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Inset drawer fronts: Tack on with a brad nailer?

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Forum topic by skatefriday posted 08-25-2014 09:32 PM 1216 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skatefriday

380 posts in 949 days


08-25-2014 09:32 PM

Almost finished with my first cabinet and I have some slab
inset drawer fronts to attach to the drawers.

I’ve seen the trick with tape, but when I’ve watched it on
Youtube I’ve seen that the tape will often not compress
enough to remove a gap between the drawer front and the
drawer itself. I don’t like that.

So, alternative ways to stick the drawer front on long enough
to get it aligned and then pulled out and clamped? Note that
I have push-to-open slides installed and will not have a pull on
the exterior.

I was wondering if a brad nailer would work? Get it aligned,
shoot a couple brads in, pull it up, clamp, drill, screw? It seems
like it might work, but I’ve been unable to find any youtube
videos that demonstrates this method and if it’s not on the youtubes
it must not be possible, cause everything is up there these days,
right?


11 replies so far

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NoThanks

798 posts in 995 days


#1 posted 08-25-2014 09:39 PM

That’s usually what I do.
I normally put in the brads and wait until I install the unit before I screw the drawer fronts on.
A lot of times when you screw a cabinet to the wall it may rack a little changing the reveals of the fronts. That’s why I wait, gives me the chance to tweak the front back straight then screw it on.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View wiwildcat's profile

wiwildcat

58 posts in 1428 days


#2 posted 08-25-2014 10:22 PM

Maybe drill the holes for hardware (pulls) in the drawer front and use those holes to temp screw the drawer front on. I never have done it this way, just trying to be helpful.

Opps, guess I need to read slower.

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

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rick1955

258 posts in 897 days


#3 posted 08-25-2014 10:25 PM

http://www.deerwood.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=36&osCsid=svnveg1csvmnre5q7jpue8o244
Try drawer front adjusting screws. The link is self explanatory. You can make your own with pan head screws and fender washers. That way you can make a bigger hole with more adjustment.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

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wiwildcat

58 posts in 1428 days


#4 posted 08-25-2014 10:32 PM

Fast cap blind nail system for drawer fronts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB50hkSaS6k

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

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skatefriday

380 posts in 949 days


#5 posted 08-25-2014 10:48 PM

wiwildcat, you missed this part, “Note that
I have push-to-open slides installed and will not have a pull on
the exterior.” :-)

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1743 days


#6 posted 08-25-2014 11:06 PM



That s usually what I do.
I normally put in the brads and wait until I install the unit before I screw the drawer fronts on.
A lot of times when you screw a cabinet to the wall it may rack a little changing the reveals of the fronts. That s why I wait, gives me the chance to tweak the front back straight then screw it on.

- Iwud4u

+1 ….
When dealing with inset drawers, a small discrepancy in the reveal in very noticeable. Good luck with the install !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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skatefriday

380 posts in 949 days


#7 posted 08-26-2014 03:33 AM

The brads worked really well. Thanks!

In fact, the brads worked so well that I don’t see why
anyone uses that thick double-sided tape.

And yeah, this is my first cabinet build and I can point out all the mistakes,
including, a slightly larger reveal around one front than around the other
front. (There are two drawers). Oh well. It’s just going in a mud-room bath.
Probably should not have started off with inset drawer cabinetry
for my first project. Oops.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#8 posted 08-26-2014 03:46 AM

I usually use special pan head screws with a pan
about 3/8” across. The drawers are drilled with
5/16” holes and the screws allow, I think, 5/32”
of adjustment in any direction. It’s generally
sufficient.

There’s another way to do it using plastic inserts
from Europe. You drill the back of the drawer
front with 20mm forstner holes and pound the
inserts in. They have a little floating nut in them
that you screw the drawers on with using machine
screws. When snug they can be shifted around
with wedges in the gap and then tightened when
the reveals are as satisfactory as the can be made.
Rather than nailing, one can go back and make
adjustments so all the drawer fronts are as
uniform as possible using these methods.

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skatefriday

380 posts in 949 days


#9 posted 08-26-2014 04:05 AM

I like the plastic insert idea as well.

I really do need a more adjustable drawer slide
option. I used KV slides (side mount) and found
that getting the fronts flush to the face frame
was really, really difficult. I probably spent two
to three hours on each drawer, and it’s still not
perfect. Good enough, but not perfect. If
this were in a kitchen I’d want better. But there’s
just not enough lateral adjustability for someone
who may not be expert at this sort of thing to be
able to mount them and then slide forward or back
where you need them. Took me forever and much
swearing and taking off, putting back on, repeat again
to get them within a tolerance I could live with.

And with all that there’s still a vertical offset, about a 1/16th
out at the top and a 1/16th in at the bottom. I can’t
tell if my drawer slides are at an angle or my face frame
is at an angle. But it’s slight and you can’t see it from
headon, so I’ll go ahead and live with it.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#10 posted 08-26-2014 04:18 AM

These doohickies

There are dowel centers too you drop in the
20mm holes, hold the front against your
faceless drawer, and whack it over the centers
with a mallet to mark the machine screw holes
in the drawer box.

You also need a 20mm forstner bit.

In terms of reveals making you crazy, if the parts are
solid wood you can do some deft shadow line manipulation
using a hand plane, rasp etc. Hard edges will make
a hard shadow line but a rounded edge softens it
and you can play with the edges here and there to
make it look as nice as possible. The eye doesn’t
discern the variations in the edge curvatures and
so forth as easily as it sees a taper in a shadow line
with hard edges.

In terms of the slides, they do have elongated holes
and adjustment is what they are for. In situations
where I’ve messed it up real bad I’ve drilled out and
filled holes with 1/8” dowel rod and started over.

As you gain experience you learn to get out in front
of the problems that come up and also, perhaps,
do more meticulous work in the shop to get
flatter frames and so on.

Christian Becksvoort, who you might expect to
be a sort of hand tool guy, had an article where
he showed how to flush the whole face of a 7
drawer chest using a handheld belt sander.
Yeah. Real traditional Shaker craftsmanship there.
I suspect however his clients want better
than Shaker. They want perfect.

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skatefriday

380 posts in 949 days


#11 posted 08-26-2014 04:23 AM

Oops, sorry wiwildcat, maybe I need to read slower also.

The blind nails look pretty cool. I may try them in the future. Thanks!

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