I'm workin on a built-in entertainment center and made a couple (12) of
drawers without fronts. Now I'm contemplating what the *best* way is to
attach the fronts. The drawers are overlay, and there are 8 different
sizes. I use Accuride full extension slides.
1) Make fronts oversized, glue them on and later trim them to the right
2) Make the front the right size on the table saw and mount them with
screws from the inside of the drawer. Make the holes in the drawers
oversized and use washers, so I can position them.
How would you do it? Maybe with be a totally different technique.
Here's what I do.
Make all fronts the exact size you want.
Make your holes a little oversize, like you said.
Spread a little glue on the (inside) fronts.
Use a spacer (like say 3/4 inch) between all horizontals
& verticals (fronts).
You have 30 minutes or so.
Once spaced the way you like them, shoot 2 pins/brads
to fix the fronts (I shoot toward the lower half).
If you have not attached the top, then you can reach inside
and shoot a few brads from the inside, which is preferable.
Open each drawer & tighten the screws.
For kitchens with knobs/handles; I drill the drawer front,
place it where it belongs, and run screws thru the predrilled handle holes
into the box front. Then install with screws from the back and drill the
box front for handle holes and install the handles with screws all the way
though the box and dress front. Note: drill holes in drawer box for the
screws used to hold on the dress front. I use dry wall type screws (2-6)
plus the screws that hold on the handle/knob.
My drawer fronts are part of the drawers, no attached fronts. Overlay
fronts are attached to the sides via sliding dovetails.
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Making dovetails in MDF drawer fronts seems a bit of overkill to me.
besides, the client won't pay me fot that. And because all these drawers
are different sized, and they have to be exactly the right size, I
figured even making dados in the drawer front was too much work.
I've done that. if you put one screw and hold it in place as you say, they
once properly positioned, put a couple of more screws in to hold it. In
some cases you can removed the drawers above it, clamp the front and just
screw from the inside.
If you are going to mount hardware you may also need longer bolts since the
front is thicker than just using a single panel. Mark the location and
drill a large recess in the front of the inside piece.
A fast alternative is to hold the front in place then just drive a 10d nail
Common knowledge for many of us up here. Gotta say that robertson screws are
one of the more useful woodworking accessories to use. Now, if only I could
find the fool that invented Torx screws and then everything would be
And they are the most common screw around here. I'd never heard about
them either before I came to Canada. I have screwed in about 30000
PoziDriv screws (I used to built rock climbing walls) a year or so and
wish they had Robertson's heads. It holds the screw so much better, you
do a very long time with a bit and the screws are almost glued to your
He was a Norwegian guy name Tor but he kept his last name secret in case
you'd try to track him down.
PoziDriv, I've never used. They're the ones like Philips but with an extra
four wings aren't they?
I haven't come across them too often, but I've seen poorly made Robertson
screws before. They're either slightly too big, slightly too small or
they're just not square to the bit. A complete pain in the ass. The two
times I came across them I knew by the third screw they were garbage. It was
cheaper just to throw the box out than waste the time taking them back.
No, they resemble Philips, but the wings are more square. They are
mainly used in Europe, although you can buy them in North America as
well. Much better than Philips but IMHO not as good as Robertsons.
These where the self tapping screws I used:
They have a sort of saw on the spirals and go in like butter, without
pilot holes. If you need to do a lot of screwing (think decks), you
might investigate these screws.
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