George Vondriska

Mastering Inset Drawer Fronts: A Craftsman's Guide

George Vondriska
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Duration:   5  mins

The Appeal of Inset Drawer Fronts

When it comes to drawer styles on cabinets and furniture, everyone seems to love the look of inset drawer fronts. It’s a custom look that suggests that the piece was hand crafted rather than mass produced. While they can look beautiful if they are done properly, they can also look lousy if they are not executed with care and precision.

Why Some Woodworkers Hesitate with Inset Drawers

Many woodworkers avoid building inset drawer fronts because the process seems intimidating and error prone. If you take your time and follow the right procedure for building these drawer fronts, you’ll find that it’s not as hard as it might seem.

Starting with a Perfect Foundation: The Carcase

Build a square carcase. Inset drawer fronts are difficult to install if you build a carcase that isn’t square. The best thing that you can do to set yourself up for success is to take your time and assemble a carcase that is square and solid.

Getting the Gap Just Right

Determine what size gape you will use and build a set of spacers to help you maintain that gap as you install the drawer fronts. Take great care in choosing the gap and cutting your spacers. If you go too small, it will be challenging to install the drawer fronts without having problems. If you go too large, they will look amateurish and you will be disappointed.

Securing the Drawer Fronts with Precision

Use your knob screw holes and temporary clamps. This will allow you to secure the drawer fronts into position while you attach them permanently from the rear.

The ability to build and install inset drawer fronts properly is one of those skills that separates a master craftsman from the rest. As you advance your cabinet and furniture making skills, be sure to check out other videos that arm you with additional tips and techniques to up your level of craftsmanship.

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3 Responses to “Mastering Inset Drawer Fronts: A Craftsman's Guide”

  1. Trevor F Smith

    Its handy to keep a deck of playing cards in your toolbox. Cards make great temporary shims and changing the card count changes the height. Also, you have a deck of cards for poker when business is slow. 😸


    I like it George. Great vid.

  3. Bush Nielsen

    This video presents an excellent method for attaching flush drawer fronts. Well done.

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