A false drawer front for every sink basin, and an installation expert named Brian for every false drawer front. In this video, Brian will demonstrate how to attach a false drawer front, which is useful to most Sink Base and Range Base Cabinet assemblies! Feel free to direct additional questions to your Cabinet Coach or visit https://cabinetjoint.com to learn more.

Video Transcript

[Music] Hey everybody, Brian from The Cabinet Joint here. Today's video is going to be about how to install the false drawer front in a range-based, sink-based, or vanity base cabinet—any of the cabinets we offer that have these blocks of wood to help hold the false door front onto the cabinet. If you have not yet built your sink base cabinet, you can refer to the video below that'll show you how to build the box and get it to this point, which includes mounting these blocks of wood. What we're really focusing on here is just mounting that false drawer front because this question comes up quite frequently. Let's get started.

Okay, the first thing we want to talk about is what you're going to need to actually put the false drawer front on. Starting off with, I have my drawer front over there. I'm going to mock up a full overlay drawer front as well with a different drawer front from this job, but we're going to do inset first. So, you have to have your drawer front for the inset cabinet. You also want a couple of shims; these carpenter shims are perfect. That's going to help us get our gapping so that we have a consistent gap all the way around on that inset drawer front. You don't need those if it's going to be overlay. You're going to need four screws, ideally an inch no longer than an inch and an eighth because on inset you've only got an inch and a quarter inch thick block and then the 3/4 inch thick door. If you go longer than an inch and an eighth and you overdrive the screw, there's a faint chance you're going to pop through the front of the drawer front. We don't want to do that. So if it's inset, you want to do an inch. An inch and an eighth is the longest; an inch is ideal.

I like to use these big cap head screws because it makes it very difficult to oversink the screw into the back of this block of wood when I screw it on and therefore run the risk of penetrating the front of the drawer. It just kind of stops the screw short. If you're doing full overlay, the drawer front actually sits on the front frame, and so these screws won't be long enough. Now you have to think about half an inch, then your 3/4 of an inch, so that's going to be an inch. Then I have a 3/4 inch thick drawer front, so the right depth in there is like an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half is ideal. An inch and a half screw, and you're going to run that through. The screw will pass through this void here and into the back of the 3/4 inch thick drawer front without coming all the way through the front. So just do that math and make sure you're not using too long of a screw that's going to overdrive through the front of your finished door front.

So, you've got door front, you've got screws, you've got jigs. Now we're going to talk about clamps. These clamps are nice because, as you'll see in a minute, they're going to hold the drawer front in place, whether it's overlay or inset, going to hold that drawer front in place while I line things up, get it pulled to the box real tight, and then we can go ahead and screw it on from behind without it losing position.

Okay, we're going to need a screw gun, or I'll call it a drill gun, with a small bit. 3/32 inch is fine, whatever. You just don't want the drill tip or drill bit to be a bigger diameter than the threads on your screw, or they'll just spin and you won't get any grab. All we're trying to do is pre-drill that wood so we don't split it if it's solid wood or ream it out too much if it's MDF. So, you need that drill bit, and then you need an impact driver or another screw gun with the correct bit for whatever screws you have. In this case, I'm using square drive, so you have to have the right bit for whatever screws you're offering or using. And that's about it. There's no glue or anything else used in this. It can be nice to have a second set of hands because you don't want this drawer front accidentally falling out onto the ground and getting ruined. So, it can be nice to have a second set of hands. I'm going to go ahead and do it with just myself, so let's get started on the actual process.

Okay, let's start with inset. With inset, the drawer fronts are all back beveled because we want to make sure that on doors, when you open a door, the back edge of the doors don't kiss. So, if you can see that on the camera, all the edges just have a two-degree back bevel. So, on a slab drawer front, there is a front and there is a back. It's very easy to get them confused. You want to make sure you have the narrower, the back bevel is heading towards the back of the cabinet. I want the narrow section to the back, and I'm going to lay the drawer front into the opening. And now you can see it's got all sorts of movement here. What I want to do is use my shims to get my gaps pretty much dead on, and you can see I've got a little bit high there, so I'm going to pull that one out. And now my drawer front is pretty much right where I want it. I just want to make sure I have the same gaps all the way around.

I'm going to take a clamp and, running across the front of the drawer, I'm going to put one there and one here. You can really put it anywhere; I can put one there if I want. And now on the drawer opening, I'm going to put a third one just to hold it at the bottom so it doesn't tip out when I run my screws in. Put a third one in. You want to make sure these are all padded. Okay, this is your last shot. If you want to look and make sure you like your gaps, you can get a no-go gauge and kind of measure it. It really doesn't, it's not that critical. It's just a visual. So, I'm going to adjust that one a little bit, and we're good.

So, I have my drawer front right where I want it. Now, I'm going to take my pre-drill gun, stand up on this table here a little bit, and coming through that plywood block that I mounted during the assembly process, there's that little 3x5 plywood block, I'm going to put a little hole at the top and the bottom. And again, I don't want it to go too far in where it comes through, so make sure you set the depth on your screw bit, so on your drill bit, so when you bottom out, the drill length is only shorter than the combined distance of the block and the drawer front you're going into.

Okay, now I'll grab my impact driver and two of the screws I'm using and just snug it up. I don't want to go so far that it breaks anything. That noise you're hearing is just the impact driver clutch; it's not stripping out the screw or anything. I'm going to do the exact same thing on this side, and we'll come back on the camera and then go through the overlay version.

Okay, so now we've put our drawer front on for inset, and now it's just a matter of popping all of our clamps off and pulling our jigs out, and we're done. And I want to walk through overlay because it's very much the same, variations on a theme, but there are some things you have to be aware of. Again, we do not have a full overlay cabinet in this job. This job we're filming on is all inset, but I did find a false drawer front that will allow me to kind of mock up what the overlay process is. It's not the right length and all that, but you'll get the idea. So, pretend this still had a cavity in it. There's no drawer front here.

With overlay, these doors are going to start from the bottom of the front frame, and they go up to about an inch above this opening. These are insets; they're not in the right spot. You've got to use your imagination with me here. What you'll do is open your doors, grab the toeboard backer that came with your cabinet (it's the piece that goes down in here). If you haven't installed it yet, if you have installed it, any piece of 1/2 inch material will do just fine. You just kind of lay it across the top. You can keep the door shut if you want to because on overlay, the doors are sticking proud of the front frame. On inset, I have to open them because I don't have overlay doors below. But anyway, that's going to give you the exact gap you would need between your bottom doors and your false drawer front.

Then it's just a matter of taking the false drawer front for your overlay job and laying it on top. Normally, if I had full overlay doors that ended a quarter or a half an inch higher than this, this would put this right up in here. Okay, so I'd have the proper gapping. We're just mocking this up for illustrative purposes. This gives me the exact half-inch I need between the tops of my doors and the bottom of my drawer front, and then it's the same exact process. I'm going to clamp it, just for illustrating, and then I can do the same thing down here if I wanted to. I can clamp the drawer front on the bottom once I move my thing out of the way. So, pretend I did this. I got that, and this can come out, and I can now clamp that one. Now my drawer front's not going to move, and I can do the same thing and come in the back with inch and a half screws because, again, I've got a 1/2 inch of material, 3

/4 inch drawer front, that's an inch and a quarter. I want at least a quarter of an inch, ideally a half in here, so you can go up to an inch and 3/4 screw, no longer because you don't want to come through the front. Just make sure you measure your screw, and you're going to have enough material to go into the back of that drawer. It's the exact same process I showed earlier: drill two holes, run the screw in, making sure it doesn't come through the front, and you're done. Take the clamps off.

The one thing I want to stress with overlay is you have to put door bumpers on the back of this drawer front. Remember, your doors have door bumpers on them, so when they hit the front frame, they're standing off the front frame by 1/8 of an inch, 3/16 of an inch, whatever the thickness of your door bumper is. This false drawer front has to match that, so even though you're screwing it on from behind, you want to put a door bumper on each corner of your drawer front before you mount it and get all these elevations because once you screw it on, you want that same gap, or your drawer front will look like it's sucked in more than your door below it. So to get everything on the same vertical plane, put door bumpers on your corners. You can even put one here and here so your drawer front doesn't buckle on you. You're not going to see it. You're never going to open that drawer.

Okay, so door bumpers, clamp it on using the spacer as your guide, and then run your screws in the back, and you are good to go. If you have any questions, contact your cabinet coach. They're happy to help you out. This is all just the simple, fussy work that goes along with fitting up. It really isn't that hard as long as you take your time and use the clamps and tools at your disposal. Thanks for watching, everybody.


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