I frequently speak with customers who ask why dressers tend to cost much more than a platform bed. It is a smaller item, right? It seems to be fairly simple, right? Well, the answer in short is that a dresser is in fact smaller, but it is many times more complex, particularly when built correctly.
What I have found over the years is that a good dresser will provide generations of loyal and dependable service without any issues, where a poor quality dresser will start showing signs of imposing demise, typically showing itself in the form of hard to open and close drawers. There are three reasons a drawer will catch.
1. Cheap slide or no slides at all, wear sets in quickly and eventually the drawer does not function. Ask the person making your furniture what brand the slides are used or if any are used at all, most are side mount and run about $5 a set retail. Our slides are Blum Blumotion Full Extension Soft Close slides, they cost $50 a set (one drawer) retail. They cost 10x more because they are 20x better. Who cares if a drawer slide can carry 100lbs weight if in a year it takes 100lbs force to close it, think about it.
2. Case is damaged. A poor fitting drawer or cheap slide will stick in time, causing damage to the case. This simply compounds the issue and creates a downward spiral of issues. Our cases are dovetailed together, not screwed, not nailed, and dovetailed. The areas that are not dovetailed are mortise and tenon.
3. Drawer boxes break. Dovetails are critical for a strong box, are your boxes dovetailed? Are they machine cut dovetails or hand cut? Ours are hand cut through dovetails, they are at least 3x stronger than a machine cut dovetail because they have that much more surface area. Machine cut dovetails are half blind, and yes, half blind does mean at least half as strong. Likewise, refer back to point 1, cheap slides will break good drawer boxes.
Dressers are ultimately a complex assembly. The case and a series of mating drawers. If the case, slides and drawer boxes are not up to the task, the whole assembly will fail to provide loyal service.
By Tarik Yousef