Five-Piece Drawer Front Attachment Tips

Methods for attaching drawer fronts that are secure and allow adjustment. February 11, 2010

How do you attach a 5 piece drawer front that has a plywood insert to the drawer box, and still have the ability to make fine adjustments? Cam adjusters are too big to work, and I don't like to use hot melt glue.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor P:
Use special drawer front screws. They have a large, flat head. You then drill oversize holes in the drawer box, which gives you your adjustability.

From contributor T:
I understand the problem, and it has always been daunting to me as well. I use tapered head screws that are sunk flush with the drawer box face when installing drawer fronts. The problem arises when the inside edge of the drawer is barely able to be hit by a screw even when angled. A pan head screw really doesn't adjust easily when angled either. When you do angle your screw, if you don't pre-drill in the drawer front stile, it wants to split out because you're shooting that screw into the rabbeted area for the panel. When I sell a job with framed drawer fronts, I always bump to 2 1/2" stiles for this very purpose. I always lock my drawer fronts in with a couple pin nails after adjustment to hold them in position.

From contributor C:
I often do what contributor P does. I will sometimes use double sided tape to stick the drawer front dead on, so it will hopefully need no adjustment, then screw it on.

From contributor I:
I don't understand what you mean by plywood insert. Can you not screw into a rail or stile because the rails/stiles are too narrow? If so, glue a backer strip to the back of the panel to the thickness of the rails/stiles, then screw as usual. The screws for the pulls will further anchor the fronts.

From contributor A:
Drill 5/16" holes and use the washer head drawer front screws. Drill from the outside of the box to get the hole in the corner. You may even have to use a screwdriver. Quickscrews distributes the best screws.

From contributor F:
Interesting. I just finished a job with five piece plywood panel drawer fronts. The stiles were 2.25" and I was able to use the Blum cam adjusters to attach to the drawer boxes. I remember that the bore for the adjusters did take a bit of the panel edge, but nothing showed on the face. These drawer boxes had .5" side clearance.

From contributor R:
Use item number 103559bn from Hardware Resources. Countersink the round part into the drawer box with a Forstner bit and you have the adjustable tab sticking out to screw to the back of the drawer front.

From contributor J:
Make your drawer boxes tall enough so you can screw into the top rail.

From the original questioner:
Thanks! These are all great ideas that I didn't think about before. I'll give them a try.

From contributor B:
Use Metabox drawers - simple, effective and painless. No fussing around.