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Drawer Fronts - glue or screw?

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Forum topic by PurpLev posted 09-12-2011 03:46 AM 5015 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PurpLev

8523 posts in 3116 days


09-12-2011 03:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drawer front glue screw question wood movement season moisture planing

I’m about to put on the drawer fronts on my current project, and while I’ve always only screwed on the drawer-fronts I did so because I never took the time to finalize them properly and it was always “temporary” but I plan to just glue them in this time around. The only thing that pops into my mind is that this is a 3” wide glue up of 2 boards that are long grain and flat sawn which means wood movements. This is however similar to the glue surface I have on my workbench between all the laminations and that is holding up just fine (this is my reasoning).

So, my question to those that do this for living – do you glue on the drawer fronts or just screw them on (for seasonal movement)? am I over thinking this (I’d rather over think then under think)?

Thanks in advance.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.


10 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2536 days


#1 posted 09-12-2011 04:05 AM

I’ve never glued a drawer front. I use the drawer pull screws during initial alignment, then add some 1” screws on the inside when everything is lined up.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2091 days


#2 posted 09-12-2011 04:26 AM

I don’t glue drawer fronts. Register and screw.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2318 days


#3 posted 09-12-2011 04:48 AM

Generally I think of significant wood movement happening at 5” wide and up. But the real reason not to glue is for alignment and ease of refinishing.

Kindly

Lee

-- "...in 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 devann's profile

devann

2202 posts in 2160 days


#4 posted 09-12-2011 05:02 AM

ditto the last three comments. there is that alignment issue.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View mafe's profile

mafe

11172 posts in 2557 days


#5 posted 09-12-2011 03:12 PM

If glue then you can add a couple of dovels for alingment.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3116 days


#6 posted 09-12-2011 03:17 PM

Thanks for the responses, I guess I’ll stick with screwing on as I’ve always done (glad to know I was doing it ‘right’ all along after all).

Mads – how would you use dowels to align the drawer fronts/drawers ?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mafe's profile

mafe

11172 posts in 2557 days


#7 posted 09-12-2011 04:04 PM

I would use dowel centers if they should be hidden, or mount them with dowels from the back visible if needed. But since you have the handles I think I would have mounted the drawer fronts from the outside and then made a sliding dovetail for the handles in the front so they would slide right in and hide the mount.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 2754 days


#8 posted 09-12-2011 04:06 PM

I have glued hundreds of drawer fronts on with no problems. My thinking is—with wider fronts you are laminating them to the drawer box, which should help stability. If they were going to cup, with just a screw, they might pull out. However, I don’t see anything wrong with only screwing them on. If you ever need to replace, it is much easier. If you use hardware, the screws though both the drawer and front will also help.

How’s this for a non-committal answer?

-- http://shepherdtoolandsupply.com/

View mafe's profile

mafe

11172 posts in 2557 days


#9 posted 09-12-2011 04:06 PM

But honestly, I think screws are not a problem on a 2011 cart, if it was a old style project I would have done a lot to not have them.
So I think I would have done just as you did.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3116 days


#10 posted 09-12-2011 04:17 PM

thanks a lot Kent – really helpful … hahaha Mads – I like the sliding dovetail idea, this would have been great if I haven’t already routed the drawer fronts!

At this point I’ll just screw the fronts from the inside and glue the pulls to the fronts to give the screws a bit extra substance to grab onto. If this fails, I can always extract and glue it in as opposed to the other way around.

Thanks much for the responses. even if it’s not inline with everything else it always helps rethinking things over.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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