Fitting Drawers to a Racked Euro-Cab

      The frameless cabinets were put in place twisted, so now the drawers don't fit properly. What to do? June 11, 2014

I sent some frameless cabinets with no doors, drawers or drawer boxes to a jobsite to be installed. A couple of weeks later we came back to the jobsite to install the missing items and there is an issue with the drawers.

Once installed, the drawer box sits at a canted position such that the drawer box is centered in the opening as it attaches to the Blum undermount slides, but at the top it nearly touches the side of the cabinet at the left or right, depending on which way it is angled. Also, the drawers which angle to the left angle to the right once opened and vice versa.

I guess the cabinets are racked, which would cause the system holes to move (vertically) opposite to one another and result in the condition of drawer box that I am describing.

The countertops are installed, so re-installing the cabinetry is not an option. My thoughts are to bring a laser level to the jobsite and shoot a line into each opening, re-drill holes that would then all be on the same plane and reinstall the drawer boxes. Anybody have a better idea?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor R:
If your drawer fronts and doors are all overlay, that may be your only option. Other than sitting cockeyed in the opening, do they operate smoothly or do they bind, and will straightening them out cause the drawer box to rub? If the cabinets are racked, they more than likely have a bit of twist to them as well, since the backs would hold the rear of the cabinet square and only the front would be twisted.

Is the counter glued down (solid surface/stone) or screwed on (laminate, etc.)? If it is screwed you may be able to remove the screws and take the curse out at least. I would have the installer along to share the pain.

Will your hinges be able to adjust far enough to compensate for the rack so that the doors work properly as well, and be able to keep the reveals consistent?

From the original questioner:
The doors are fine. There is enough adjustment in them to get accurate reveals. The issue is not so much the look of an angled drawer box as I could install the drawer front so that it was not seen, but that the slide does not operate smoothly.

From contributor R:
You may want to put a box together in the shop and deliberately rack it after the back is on, then try out your adjustments before you go drilling more holes in the existing ones. it is most likely because of the twist. You may need to slightly shim the slides front and or back to compensate.

From the original questioner:
Also, when I said "racked" I really meant "twisted."

You are correct that the backs would be square (1/2" backs), but if they are twisted, do you think shimming alone would solve the problem? It seems like each side would need a vertical adjustment as well because the system holes (especially those at the front) would be out of line with one another. However, the back holes should be good… er… Damn, I used those new Blum slides with no third set of holes, so only the first and second system holes will be used.

From contributor R:
Yeah, you might need to do both, as the twist throws the alignment out in 3 dimensions.

If you make a box in the shop and then rack it you should be able to work out a solution with the shims (if needed) and heights. You may need to move a slide slightly forward or back to account for the twist as well.

I can't see you having to adjust the different points more than a few hundredths of an inch to have the desired effect, and as you stated before, the drawer front can be set to give the illusion that the cabinets are square.

From contributor N:
Anytime I run into this problem, I use shimming and adjusting the slides up, down, in or out, whatever it takes to get the slides plumb. I would not recommend building your drawers out of square. Anytime you do this it's noticeable when you open the drawer, especially if the slides are full extension.

From contributor S

I second what contributor N said. Drop or raise the back of the slide and re-screw.

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