Inconspicuous Drawer Front Mounting Methods

Advice on a tricky attachment problem: hiding the fasteners for a drawer front when the geometry leaves you few easy options. November 15, 2011

On occasion, one of our designs will call for either a flat 1/4" or 1/2" reverse raise panel drawer fronts, which we must then mount onto dovetailed drawer boxes. Our current method is to run a pocket hole on the inside of the drawer box itself, the angling of the pocket just allowing the screw to reach the stiles. By doing that Iím left with the problem of the exposed pocket hole. Does anyone have any ideas which can securely fasten the front to the box without unsightly hardware or holes?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor F:
How do you feel about using a keyhole router bit and a couple of screws? Similar to how surge protectors are mounted. After you adjust the drawer front on the screws, you could tack it in from the underside of the drawer with some brads. I've never known a client that complained about the screw holes though. I know that you're trying to provide a fantastic product but you may be over thinking this. If you're going to mount any knobs or handles, isn't that screw going to show?

From contributor Y:
You should still have enough room to catch the top rail or even the stiles with a standard drawer front screw and catch the bottom rail through the bottom lip of the drawer box. You still have some adjustability should you need to tweak the drawer fronts, and the screw heads on drawer front screws arenít unsightly like the pocket hole screws or a regular flathead screw.

From contributor M:
As Contributor Y said, size your drawer box so you can catch the top rail and bottom lip of the drawer box.

From contributor L:
I use washerhead screws through 8mm holes (for adjustability) with the holes nearly flush to the sides of the drawer box to catch the stiles. The drawer pulls further secure the front to the box.

From the original questioner:
A large stumbling block as far as catching the stiles and rails is the fact that we use a 5/8" plow on our stiles and rails. Additionally, we often reduce the size of the rails on drawer fronts to 1 3/4" from 2 1/4", which pretty much puts the rails in no man's land for screws. The drawer boxes are already pretty much as large as they can be. We're thinking of creating a corner drilling jig which will drill a pilot hole in the box at the correct angle to catch stiles, then fastening the front on with stainless trim screws, sinking the head just past the surface in the corner. A little hole in the corner with a shiny screw just showing is a heck of a lot better than a glaring pocket hole, we're thinking.

From contributor J:
We have used the figure eight fasteners before in this situation. I countersink the front of the drawer box right at the sides the thickness of the fastener (1/8") with a paddle bit. I then screw those in from the front. I install the larger part of the figure eight on the drawer box where it's hidden. Place your fronts where you want them on the drawer box and run a 5/8" screw through the other half of the figure eight. That is usually enough to get you into the meat of the front and they are hardly noticeable. Attaching the pull locks it all in place. Hope this makes sense.