Center Mount Drawer Guides - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-22-2011, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Center Mount Drawer Guides

Good Morning,
I am building a china hutch for my daughter and decided on this one to try to make a center mount drawer guide system instead of using ball bearing guides.
I am using our Borkholder sideboard as a model. The guides consist of a support piece under the drawer, a small guide (looks like a large dovetail pin) that is screwed to the support piece at each end (allows for wood movement I suspect) and a piece cut into the bottom of the drawer that has what looks like a dovetail groove in the bottom.
Fairly easy to recreate; however, all my dovetail bits are 14 degree and the drawer guides appear to be a steeper angel which would be better for containing the pin.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether the 14 degree would work, or if I need to find an 18 degree or steeper bit. And if necessary, where might I find one. I have come across several but they all are listed for Leigh jigs and not sure if they would work. Also, all three of my routers have 1/4" shank which may be an issue with the larger bit.
I would appreciate your suggestions.
Thanks,
Bill
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-22-2011, 03:54 PM
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If you have to have a wood center mount, you could just use something like this.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=198

I'm not a fan of wood center mounts. Considering side mount ball bearing slides would make for a better drawer movement, without binding issues.








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post #3 of 14 Old 08-22-2011, 04:19 PM
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I agree with cabinetman. Side glides are much nicer, but if you want center mounts so you can make the drawers wider, the wood one is probably the best.

Bud

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-22-2011, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your replies. I had found the guides at Rockler before and that was what I was looking at doing, just a fan of doing it myself if I can. Have made a number of chest of different types for family members and have always used the ball bearing guides, but when I looked at our sideboard, the simplicity of the design caught my eye and the drawers will probably never carry much weight, placemats, silverware, etc.
Bill
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-23-2011, 10:06 AM
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I believe you are talking about wooden center mounted slides, not metal slides. These are a great choice for furniture, metal slides don't belong on furniture. A 14 degree bit will be fine, actually better than a steeper angle which will leave delicate edges that can be subject to breaking. You should also keep the drawer sides fairly high for the opening, just allowing enough for expansion. This will help prevent the open drawer from tipping too much and putting strain on the sliding dovetail, breaking the edges. I think I have a picture of a drawer I made with dovetail center slides. I mounted the female portion on the drawer. I made the male insert, attached to the cabinet, a little thicker, 1/16" proud of the slide so the female doesn't rub on the case, neither do the drawer sides, which are in plane with the female slide. A bit of "Slip it" drawer lube makes it all run smoothly. Don't make the fit on the dovetail parts too tight. I also used framed dust panels under the drawers which give you an easy, solid mounting for the male slide.

I don't think it matters whether you mount the male to the drawer or the female. Use something like hard maple for durability and stability. Done well, wood center slides will be around long after metal ones have corroded and fallen apart and drawers running on their sides have worn the side to meet the drawer bottom.

PS. this drawer is all sliding dovetail construction due to the full overlay drawer front and my choice. It's also the last time I used MDF for bottoms, too cheap! Poplar sides are OK but white oak or ash would step up the quality.
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Last edited by Hammer1; 08-23-2011 at 10:13 AM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-23-2011, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
I believe you are talking about wooden center mounted slides, not metal slides. These are a great choice for furniture, metal slides don't belong on furniture.
We all are entitled to our own opinion on subjects like this. If metal slides are objectionable, I would likely just use side machined runners instead of a single center mount wood slide. Traditional furniture utilized a few methods, some as simple as the drawer sliding in and out of a contained box, or framing.

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This will help prevent the open drawer from tipping too much and putting strain on the sliding dovetail, breaking the edges. which give you an easy, solid mounting for the male slide.
This is where the single dovetailed bottom wood slide can present a problem. All of the stresses are on the slide. It being wood allows it to be subjective to movement issues. There is the ability to pull the drawer out of the opening leaving you with a drawer hanging from your hand. Stops could be configured. Drawers guided by a single guide have some degree of a tipsy balance unless further edge guides provide stability.

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Done well, wood center slides will be around long after metal ones have corroded and fallen apart and drawers running on their sides have worn the side to meet the drawer bottom.
I disagree with statement. I'm still using drawers with side mount full extension slides I installed over 35 years ago that don't appear to be corroded or falling apart. They still work effortlessly and require no maintenance or frequent "waxing" of any type.








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post #7 of 14 Old 08-24-2011, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Center Mount Drawer Guides

Thanks for the information regarding the guides Hammer 1. good thoughts about the dovetail angle and since I already have a number of 14 degree bits, that will be my choice.

I am not what some might call a craftsman, but I have made a fair number of furniture pieces and a circular oak stair case for my home, so I do appreciate craftsmanship. Without trying to stepping on toes, I do agree with you that metal guides don't have much of a place in quality furniture (even if they do actually do a wonderful job and I have used them often). How's that for riding the fence!

As I said earlier, the Borkholder piece that I was using as a pattern for the guides is what I consider quality furniture. The three drawers are of different sizes, two narrow and one about 20" wide. We haven't had the piece for an extended period of time, but looking at the construction and "feeling" the way that the drawers work, it appears that it will last a good long time without problems. I don't see wear as being too much of an issue, but I suppose after many years, things might loosen up a bit. Right now, the drawers slide as easy as any I have ever used.

Not sure if anyone would be interested, but when I get the cabinet done, maybe I'll post a pic or two.

Thanks,
Bill
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-24-2011, 11:32 PM
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-25-2011, 09:37 AM
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I've worked on furniture for a long time. The better quality, 20th century pieces use center mount drawer slides, although, often square edge ones. Their longevity and function are undeniable. I use Blumotion slides when I build a kitchen, except my own which have dovetail center slides. On the other hand, Bob's Discount Furniture has slides on all the drawers. Pocket screws and dowels, too. Nothing wrong with that but it is what it is. Good luck with your project.

Last edited by Hammer1; 08-25-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-25-2011, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
On the other hand, Bob's Discount Furniture has slides on all the drawers. Pocket screws and dowels, too. Nothing wrong with that but it is what it is.
You forgot to add biscuits.








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post #11 of 14 Old 08-25-2011, 10:57 AM
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Hello,

I'm looking for a hand sander that can be used wet or dry.
I've looked at stores, but not on line as of yet.
Does anyone have a sander to recommend?
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-25-2011, 11:10 AM
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Hello,

I'm looking for a hand sander that can be used wet or dry.
I've looked at stores, but not on line as of yet.
Does anyone have a sander to recommend?


You will get a response to your question by starting your own thread.









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post #13 of 14 Old 08-25-2011, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbgill View Post
Thank you both for your replies. I had found the guides at Rockler before and that was what I was looking at doing, just a fan of doing it myself if I can. Have made a number of chest of different types for family members and have always used the ball bearing guides, but when I looked at our sideboard, the simplicity of the design caught my eye and the drawers will probably never carry much weight, placemats, silverware, etc.
Bill
You can make the slide with a table saw & dado blade if you want to do it yourself
Jim

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post #14 of 14 Old 08-26-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Center Mount Drawer Guides

Thanks!

I've got pieces cut, but am waiting tilll I get the drawers done before I finish up. If I do it first I can assure myself of a misfit.

Bill
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