Hardware is Hard

Believe it or not, the finish is actually drying on The Dresser. Yes folks, it’s really going to be over soon. The only thing left to do is install the hardware. This is where you come in, but more on that later. The process of picking the hardware started as a back and forth shipping effort between my lovely wife, me, and Lee Valley in November. It ended In February with her asking someone in a local Facebook group if they were a member of a special store club and then driving to their house to pick up the hardware. Now I know where they get the hard in hardware.

Normally, I’d provide a  list of the various options we tried but that would take too long. I ordered 16 different styles and/or sizes of hardware from Lee Valley all to find out they weren’t going to work. Our favorite is here (one “A’s” for the smaller upper drawers and two “B’s” for the larger bottoms).

02W1330s03

Unfortunately, they were too big when I held up two and too small when I held up just one. Thank goodness they are doing free shipping now every two months or so.

We scoured the woodworking sources (Brasso, Horton, Londonberry, etc.) but nothing was calling to us. Or if it did, it wasn’t available in the right size and scale for this project. I contemplated, briefly, making my own pulls but I also value my marriage and I’m quite behind on the dining room table I bought the wood for two years ago (not seven years behind but behind nonetheless).

Finally, my wife suggested “normal” stores (i.e. where most people shop, like Target, Home Depot, or Wayfair). It got me thinking that I was being a bit snobbish about where I purchased the hardware. Ultimately went with these Dakota pulls from Restoration Hardware. Turns out they actually have a great selection of hardware…imagine that.

One of the frustrating aspects of this process was how to affix the pulls temporarily and then stand back to get a good look. I found this impossible to do alone. Any ideas on how to hold the hardware up easier? And lastly, does anyone have good techniques for installing the hardware? I know my wife will want them centered top to bottom but I’ve read on several instances of using 4:7 or 2:5 top:bottom ratios for hardware mounting. No matter what I decide I thought I’d make one, or two, jigs to install everything as I don’t want to mess this up. I was going to revisit By Hand & Eye and bust out my new Burn-Heart sector (I watched this video for an overview) if possible. But I do have multiple engineering degrees so a little bit of math really doesn’t frighten me. Anyway, if you have thoughts or techniques, I’m all ears.

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About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
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7 Responses to Hardware is Hard

  1. tombuhl says:

    re: hardware placement. As Marc would say, “it depends.” As I look at you holding up a sample, I feel that center might be the strongest choice…especially if it suits your wife’s mind and eye. 2:5 seems very extreme except for unusual case and hardware choices.
    I do recall brain abuse when selecting hardware for my first furniture piece over ten years ago. That was the last time I used store bought. Just can’t visualize (without pain) adding someone else’s hardware to the face(s) of my wood and work. That is a personal thing, not a suggestion for others.
    Enjoy.

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    • Thanks Tom. I never realized how personal hardware can be and also how much it adds, or subtracts, for the overall feel of the piece. I agree 2:5 is too high so that’s out. I’ll play with 4:7 and 1:2.

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  2. So I think the “non-centered” approach tends to look better for drop style harware (e.g. William & Mary drop pulls, ring pulls, etc.). Rigid pulls I always find look best centered on the drawer. For doors, I align the bottom of the pull with the bottom of the door panel, centered on the stile for an upper door (think kitchen wall cabinet), and for base cabinet/low doors, I align the top of the pull with the top of the panel, centered on the stile.

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    • Yep. I was reading something over lunch and saw those “dangling” pulls and immediately thought of the 4:7 ratio as opposed to being centered. I didn’t know where that ratio came from until seeing those images earlier today. Thanks for the additional insight Bob. Now off to lay things out and bore some holes.

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  3. Tim says:

    I’ve used double sided tape to look at handle placement. Sometimes I’ve had to mount the handle on scrap wood and then tape the wood on the drawer front. Not always pretty but it’s worked for me.

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    • Thanks Tim. I thought of that but I’ve always had a devil of a time getting the adhesive off of double-sided tape and didn’t want it to mess up the wood. Maybe my tape is the problem. Maybe I was too precious??

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  4. Pingback: Hardware Heroics and Hardships | While The Glue Dries

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