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Drawer Slide Alignment

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  • Drawer Slide Alignment

    I installed two drawers (22dx35w) to replace shelves and doors in our kitchen cabinets. I ensured that the slides are level front to back, level across the cabinet and parallel (same distance apart at the front and back). I used 22" Accuride 3640 Series Drawer Slides. One drawer fits snugly against the face frame and the other sticks out about 1/4" on one side. The drawers are square and no racking.

    I reinstalled the slides for the drawer that protruded with a 1/4" recess from the face frame front, but it still sticks out about 3/16" on that same side.

    Is there some other factor in slide installation that I may not have considered?

  • #2
    Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

    Have you made sure that the drawer itself is square?

    Or that the glides are square with the front of the cabinet as well as parallel to each other?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

      As I mentioned they are square (within 1/16" diagonal) and there is no measurable racking.

      In my initial installation, the slides were mounted flush with the front of the face frame. I moved the slides on both sides back exactly 1/4".

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

        Swap the drawers top to bottom to see if the problem follows the drawer or stays with the slides. Pat

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        • #5
          Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

          OK.....so the drawer is square(enough)

          are the guides in the cabinet square with the front of the cabinet?

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          • #6
            Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

            Or that the glides are square with the front of the cabinet as well as parallel to each other?
            …….
            are the guides in the cabinet square with the front of the cabinet?
            .......
            OK, ROFL, I misinterpreted it the first time!

            It'll be tomorrow after work before I can check it, but it sounds like a good suggestion. These are existing cabinets that may not be exactly square. I thought by squaring everything independently, I could avoid any existing imperfections, but I may have missed an important factor.

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

              The slides are square to the face front vertically. I checked the diagonals on the slides themselves and discovered that they are out of square about 1/4". So I have a parallelogram instead of a rectangle. Since I have so many screw holes already in the mounting strips (200# slides), I probably will just live with it. I have two more to do in another cabinet, so I will try to do better on that installation.

              My deduction is that I move one of the slides forward enough to adjust for the diagonal offset.

              Does my analysis and solution sound reasonable, or should I be looking for something else?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                I don't think you'll be happy with the results that way.

                If the guides are not square with the front of the cabinet then one side of the drawer front will hit before the other does. You could shim the front to account for this, but it would be difficult to do it in a way that it all looked good.

                I would be making adjustments to the mounting of the guides. Some are made with metal ears that can be bent to change the alignment a little. Others you would just have to shim in the appropriate spots.

                It's possible that you might lose some width trying to square this up. If this is the case you will have to make the drawer skinnier or push the guides farther apart.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                  You are right, of course. In essence, moving the slide only squares the slide with the drawer but does nothing for alignment with the face frame. Basically I have to reconfigure the slides/drawer so that they have the same skew as the face frame before they will ever align. Bummer.

                  Thanks for your patience and the independent perspective I needed to help me think through this. You have probably already deduced that I am relatively new at this. I'm trying to build my skills in progressive steps based on my perception of difficulty (cases, doors, drawers, etc.). I try not to move to the next step until I understand what it takes to do the current step correctly. Then I try to develop the skills to achieve good results for that step (usually several tries). In my case there is usually a substantial gap between understanding what needs to be done and actually having the skills to do it!

                  Pat, I hope I did not sound like I ignored your input. I had tried your suggestion to try to isolate the source of the problem (helps to know the cause before you try to derive a solution). There was a slight variation in the amount of offset, but not much difference. I'm not smart enough to ignore any advice! The top drawer also has a small offset, but not very noticeable next to the offset in the bottom drawer. I tried to stay focused on the primary issue although they both have the same root cause in the lack of squareness in the case/face frame. Thanks for your help also.

                  I'll feel confident in returning to this forum for assistance with any future problems.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                    This might be too late or not in keeping with your intended project goals. But... When I remodeled our kitchen I also wanted to replace the shelves on the lower cabinets with drawers. I measured the opening and built cases 1/16" smaller than the opening. I installed drawers 1/4 " behind the front of the cases, ripped out the shelves, pushed the new cases, with the drawers installed, into the opening, secured them and installed the new doors I had made on the existing face frame. True the drawers are hidden, but that consideration outweighed problems I anticipated in drawer front alignment on existing face frames. One advantage of what I did is the lower cabinets were usable until the day I installed the drawer cases. Another is that all the work for building the cases, installing the drawers etc., was done in the shop. One mistake I made was building the cases 1/16" smaller than the cabinet opening. If I have the occasion to do it again I would build the cases to the exact measurement of the cabinet opening. Even if the face frames are a little skewed they are flexible enough so the cases will slide in.

                    I have used this technique to install overextension drawers for vanities in our bathrooms, all built in the shop, slid into the vanity opening and screwed down.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                      Tom: That's more or less what I did when I installed two sets of four drawers behind cabinet doors in built-in bookshelf for our TV room. I had two vertical pieces of 1/2" MDF for each side, upon which I mounted the rails. To keep all the rail holes aligned, I gang-drilled the holes for all the vertical pieces together.

                      To fasten these boards inside the cabinet, I put a couple of vertical spacers (scrap MDF) on the back side of each to give me the clearance needed for the face frame. I also left the rear screws somewhat loose; this allows the back end of this board to pivot slightly and allow for non-parallel sides (my specialty!). My wife just stocked all our CDs and DVDs into the drawers today, and it hasn't fallen apart yet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                        rofl,
                        I hope you see this. I followed your guidance and just finished the next set of drawers. Both drawers are exactly flush with the face frame. (Obviously I had a few other family activities that took priority before I could get back to this project.) I learned a simple but important lesson.

                        Thanks again for your patience and good advice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                          I'm glad to hear it.

                          I was bound to give good advice eventually.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                            Depends what kinda drawer slides yu got. What are the specs for clearances. Some of the soft-close slides with a 1/2" thickness specify a 7/16" clearance in the fine print for easy of closing.

                            Cupple that with a tape measure that is worn, and yer likely OK. 36" read on the tape measure could be 35 15/16 in reality,


                            Best case is the drawer is probably too wide. Fixable easy with a belt sander eh?

                            Better that than a chain-saw, which is what we like to use up in Canada.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3a-xWQKwDI

                            gotta luv it...

                            Eric

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Drawer Slide Alignment

                              You have no idea how thrilled I am that you felt compelled to register at this site to share that with us.

                              Comment

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