Period Pull Installation


A common thought in woodworking is that it’s possible to completely ruin a project during the finish stage. The good news is that we disagree – we’ve written more than a few articles to dispel that myth. The bad news is that there is another potential stumbling block that needs to be squashed, hardware. Specifically we’re talking about pulls and pull placement.

(Fig. 1) The lack of sharp edges and the crudeness of finish are both indicators of the lack or quality when comparing store-bought hardware (left) from those purchased from a specialty manufacturer.

The choices of period pulls for your project are abundant. William & Mary pulls tend to be drops or small plates with bails, for example. Queen Anne pulls differ from those found on Chippendale-period furniture; the plates are less fanciful. And later-period Chippendale pulls are when you see pierced plates. Afterward, pulls developed by George Hepplewhite were oval in shape, and had designs carved around the perimeter and at the centers. You need to know and understand the difference between a quality pull and one purchased at a home center. And why the extra costs are worthwhile.(Fig. 1)

Placement of pulls is one of the keys to magically move your eye from the bottom of the piece, upward and toward its middle; movement which is completed in the blink of an eye, but without it your project is less appealing. Placement too far toward the center stands out as a problem and is easy to spot. Too far out is more difficult to determine and is less apt to turn away attention.

Installation Choices

When you slide open drawers, do you notice how the pulls are affixed? If you’re a furniture geek, you most likely do. We follow a couple of different installation methods, how pulls were installed during the period and a more contemporary technique.

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One thought on “Period Pull Installation

  1. Hey Guys,

    I haven’t nearly the experience you guys have but I think I read somewhere from an English publication that said the pulls were to be centered 1/6 the drawer width from the outside of the drawer front and the visual center of the pull should be centered vertically. That seems to look good in my eyes. If the drawer is small it should be centered of course. It has worked for me but I’m just a novice in comparison.


    Charles Mullins

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