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Thread: Article #10: False Drawer Fronts, Danny Proulx method

  1. #1
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    Article #10: False Drawer Fronts, Danny Proulx method

    Various methods for doing this were described in the recent thread: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=29282

    This week I replaced two bottom cupboards in our kitchen with four drawers. I built the drawers out of 12mm Baltic birch and the false fronts were made out of ¾ inch poplar. Pocket hold joints were used throughout.

    The late Danny Proulx describes an easy and almost foolproof method for attaching door fronts and I took pictures of the steps.

    (1) The cupboards with doors removed and dividers and drawer sliders installed.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -1 -small.JPG

    (2) The 4 drawers painted and installed without their false fronts.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -2 -small.JPG

    (3) The four false fronts have been painted and a hole has been drilled into each in the ultimate position of the knob. A temporary ledge is clamped below the two bottom drawers.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -3 -small.JPG

    (4) With one false front resting on the ledge, a large flat head screw is driven through the pre drilled hole into the drawer behind.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -4 -small.JPG

    (5) Making sure that the door is level, drive the screw the rest of the way in.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -6 -small.JPG

    ... (to be continued in a second post becuase of the 5 picture limit)
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-14-2006 at 9:17 AM.

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    ... continued

    (6) Drive some smaller screws in from the back side. If you plan to glue the false front, just drive in a couple of screws. I did not use glue, rather I just held the front in place permanently with a small screw in each of the 4 corners.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -5 -small.JPG

    Once this has been done, remove the original screw and drill a hole to be used for the door knob.

    (7) To serve as spacers, place a piece (or pieces) of scrap wood on top of the bottom drawer(s). Level the spacers, then place a false front on top and precede as per step 4.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -7 -small.JPG

    (8) Here is the (almost) complete job. I still need to get the correct length bolts for the door knobs.

    Conversion of cupboardes to drawers -8 -small.JPG

    To the bottom right in picture 8 is the book by the late Danny Proulx from which I read about this technique. I highly recommend this book particularly if you are new to pocket hole joinery (as I mostly was 2 weeks ago).
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 01-16-2006 at 10:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    Nice write up Frank. Easy to understand and follow. But you gotta quit using those MM sizes, it's to early to get the conversion chart out

    Jim
    Making new friends on SMC each and every day

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dunn
    Nice write up Frank. Easy to understand and follow.
    Thanks Jim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dunn
    But you gotta quit using those MM sizes, it's to early to get the conversion chart out

    Jim
    Hey, it wasn't me who decided to reduce 1/2 in wide plywood to 12 millimetre wide plywood.

  5. #5
    Frank, thanks for putting that together. I think that will help a lot of people. Maybe of of the admins can move it to the Articles section, Well done. Lars

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    Question Should this material be in the articles forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Thomas
    Frank, thanks for putting that together. I think that will help a lot of people. Maybe of of the admins can move it to the Articles section, Well done. Lars
    Thanks Lars, I hope that it does help.

    I am not sure if the material could be considered as an "article", there are so few words. I consider it to be a "picture esay". But, I am a strong believer in the old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words", so maybe it would be OK there.

    It would be good if we had a "how to" section at Saw Mill Creek. Maybe that is what the Articles forum is supposed to be used for, but there is very very little activity in that forum. I would certainly support a revival to re-invigerate the Articles forum with "how to" articles and picture essays.

  7. #7
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    thanks frank!

    frank, i just used the method you described from danny proulx's book to install 14 kitchen drawer fronts very PAINLESSLY. i vote to move your post to the articles section as well - this question comes up quite a bit (usually when you're in the FINAL STRETCH of the installation process ) and doesn't circulate nearly as often as the "should i buy (insert favorite overpriced unnecessary tool" posts!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank shic
    frank, i just used the method you described from danny proulx's book to install 14 kitchen drawer fronts very PAINLESSLY. i vote to move your post to the articles section as well - this question comes up quite a bit (usually when you're in the FINAL STRETCH of the installation process ) and doesn't circulate nearly as often as the "should i buy (insert favorite overpriced unnecessary tool" posts!
    Frank, the method really does work well, doesn't it?

    I have sent mail to Aaron and Keith suggesting that this could be an article and volunteering to do whatever might be needed to make it happen,

  9. #9
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    Two more drawers and a picture of the larger context

    Margaret (my wife) liked the conversion from cupboards to drawers so much that she asked me to build two more drawers. I finished them yesterday and, again, installed the fronts using Danny's method.

    I am attaching a picture showing all the drawers and a bit of the counter and cabinets above. As you can see, this is very much a working kitchen (much like my shop is a working shop ).

    The completed set of drawers in our kitchen -small.JPG

    By the way, I am gaining lots of brownie points with Margaret, by building these drawers. Of course, she now wants even more cupboard to drawer conversions. The next two will be in our main bathroom.

  10. #10
    Frank,

    I wish you had posted this about a month ago. I just recently build 3 reception desks and spent a good deal of time getting the false fronts square, straight, and the spacing just right between the drawers. Thanks for the write up. I'll definitely employ this method in the future. As a side note, I assume that this method would also work for drawer pulls with 2 screw holes instead of 1. Any insight?
    Keel McDonald ><>

  11. #11
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    Thanks for taking the time to write-up the information on this method Frank. I'd seen the post by Mark S. previously and been interested in making drawers via this method. Your post adds some additional context concerning the overlap drawer face installation process. Since I am new to pocket holes as well, so I took your recommendation and ordered the Proulx book - used the coupon Amazon gave me for messing up my order .

    Thanks again for taking the time to post your picture essay!

    Wes

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keel McDonald
    Frank,
    ...
    I assume that this method would also work for drawer pulls with 2 screw holes instead of 1. Any insight?
    I haver used this method with 2 hole drawer pulls but Danny's book contains a project where he attaches a handle with two holes rather than a knob. I am attaching an excert from the book (which I assume is OK, becuase I know for sure that this thread has already caused three people to purchase the book) where this is done.

    drawer front installation.jpg

    I would do things slightly different than shown in the book and would still only drive one screw through from the front, then level the drawer front as shown in my step 5.

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