How I Install Drawer Hardware

Recently I was talking projects with a couple of my woodworking buddies.  One was working on a chest of drawers & was complaining about having to measure, mark & drill each pull for every drawer.  I kind of smiled & told him I have a simple solution shortcut for that.  Below is a step by step procedure on how I install drawer pulls on all of my projects.

After I have built & finished my project I get the smallest drawer & lay out the hardware I’ve selected.

Once I’m happy with the location of the escutcheons, I measure the location from one edge of the drawer to the center of the nearest hole for the pull & then measure the distance between holes on center.  My last dimension is the diameter of the hole itself.

antique dresser drawer with chippendale pulls

Armed with that, I grab a piece from the scrap pile & cut it to the height of the drawer.  I mark the top & side locations on the board & lay out the location of both holes.  (In this case the holes are located in the middle of the escutcheon.  This works the same if it it’s off center.)   From here I chuck the correct size bit in my drill press & drill the two lines.


Once that is complete I flip the piece over & mark the top & side.  This becomes my drilling jig for this project.  From here I take the jig & clamp it to one side of the drawer & using the same bit from the drill press I drill my two holes for the post of the pull.


Once I’ve test fit my hardware I flip the jig over & clamp for the opposite side & drill.  Once this drawer is complete, I would do the same process on every remaining drawer.  The only measurement I need is to make sure the jig is centered (top to bottom) on the drawer.


With all of the post pull holes drilled I chuck a ¾” forstner bit into my drill & create shallow counter sink cups on the back side of my drawer front.  This allows me to get my fingers & socket in to tighten the nut when the time comes.


That’s it for the drilling.  Now I turn my attention to the drawer posts of the pull.  They come longer then I need them (which is better than being shorter) so I cut them to size.  Then, using my orbital sander I round the cut edges off.  This ensures the posts won’t snag on any clothes in the years to come.

solid brass posts

Once I have that complete I install the hardware & put the drawers to use.


NOTE:  In this example I used the jig on beaded drawers.   I use this method on lipped drawers & even single pull drawers.


8 thoughts on “How I Install Drawer Hardware

  1. Orion Henderson says:

    Interesting thought so I looked it up. Ambrosia and wormy maple are the same thing-but aren’t the same thing as tiger maple. Tiger and curly are interchangeable terms. Ambrosia maple is caused by the ambrosia beetle and is quite different. It is a bit unclear what causes curly maple-most people believe it is caused by the tree growing in a spot with a lot of cross winds-the back and forth winds cause the grains to grow with the pattern. Others seem to believe it is genetic in the tree. Some people have a real talent for spotting curly and wormy maple in a living tree.


  2. Robert Matthews says:

    I have an 1823, John Lutz, secretary that has had the proper pulls removed and replaced with wooden pulls. The ” shadow” in the wood of the original pulls is that of hipplewhite shape and the boring is 2 5/16. I cannot find current production pulls that match these measurements. Can 1/4 or 3/8 boring post be used or are there offset post that can be used in this situation?


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