Drawer front installation tips and tricks?

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Forum topic by noone posted 02-12-2013 11:52 PM 15923 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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584 posts in 2510 days

02-12-2013 11:52 PM

New to drawers.

I have my drawer boxes built and ready for installation.

Is the standard process to install the drawers with the slides and then install the drawer fronts? How do you get the drawer front aligned perfectly, especially with full overlay applications where I plan on only having a 1/8 inch spacing between each drawer and door.

What are your tips and tricks?

17 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2814 days

#1 posted 02-12-2013 11:55 PM

Templates and or jigs.

View pwalter's profile


79 posts in 2822 days

#2 posted 02-12-2013 11:57 PM

I have used double sided tape with pretty good success.

View weldoman's profile


114 posts in 2295 days

#3 posted 02-13-2013 12:13 AM

Shims, double side tape, over size holes thru box front with washers to give a little fudge room before final fastening.

-- missouri, dave

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3207 days

#4 posted 02-13-2013 12:37 AM

If you have handles with short screws: bore the handle holes in the draw fronts, shim the bottom draw to the correct position, attach drawer front to draw box with screws thru handle holes, bore pilot holes for drawer front from inside drawer box. Take it apart, put on the handles, use a countersink where the screws went into the drawer box to make a recess for the handle screw heads.
Then just carry on like that for the other drawers.
If you are using long (snap off) handle screws, line up the drawer front and bore the handle holes thru the drawer box and use the handle to hold the drawer front on while you bore pilot holes thru the drawer box.
As weldoman states, an oversize hole will give you a bit of adjustment.

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584 posts in 2510 days

#5 posted 02-13-2013 04:11 AM

Great tips. Thanks!

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584 posts in 2510 days

#6 posted 04-13-2013 04:33 AM

Ok gentleman. I worked on putting these drawer fronts on all night this evening.

I used double sided tape, the 3m kind that is kind of thick.

I ended up with a not-so-perfect gap at the top of the bank of drawers that is thicker than the rest of the spacing and that gap is killing my anal self. Am I being too particular here?

This has ended up being quite challenging to get these drawer fronts all evened up. I used laminate countertop samples, stacked 2 high to create a 3/32” spacers and started at the bottom and worked my way up. I would use those spacers and then screw the front on from the inside of the drawer using a countersink bit and #8 screws that were hard as hell to screw into this hard maple face frame on these drawer fronts. I then yanked off the drawer fronts and pulled off the tape. I then pulled all the tape off and then tried to make the holes in the drawer bigger to give me more adjustment room, but then that made the holes almost as big as my countersink hole and my #8 screw would just go right through it. Frustrated, i went back to the tape and ended up with this gap.

And that double-sided tape is very sticky, and it’s now almost impossible to pull the drawer fronts off….

I don’t see how you can use both double-sided tape and oversized holes and I can’t figure out how to make the oversized hole with the countersunk hole big enough to fit a washer…... I don’t have a stop collar for a 1/2” bit which is what I would assume I would need to make the countersink for a bigger hole a washer would fit in.

Please help me get these drawers squared away!!!! I am so frustrated right now…...

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5816 posts in 3051 days

#7 posted 04-13-2013 04:40 AM

Here is my technique. The blog is for inset drawers, but overlay drawers are not much different.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4131 days

#8 posted 04-13-2013 04:51 AM

use a cam

without it

the law of averages is eventual failure

a “cam” pivots the centre where expectations fall short of making something fit

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View ksSlim's profile


1290 posts in 3127 days

#9 posted 04-13-2013 05:29 AM

Ordinary playing cards make great shims. Depending on brand, .005 to .010 thick per card.
Double side tape on the drawer.

Should give equal spacing on all fronts.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

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584 posts in 2510 days

#10 posted 04-13-2013 12:15 PM

I guess I could use these washer head screws here:

But these don’t look like they are meant to be countersinked.

Do you guys countersink your drawer front screws? Should I even care?

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2257 days

#11 posted 04-13-2013 01:23 PM

I generally use the technique renners said. If I do not have a hole for a handle, I’ll still shim everything up and then use a couple dabs of hot glue to get the front stuck to the drawer. Pull the drawer out, clamp, drill, then pop the front drawer off and remove the hot glue.

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584 posts in 2510 days

#12 posted 04-14-2013 03:31 AM

Well, I got it done.

I just continued on with the double-sided tape and my laminate countertop sample shims and it worked out pretty well except for the larger gap at the top, due to a 1/16” measurement mistake. I was able to close the top gap slightly by adjusting the salice undermount clips, which allowed me to raise each drawer +1mm to +3mm. Those clips turned out to be just the ticket….

Thanks for all the advice.

Project Reach-In Closet…..COMPLETE.

P.S. -
Do you guys use rubber bumpers on soft-close drawers? Things seem to work well without them right now, but just wondering….

View BorkBob's profile


127 posts in 2930 days

#13 posted 04-14-2013 10:23 PM

NICE work!!

-- Please Pray for Our Troops / Semper Fi / Bob Ross /

View noone's profile


584 posts in 2510 days

#14 posted 07-30-2013 07:22 AM

I just found this link which looks like a great idea I am going to try out tomorrow. The technique uses oversized handle holes on the drawer box for fine tuning.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 2106 days

#15 posted 07-30-2013 12:21 PM

Looks like all went according to plan to me!

Well done!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

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