

Now the drawer box, that's the thing that you just pulled out. How is it to the touch? Is it smooth? It should have lacquer and should be sanded. So when you put your clothes in there they are not going to snag. So is the drawer smooth to touch all the way around? Are there rough edges? When you turn it over, do you see some corner blocks that are wood screwed and glued in to the sides? Is the runner that is underneath the drawer attached with plastic or metal? Is that plastic or metal not screwed in to the end of the box? So what's firm and doesn't rattle back and forth? How is the drawer constructed in terms of joinery? (The drawer itself box to the front drawer). Is the front dovetail which is like teeth in a lock? Obviously when it rattles, it means that the joinery and all other things aren't really the best.

Now put that drawer back to the case that you are looking at. You should stand back and take a look at how the drawer fits inside the case. There are two types of construction techniques. One is what they call an inside fitting drawer. That's where the drawer goes completely inside the case and has an edge all the way around that should be visible. Or the other type of construction is what they call a lap drawer. That's where you push the drawer and the drawer literally covers the opening by having an edge all the way around the drawer that covers it. Both are acceptable. One is just a little more finicky and requires a little more detail in the construction. When the drawer is inside fitting, can you put no more than a nickel all the way around the edges? In other words if one side is a quarter, and one side is a dime, or one side is a half a dollar, and the other side is a dime, then the drawer is not fitting inside the case really well, sloppy detail. So it should be uniform. If it is not, it is a lap drawer. As a consumer, you open the drawers; put your clothes in and out; and you open and close your drawers more than any other thing you do with a piece of furniture in your home. So if I were going to focus on one quality construction detail, it would be pay attention to the drawers and how they are built.

© High Speed Ventures 2011