Drawer issue - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-26-2017, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Drawer issue

I'm building my parents some nightstands and the left side of one drawer doesn't close quite as far as the other. I measured the diagonals and they're off by an 1/8" at most. They're false front drawers and they're currently just held together by pocket hole screws, no glue yet as I figured they'd be slightly off cause Murphy is an asshole. I'm not positive how to fix them though.

Also when I pull the drawer all the way out the right side will wiggle a bit as it doesn't seem to be fully extended like the left is.

My experience with drawers is limited so I figured I'd make mistakes.
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-26-2017, 12:22 AM
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You either have to move the guides for the drawers to the right at the back or remake the drawer to where it is out of square at the front.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-26-2017, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You either have to move the guides for the drawers to the right at the back or remake the drawer to where it is out of square at the front.
I got it fixed. I applied a clamp on the long diagonal and made it 90 degrees, then drove screws through new holes. It's not the most elegant solution and it's not perfect, but when I take a step back and look at it from a normal perspective it looked good enough to make me happy. Of course when I get right up close and personal to it I can see it's sticking out a little proud on the left side, but from a normal vantage point you'd never notice. There's also no wobbling when it's fully extended now and no wobbling when it's closed so I'm happy.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-26-2017, 09:30 AM
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I think you will be lucky if it stays. Usually when you go forcing a cabinet it will fight back. If you have the room you might drive a stick under the drawer diagonally to take some of the pressure off.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-28-2017, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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I think you will be lucky if it stays. Usually when you go forcing a cabinet it will fight back. If you have the room you might drive a stick under the drawer diagonally to take some of the pressure off.
I was thinking about that too. Should I put it on the long diagonal to help pull it into square or the short one to push it out into square?
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-28-2017, 07:16 PM
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Above you say the drawer is screwed together without glue. Why not disassemble the drawer, square it and glue it back together?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-28-2017, 08:24 PM
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I was thinking about that too. Should I put it on the long diagonal to help pull it into square or the short one to push it out into square?
When you measure the cabinet diagonally both ways one side is longer than the other so you would put a stick diagonally where it is shorter in order to make it measure the same distance both ways. It should then be square.

If it like measures 20" one way and 19" the other way try making a stick 19 1/2" and force the 19" side to 19 1/2". It should then be 19 1/2" both ways.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-01-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about that too. Should I put it on the long diagonal to help pull it into square or the short one to push it out into square?
When you measure the cabinet diagonally both ways one side is longer than the other so you would put a stick diagonally where it is shorter in order to make it measure the same distance both ways. It should then be square.

If it like measures 20" one way and 19" the other way try making a stick 19 1/2" and force the 19" side to 19 1/2". It should then be 19 1/2" both ways.
Thanks, that worked. The worst offender was not quite 1/8" off so it didn't take much force to square them up.

Another issue I'm having though is the drawer track on one drawer doesn't seem to want to engage the cabinet track. Looking at it from the back it appears the drawer isn't wide enough, but the drawer is the same width as its mating drawer and the cabinet itself is the same width from top to bottom. All my measurements show everything should be perfect, but it's off. Out of ideas.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-01-2017, 10:15 PM
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You can put a thin strip of wood under the drawer slide to shem it out if the drawer is a little undersized
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-02-2017, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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You can put a thin strip of wood under the drawer slide to shem it out if the drawer is a little undersized
Yea that's what I had to do. I don't know where the gap came from though since I measured and re-measured and the drawer is exactly 1" narrower than the cabinet opening. I did find my one drawer track was a little below where it should've been installed, but definitely not enough to throw things off as they were. It even managed to stump my dad after we both spent a good half an hour measuring everything 10 times.

Oh well, the shim worked and now both nightstands work flawlessly. Also my mother loves her new table and nightstands.
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-02-2017, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by renraw9002 View Post
Yea that's what I had to do. I don't know where the gap came from though since I measured and re-measured and the drawer is exactly 1" narrower than the cabinet opening. I did find my one drawer track was a little below where it should've been installed, but definitely not enough to throw things off as they were. It even managed to stump my dad after we both spent a good half an hour measuring everything 10 times.

Oh well, the shim worked and now both nightstands work flawlessly. Also my mother loves her new table and nightstands.
I don't know. If the drawer box varied in width from one end to the other that could explain why you had trouble fitting the drawer and why the cabinet seem to be out of square. I have built drawers before that were very close to matching in size but a little different. Then at the time of assembly got the parts mixed up where I used one end from a drawer box on the other drawer and vise versa. Then after the deed was done find out when fitting it in the cabinet.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-02-2017, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I don't know. If the drawer box varied in width from one end to the other that could explain why you had trouble fitting the drawer and why the cabinet seem to be out of square. I have built drawers before that were very close to matching in size but a little different. Then at the time of assembly got the parts mixed up where I used one end from a drawer box on the other drawer and vise versa. Then after the deed was done find out when fitting it in the cabinet.
Maybe idk. I checked the width and depth of the drawer box and all that measured up fine. Checked the width at the front and back, the depth at the left and right and everything there had to have been within 1/32 of each other. Checked the width of the cabinet opening at the front and back and everything was ok there too.

Only reason I found a gap was when I took the female track off the cabinet and slid it onto the male part on the drawer and then did a test fit there was a gap between the drawer track and the cabinet.

Like I said the shim worked I'm just at a loss as to why there was a gap at all. A friend of mine suggested warping or cupping as the offender, but I didn't notice any anywhere.

Oh well. I'm happy everything works, my parents are happy to have nice nightstands. Win win
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-02-2017, 03:05 PM
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Where you don't have access to an accurate way to cut parts, using Euro guides solves some of the problem. Only one side is trapped so the other can float. Make the drawer about 1/32" under size and it will always slide in freely.
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