Berkeley 3 Drawer Small Chest of DrawersBy Copeland Furniture
Overall: 34"W x 20"L x 35" H
- Copeland's drawer fronts are solid wood, 3/4" thick
- Drawer sides and backs are also solid wood - cherry, maple or ash - and are a full 5/8" thick
- Drawer bottoms are 1/4" high-grade plywood panels (5 Layer baltic birch)
You'll notice that our drawers are joined with an asymmetrical English dovetail joint. Asymmetrical refers to the fact that the pins (seen on the drawer front) and tails (seen on the drawer side) are of different widths. This is the gold standard in traditional joinery and is both aesthetically and structurally superior to other common techniques.
The drawer front integrates directly with the drawer side. Often you will find furniture where the drawer front is simply screwed on to a pre-existing drawer box. This is usually because the manufacturer has opted to purchase pre-manufactured drawer boxes rather than going to the trouble of designing, engineering and building the components to match their individual designs. Sadly, many manufacturers who market themselves as Made in the USA engage in this practice, effectively outsourcing components that make up nearly half of the product.
Some manufacturers cut corners, leaving drawer boxes unfinished. Not only is this unsightly, it is potentially hazardous to your clothing. Delicate garments can be snagged or even torn on rough unsanded surfaces and this becomes more pronounced with age as the unprotected wood is exposed to changing humidity. Copeland's drawer boxes are fully finished and sanded on the interiors.
Frame and Panel cases derive their main structure from the four legs which are joined by an apron assembly near the top and bottom of the case. These parts make up the frame. A solid wood top is affixed and 1/4" top- grade veneer panels are integrated into the case sides and back. Because the panels are framed on all four sides this, a veneer is the ideal material. Were we to use a solid panel the expansion of the wood in high humidity could potentially cause the frame to break apart.
Two Glide Adjustable. Adjustable wood glides are a unique Copeland Furniture innovation. Two glides on either side of the drawer are spring loaded and attached to the case side with two Philips head screws. They can then be adjusted tighter or looser to allow for the perfect fit and smooth operation. All Berkeley bedroom case pieces use this type of drawer glide.
Metal Glides on Home Office Desks and File Cabinets. All Copeland home office collections feature Full Extension File Glides. These allow drawers to open wide enough for easy access to all contents and are strong enough to support the heavy load associated with office storage. File cabinets also feature an anti tip mechanism that allows only one file drawer to be opened at a time.
Background: Solid Wood Construction
Our solid wood comes from sustainably harvested, domestic hardwood trees. We select species regarded for their exceptional beauty as well as their steady long standing popularity in the American furniture marketplace.
An important fact about solid wood is that it expands and contracts with the varying levels of humidity (up to 1% measured across the grain). Furniture made of solid wood must be designed specifically to allow room for the wood to move.
The reason manufacturers use solids is fairly obvious. Well made solid wood furniture is extremely durable and when damaged can be repaired and renewed over generations.
What are veneers?
A veneer is a thinly cut overlay of the same high-quality, sustainably harvested solid wood used in the rest of the piece, but applied over a substrate, in this case premium quality plywood.
Where are veneers used?
Our reputation is as a solid wood specialist. This is not to say we never use veneers but rather that their use is limited to the specific areas where they are the best choice.
For instance, the curved back panel of the Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build out of solids. Framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides (as in this Berkeley collection), are made of high grade, veneered plywood. In these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity. The plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension. This includes Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms as well as Berkeley Case Sides.
Berkeley dressers, chests, nightstands, bookcases, file cabinets sides are veneered.
Why are veneers used?
There are three main reasons furniture makers use veneers in their pieces:
Complicated shapes and curves are often impossible to fabricate out of solids. Very thin parts often require the strength of veneered plywood and certain design elements require the dimensional stability of veneered components.
Interesting effects with wood grains can by achieved by matching and/or assembling veneer strips in any number of deliberate patterns.
By using veneers for framed panel case sides, furniture makers significantly reduce the weight of a large case good like a dresser. Also, because plywood is made by cross-hatching wood grains, it doesn't expand and contract the way solid wood does, thus ensuring the case sides won't expand and contract over time potentially damaging the frame and structure of the rest of the piece.
This piece is currently in Copeland's warehouse. Preparation for shipping may take up to 2-6 weeks. Once prepared for shipping, the transit time to you depends on accessibility to your area. Please select your delivery location in the drop down below to get an indication of what the transit time for your order would likely be:
All shipping times quoted are approximate only and are not guaranteed.
If you live in a location that is outside of our regularly serviced area, please add one to two weeks to your transit time.