Good morning. I consider myself an advanced intermediate at woodworking. I have completed many projects over the years and now that I’m retired I’m going to have a go at some furniture.
Are there “standard” dimensions for drawers, cupboards, overall height?
I have worked in aviation maintenance all my career and got used to working in hundredths and even thousandths of inches. What is the standard tolerance in furniture making?
I’m slightly confused by your post, as you say that you’ve completed many projects but that “I’m now going to have a go at some furniture”. Were the initial projects something other than furniture then?
Anyroadup, you’re right to ask about dimensions for specific items of furniture as there are, indeed, many aspects to the dimensional design of a piece of furniture that, if not a single set of standards, are dictated by the size and shape of the human body.
But there are a dozen other design considerations when making a piece of furniture. Strength, function, visual aspect, type of timber and much more. There’s no quick answer to either your basic question about dimensions or to those other design aspects.
Happily there are a thousand woodworking books of high quality from which you can learn a great deal, about design of furniture and much else. These days there are also all sorts of other media resources to learn from - blogs, videos and so forth. And woodworking forums.
Others will have alternative recommendations but here’s some books to begin with:
“Furniture Design & Construction” - Graham Blackburn. A book demonstrating design (including dimensional) principles via the design & making of several commonplace furniture items.
"“The Technique of Furniture Making” - Ernest Joyce revised by Alan Peters. A heavy-duty tome with an enormous amount of furniture-making information got from decades of actual making.
“Practical Design Solutions & Strategies” A Fine Woodworking magazine collection of articles.
You could find them 2nd hand for not too much, in all liklihood.
As an on-line resource I recommend the Fine Woodworking Magazine website. $99 per year (or $9.99 per month) gets you an absolutely enormous amount of woodworking info, in the form of digital access to all back issues of their very good magazine along with thousands of PDF and videos of everything woodworking. It does have a Yank flavour but far exceeds in quality and quantity any similar British resource. I believe there’s a 14 day try-for-nowt offer so you could have a look and then decide if you want to fork out (and be overwhelmed by an ocean of WW data).
Thanks for your response. I have built flower boxes, a garden swing (frame and bench), various work benches one of which I’m rather proud of, it has a built in scroll saw and belt sander both are stowable, dust extraction and collection system including electric remote control blast gates, power take off electrical system, etc. Also various carpentry jobs around the house. I thought it would be fun to have a go at making something a bit more precise like a piece of furniture.
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