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We have a magnetic child lock attached to the inside of the front panel on a kitchen drawer. Over time, due to tugging on the drawer a bunch without successfully unlatching the magnetic latch, we've managed to pull the front panel right off the drawer, and I'm curious what I should do to fix it.

Here's the opening where the drawer normally resides:

drawer opening, without the drawer resting in its tracks

the drawer resting on a countertop (minus the front panel):

drawer resting on counter, without front panel

and the front panel:

front panel of drawer

The front panel looks fine from the outside, so I'm not opposed to a kludgy fix on the inside to avoid a costly bill to replace the drawer altogether. All the sides of the drawer appear to be made of dense particle board, and this includes the piece that attached to the front panel and connected to the other sides via staples, so I'm not surprised this cheap construction eventually gave way.

Here are some more photos of what happened, starting with the backside of the front piece (the child lock is the white piece towards the left, which in hindsight, I should have mounted closer to the handle):

inner side of front panel (child lock is white piece towards the left)

and close-ups of the way it attached to the sides:

close-up of side panel where staples cleanly came out close-up of side panel where staples ripped off part of front panel close-up of front panel with piece removed via above staples

My initial thought was to pull out the staples still embedded in the sides of the drawer, carefully re-attach the front panel to the sides using wood glue, and then use metal corner braces to reinforce the inside corners of the drawer. Would that be a bad idea?

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Metal corner braces will work to some degree, but will be hideous. I recently rebuilt one in my home that had been repaired that way. You'll see them every time you open the drawer, along with the torn-out face of the panels.

I would cut a new board (solid wood, plywood, particle board) exactly the size of the inner dimensions of the drawer, and mount it to the back side of the drawer front using countersunk flathead screws and glue. This will then slide into the drawer when the front is put in place, giving you solid mounting and covering the damaged surfaces.

Carefully pilot and countersink flathead screws from the sides and bottom of the drawer to attach the drawer front via this new board. Glue would be a good idea here, too.

Plan view:

 |  |                 |  |
 |  |                 |  |
 |  |     new block   |  |
 |  |        |        |  |
 |  | ________________|  |
 |__||_______________||__|
|_________________________|
             |
             |
        drawer front
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Actually, that would be a good idea. Still wont last forever, but it's a good fix. Just make sure to pilot drill holes, use screws that won't protrude, and add wood glue to the screws too.

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