Best Way To Attach Drawer Fronts?

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Forum topic by Adamal posted 12-14-2014 06:54 PM 1131 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 1995 days

12-14-2014 06:54 PM

Hi all, I’m building an eight drawer workbench for my shop and I’m trying to figure out the best method of attaching the drawer fronts while keeping them straight.

They’re overlapping fronts rabbeted on the back and rounded over on the fronts. I need to leave an 1/8” between drawers. This is my first project of this sort and I can’t figure out a way to position them perfectly and attach them so that they stay aligned. I know they sell the drawer adjusters which from what I gather is a cam that allows adjustment, but this is for the shop…

Any ideas?

BTW, yes the one drawer is shorter than the others.


Here’s a pic or two:

3 replies so far

View bonesbr549's profile


1546 posts in 3061 days

#1 posted 12-14-2014 08:47 PM

Well, in all you typed the key I saw was you want a 1/8” gap between drawers. For me if thats the key requirement. I would make a template and get the bottom ones perfect. I’d get the spacing right make a mdf spaer to get it from the bottom on both sides and from the left. Then take a pin nailer put two pins in the drawer leaving them proud and cut the heads off with plyers. Then get the drawer faces set and press on to the fronts. This will mark them and glue the first ones on. Then it’s simple 1/8 spacers and go up the carcass. The pin nails are perfect to make the markers I use them all the time. Templates make the placement repeatable

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View RazedGrain's profile


16 posts in 1966 days

#2 posted 12-14-2014 09:10 PM

Spacers are your best friend. Take some scrap and make some 1/8” spacers.

Judging from the pics your fronts will be inset (vs overlay). Take all the drawers out except the bottom one.

Put 2 spacers on the bottom rail of the case and use some on the sides to ensure even reveal. Clamp the front in place, and secure with screws from the inside.

Put the next drawer in, rinse and repeat putting spacers on top of the previous drawer front.

Where this gets tricky is the top drawer. You can use pins/brads to secure then open drawer, clamp and drive screws, or use hot glue, double stick tape, or put screws through your handle/knob holes, etc.

-- - Jeff - Hamilton, ON, Canada

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2525 days

#3 posted 12-14-2014 09:56 PM

Or you do it like the kitchen cabinet guys attach false fronts. Drill 2 oversize holes in each inner front and 2 corresponding pilot holes (correct size, not oversize) in the back of each false front. Be fairly precise with your layout.

Then use washer head screws to attach the false fronts. Tighten them so the fronts can be adjusted, but will stay put on their own. Get your bottom fronts set exactly and tighten them securely. Then use a spacer to work up.

Some installers don’t bother with laying out locations on the back of the false fronts. They get the bottom fronts set and in the process of working up, they use the oversize holes to mark the back of each false front. Less work and more precise that way, but you need to have access to the cabinet from the top.

Once you’ve got all drawer fronts exactly where you want them, add your handles, drilling through both fronts. That will lock the false fronts in place so they cannot move.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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