Drawer glides for old cabinets?

ideagirl2July 4, 2013

Has anyone here ever installed new glides to make old drawers open smoothly? We bought a circa 1905 house and the drawers in the butler's pantry and built-ins are functionally a mess, though they look fine.

What measurements would I need to take to order the right size glides? Any tips on installation, or on brands of glides to get?

Some of these drawers are very wide so I'm guessing we might need stronger glides than normally used in modern cabinets. Or else might need some kind of support under the center of the drawer, if it would fit.

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You don't need modern drawer glides, which would be a pain in the butt to install.

The old standby which works fine is to rub the drawer bottom edges and cabinet side supports with a layer of beeswax, or a bar of soap. Should work great as long as you don't overload the drawers too much. :)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 7:22PM
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You don't need full-on drawer glides. There are "nylon" (actually a related material) tap-in glides and tapes for this problem. The problem with the soap is that the drawers continue to wear down.

Rockler has a bunch of parts for retrofitting old drawers.

Worst case, you make a new box with proper glides and put the old front onto it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retrofit drawer slides, glides, etc.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 8:02AM
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We have nylon glides on the bottoms of most drawers. But what I found most useful was a bar across the top, from front to back, to keep the drawer level. It worked wonders with our big heavy drawer.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 9:37AM
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The bar across the top is an interesting idea. The problem with our drawers isn't that they stick but that they basically refuse to stay level and upright--they slant, tilt, tip, whatever, and that (as opposed to being too tight) is why they won't go in and out right.

A few of the drawers work and it's because they have old-fashioned wooden drawer glides, complete with wooden wheels. That's what made me think what we need is glides. Why would they be a pain in the butt to install? Are there ways to make that easier?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 11:50AM
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The bar across the top of the drawer will fix those problems. We made a T out of scrap wood , 1"x1" ish. Hold the T horizontally inside the cabinet, under the countertop. Pull the T forward so the cross bar is against the front rail and positioned just a hair above the bottom of the front rail. Screw the ends into the sides of the cabinet. The bottom of the T gets attached to the back wall, make sure it doesn't touch the drawer. Leaving a little room keeps things from binding up.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 2:43PM
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