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can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

Posted by talley_sue_nyc (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 18, 12 at 21:43

I'm using drawer slides to attach a premade box inside a bookcase I am making. (I want to play w/ my pocket-hole jig! Not Kreg's, unfort--a cheapie.)

Because the bookcase will sit on top of a mini fridge, I am going to make the base come out all the way and have the side supports rest on the base. That way the weight of the unit will be born by the sides; if I nested the base inside,

My box is 17.5" exactly; add the slides, and that's 18.5" Then add .75" for each side of the bookcase. So that would be a base that's 20" wide.

I need things to fit exactly. I'm a little worried I might make things too tight if I don't get my sides lined up perfectly with my base. (I'm having all the lumber cut at the yard, or perhaps by my FIL, because I don't own my own saw.

Should I have my base cut at 20-1/8", to give myself a safety margin? (I can shim if it's a bit too big)

Or should I simply plan on planing or sanding down the box to fit the slides?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

Oh, and I've decided not to use the bottom-mount slides, flipping them around to be floor-mount, because I don't want to make the cabinet even wider to accommodate the lip that would stick out if I did it this way.

Just in case anybody remembered that other thread and was worried I'd forgotten to account for that.


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RE: can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

If I understand correctly, you have the box already and are making a bookcase cabinet around this box.

The second sentence confuses me a bit. May be unnecessary information for the drawer question...?
What you are doing is making a box (bookcase) to sit on top of a base unit where you will house your mini fridge? But the cabinet you will sit your bookcase on is deeper making the bookcase a step-back look? or the same depth?

About drawer:
As long as you measure the width of the glide, and then the width of finished box or drawer, and I always take 1/16th more off the box, this can be done by sanding it in that area where you install the glide. We finish our boxes with poly (to prevent hand oils from building up on the drawer boxes from handling) so this makes our boxes 1/16 or a bit more depending how many coats of poly we use. When we did not accommodate for this, the draw glide was tight in handling to open and close the drawer.

I would suggest you make a mock up with spare wood of installing your glides and attach to your box. Then measure the space you need and you will then know for sure what you need. That is if you are not confident about just doing the math. I think since your box is pre-made, you should be confident of your width measurement. (But attaching the glides to the drawer box (already finished and sealed wood) and put the other part of the glide on the one attached to the box and measure will give you a pretty good idea of that width.) Sanding the box can give you that few millimeters or small adjustment you need.

Exact measurements might be tight in the back of the box or the front of the sides depending on the straightness of the cut made on the saw, the maker of the box and how tight the box is.

We have been making pull out trays and drawer boxes for our two grown children's kitchens and now starting on ours. It has been a busy year for us with lots of drawers going through our home shop!

Here is a photo of one drawer base we made and how we constructed the cabinets with paint-grade 3/4" plywood and using Euro styled cabinet style.


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RE: can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

Thanks!

I'm thinking these bits will be important:

" I always take 1/16th more off the box, this can be done by sanding it in that area where you install the glide."

"Sanding the box can give you that few millimeters or small adjustment you need."

"Exact measurements might be tight in the back of the box or the front of the sides depending on the straightness of the cut made on the saw, the maker of the box and how tight the box is."

The box actually bulges about 1/32 of an inch smack in the middle. So I think that I may need to sand it down a little bit--it's nice to know someone has done that and it worked!

You said you sand right where the slide attaches--almost like routing out a groove, but not very deep. It all still works then?

I don't know if I'll be able to mock up with spare wood--depends on how much I have, but I had planned on doing a "dry run" if at all possible.


Next up: figuring out how to drill holes for the drawer slide--not sure I want to buy a dedicated jig just for one drawer (though, I've thought of drilling several sets of holes so the drawer slides *could* be repositioned if necessary).


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RE: can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

My DH drills holes at 32mm increments. We bought a jig for that when we were doing our custom closets in our Virginia house (now sold).

But, DH is now putting in a bottom of cabinet wide pull out tray for our kitchen's second sink station. And he told me he put the glides in too low, so he has to drill above and reset the glides, he said the box dragged on the bottom in one spot. He was trying real hard to get it tight.

Yes, we sanded with a sanding block and it seemed to take off enough of the thickness to make it work. This only works when you are very close to the measurement like you are. It is not really like making a groove, and you do not have to sand the whole side of the drawer box since above the glides does not matter (it will fit in the cabinet OK).

When you put up the 1/2 (or other part) of the glide to the wall of the cabinet, you see the holes in the drawer glide as to where to put them. If you make a straight line about where the holes will be... make sure it is straight and duplicate on the other side of the cabinet wall. Measure from bottom of cabinet to the line. Then you can put the glide over the line and mark each hole from the glide as a guide.

If you want to make a dedicated jig, it would be one using the glide as your guide anyway. For just one drawer I think you will do OK with marking a line with a pencil and make sure all the holes line up to that line.

I hope you get to post a photo of your finished project or the parts before and after! Good luck!

You do not have to worry about the mock up if you have enough confidence to go ahead. I just thought with a mock-up you could work out all the tweaking and you would have a visual in your head for any other time you want to make drawer units or add a drawer to something.

I tell you there is power in knowing how to make drawers! Leads to all sorts of projects and organizing pull out trays!


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RE: can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

Forgot to mention to make sure your glides stop before the front of the box made for it. If you are attaching a drawer front after (like we will in the drawer unit I posted the photo of) otherwise the drawer front will sit crooked with more gap on one side than the other (space between drawer front backside and the cabinet front)


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RE: can I trust the 1/2" clearance for drawer slides?

That's a good tip! Thanks, Mary_Ruth.

I may have to buy a composite square to be sure I've got my lines exactly perpendicular, etc.!


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