Rockler just released yet another new clamp, or rather a set of clamps, in their lineup. They designed these drawer front installation clamps to make it easy to align and hold a drawer front while you are permanently attaching it to a drawer box.
One feature setting these clamps apart from some other methods of temporarily holding the drawer front, is that they are thin enough that you can almost close the drawer with the clamps still in place. This way you can easily see and adjust the drawer front if it is out of alignment.
One part of the clamps grip the edge of the drawer box and another part grips the drawer front. Micro adjusters allow you to set the horizontal positioning of the drawer front. These micro adjusters feature a nylon tip so they won’t mar the drawer front when you turn them and jam nuts to keep the position from changing as you move the clamps from drawer to drawer.
There are some caveats to using these clamps.
First, the drawer slides must be at least 3/4″ away from the top of the drawer box, so the clamps have room to sit on the sides of the drawer box.
You also need at least 3/16″ of an inch gap between the drawer sides and top and the face frame for the clamps.
Also, the drawer fronts can’t be more that 1″ thick and the drawer box sides can’t be thicker than 1-1/8″.
Finally, the edges of the drawer front can’t overhang the sides of the drawer box more than 1-3/4″.
Setting up the clamps goes something like this. You position both the left and right clamps onto the drawer sides so the back part of the drawer front clamp is even with the front of the drawer. Then you slip the drawer front into the front clamps and loosely tighten them so you can still position the drawer front.
Using the micro adjusters, you position the drawer front horizontally, and when the drawer is in the correct position, tighten the jam nuts to preserve the position if you are doing multiple drawers. It’s up to you to figure out how you are positioning the drawer horizontally.
After aligning the drawer front, tighten up the front clamps and attach the drawer front. In theory, once you have the clamps dialed in, you should be able to use them to align additional drawer fronts similarly, without touching the stops. Of course, in practice, the actual drawers might not be perfectly aligned, so it’s not a guarantee.
These new clamps are currently $40 for a pair. Each set comes with one right side clamp and one left side clamp.
If you’re interested in the clamps but feel the pricing is a little steep, you can wait for a couple of months to see if they go on sale. We have noticed that Rockler tends to release new products at their full list price, but some products eventually go on sale.
For example, Rockler is currently offering a $5 discount on their T-track clamps, and have been offering a specially discounted bundle pack of their Bandy clamps.
Buy Now(via Rockler)
Seems a bit gimmicky to me. I would trust my calliper more.
I’d buy these, especially once they go on sale. Only down side seems to be the size limitations, but I bet if I measure I’ve never had a bigger one. Sure nicer then any of the home made gigs I’ve made for placement.
For overlay cabinets after I build a complete squared-up box first , I use it as template for marking layout lines on the false front. Drilling a few oversized mounting holes in the front of the box – allows me to attach the false front with enough leeway to get everything aligned. A few well placed dabs of carpenter’s glue makes everything stay in place once the screws are driven home. These clamps might still work – and if I were still doing a lot of cabinets – I might give them a try.
I also sometimes make inset drawers – and getting the reveals perfect with them is a bit more finicky.
Nice item but at $40/pair, I’ll keep measuring and using double stick tape.