How to fix (that is, "hide") an out-of square drawer box?

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Forum topic by JJohnston posted 11-10-2010 04:23 AM 7026 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1622 posts in 3469 days

11-10-2010 04:23 AM

I’m building a multifunction shop table – outfeed, downdraft, assembly and storage. I’m putting 4 drawers in the lower section, like so:

My intent was to have the drawer fronts flush with the face frame, and to put false fronts on them to cover the openings – pretty standard, I think. However I let 1 drawer box get a little out of square on glueup. The right side sticks out about 1/8” (okay maybe 3/16”) proud of the face frame when the left side is flush, and there’s about that same amount of room before the drawer slide goes all the way home. It’s hard to see in the picture; you can tell by the shadow of the stick on the right drawer, and you can see it when you look at the lower edge of the front compared to the upper edge of the lower drawer.

Any ideas on how to remedy this? I have a few ideas, in order of my preference:

1. Put a shim on the left side of the front to bring the false front parallel to the face frame, then push the left slide toward the back of the carcase so the drawer goes in all the way. Live with the thin, tapered gap between the drawer box and the false front.

2. Do nothing. Leave the false front out of parallel with the face frame, and live with the gap on the right side. This is just a utility-grade plywood shop bench.

3. Rout a shallow, wedge-shaped recess in the back of the false front for the box to set into.

4. Have a root canal.

5. Build a new drawer box.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

7 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3101 days

#1 posted 11-10-2010 04:28 AM

I vote for number 4. I’d rather have a root canal than to admit I screwed up…..:-)
Seriously, it probably isn’t that noticeable, you are just like the rest of know it’s there and it bugs you.
Bite the bullet and go for a new drawer if you think it’s that bad.

-- Life is good.

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 2987 days

#2 posted 11-10-2010 04:34 AM

For me, I would take a 3lb hammer to it on the bias or take another five minutes and just build another. If you don t correct it I ll bet it will bother you every day. Don t know for sure which way I would go without knowing if you over glued the bottom, etc. I have learned the hard way to check for square as I put them together. Good luck JB

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3469 days

#3 posted 11-10-2010 04:38 AM

I suppose I can always try to coax it back to square with a long clamp, but it sure took me longer than 5 minutes to build them. The actual cuts and glueup went fast, but setting up for the lock rabbets took forever.

Just had another idea: cut a big wedge the size of the whole drawer front with a planer and a tilted sled. This would eliminate the gap between the box and the false front.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 11-10-2010 04:52 AM

I’d probably take a belt sander to the proud portion.

I’m not saying that’s a good solution… it’s just what a stubborn knucklehead like me would do. Then when I finally got it flush, I would reflect on how much easier and faster it would have been to remake the drawer. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3028 days

#5 posted 11-10-2010 04:55 AM

Am I right that you have a face frame there? If so, the fix is in the bag, er box. You just need to adjust your drawer slides until the front of the box is parallel with the front of the face frame.

The slides look like KV8405s or equivalent. With those, you want to make the dbox 1/16 narrower than the opening so you have some tweaking room. Install the slides with the tabs and spring them inward a bit. Install the drawer and then tweak from the back until the box is uniplanar with the face frame.

You’ll be fine! This is not a problem, it’s an opportunity to learn how to work with these slides! Keep your teeth intact!

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3412 days

#6 posted 11-10-2010 05:21 AM

If you have extra material and it bugs you that much make a new one, if not keep it as a reminder to make sure you check your work to make sure everything is square at glue up. I have reminders all over my shop, usually make shop stuff out of scrap left over so hate to have to buy extra for minor screw ups. with the abuse in the shop it will get beat up anyway.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3469 days

#7 posted 11-10-2010 05:23 AM

I tried cabmaker’s suggestion and persuaded it back to square (although with a long clamp rather than a hammer). There was one small creak of protest, and now it’s good. Why didn’t I think of trying that first?

Another of the reasons I didn’t want to make another box is that I nailed the width perfectly. No slide adjustment necessary, and I’m as surprised as anybody.

Even though this one’s solved, I’d still like to hear about any other methods that have worked. Thanks.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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