Hardware Heroics and Hardships

I asked my blog readers for some help on installing the hardware a few weeks ago. And boy, did you guys came through. I read and thought through all the comments and reread the sections on propositions and hardware installation in By Hand & Eye. Plus I talked to the Mrs. and set forth to find the middle of each drawer, opening, and hardware location.


All the tools I thought I needed.

Since I had to locate and drill 11 pieces of hardware, I thought a jig would make sense (even though I normally don’t like these things). All the openings were slightly catawampus, which made my brain hurt while thinking through how to find right centerline for the jig. Plus I wanted to use my new Burn-Heart sector, which was also making my brain hurt. Here’s how I made the jig.

With jig in hand, I used the top of the jig to reference off the top of my first drawer. I marked the potential hole locations on two drawers and called my wife down for her eagle eye. We both agreed the location was slightly off – in this case a skosh too high. I scratched my head for a little while thinking about what I’d done wrong and trying not to dwell on the hour I’d lost in creating the jig. Looking back, I think the minute variations in the openings and the drawers meant I couldn’t use the top of each drawer as a reference point. I called it a night and layed awake thinking of solutions.

My plan B was just to find the center of each drawer and opening by using my newly found sector magic. For the top drawers I only used one pull so it was fairly easy once I had the sector and dividers set correctly. I didn’t take any pics of the process (Sorry). But they did look great.


Now with my confidence level increasing I went on to attempt the larger lower drawers. They needed to be centered top to bottom like the top drawers but they weren’t left to right. In this instance, I came in using a 1:4 ratio after experimenting with 1:5 as well. I’ll pictorially show you how I did it and then I’ll add some commentary about the process.


It’s a good thing I’ve been collecting dividers over the years. I had some success at an estate auction once where I scored some huge dividers; these were crucial since the larger drawers were 26″ long. I also regularly scour Josh Clark’s Hyperkitten site for dividers and after this project I’ll continue to do it. I used every divider in my arsenal and found some of them to be pure junk and others to be the wrong size (at least of this piece). Here is the final shot of all the tools I used during the hardware process.


All the tools I actually needed

I can’t say enough good things about the Burn-Heart sector; it’s handsomely made and allowed me to work with centerlines easily during this process. The only fault I can find is that it’s difficult to set it for the large drawers – especially when using the line of lines. Since this line is in the middle of the sector it’s hard to line up the numbers (say 12) on the corner of the drawer. I think I’ll make a larger sector using the musing from George and Jim for not right now. Installing the pulls was like everything else in this chest of drawers: it took time to rinse and repeat the steps a multitude of times. But now I have another skill set to use on future products and the results are stunning.


Ready for the next step



About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
This entry was posted in The Dresser and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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