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Installing Cam Locks on Cabinet Drawers

The process of installing cam locks on your desk or office cabinet drawers can be challenging. I’m going to offer several tips that will make the drawer cam lock installation an easier task to undertake.

Some things you need to know right up front, if your dealing with file drawers, make sure the locking mechanism and strike plates do not interfere with the file tabs.

The best advices I can give are measure three times or more and drill your holes once. Do not drill the hole for the drawer cam lock installation point unless you are absolutely certain that you have made all of your calculations correctly.

There are several options that you can configure for the locks striking bar to interlock with. These are referred to as strike plates.

A strike plate will be attached to the cabinet rail. When the drawer is closed and the lock is turned the flat metal piece on the lock will interconnect with an L-shaped piece of metal that is attached to the rail. This L-shaped unit is the strike plate. They can be purchased from cabinet supply companies or fabricated from ½” x ½” L-bar aluminum.

Another option is to groove the rail of the cabinet to accept the drawer lock’s flat bar. Make sure your rails are made out of plywood or real hard wood such as oak or maple. Particle board or medium density fiberboard will not work well for securing drawers when they have been weakened due to the grove needed to accept the lock’s bar.

There are several types of drawer locks to choose from. Each will have to be considered in relation to the actual application that the lock will have to work effectively with. Cabinet makers oftentimes must be very creative in making these securing mechanisms work in a professional manner. The installation of a drawer cam lock is not a difficult thing to do. It does require patients; so make sure you have plenty of time to complete the installation once you start. Installing a cam lock onto a drawer can be a very challenging task; do not find yourself trying to hurry through the process.

Cabinet cam lock installation on doors involves using the same components as with the drawers.

Categories: Working With Drawers
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