Help w/ drawer slides - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-01-2009, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Help w/ drawer slides

I,m looking for advice for installing undermount drawer slides into existing 1970's vintage kitchen cabinets. I'm building new drawers and having alignment problems with the new (blum soft close variety) slides in the existing cabinets. Anyone have suggestions as to how to obtain proper alignment of the slides?
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-01-2009, 10:20 PM
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Thats a very difficult thing to answer without seeing the guts of the cabinets. If you post some pictures I could help better.

Other than that, those slides are a great choice as they have a plus or minus 1/16" tolerance. so you don't have to be as accurate as a side mounted slide.

Blum makes a rear mounting bracket that when properly aligned will add to your flexibility. If there is room in the rear of the cabinet, you can mount those brackets on a piece of plywood and staple them in. Again your cabinet needs to be able to accommodate. There also needs to be 1/2" of clearance between the framed opening and an interior partition.

If the cabinets are constructed well then all the parts are fairly parrelell and square. If thats the case you can rip fillers that when applied to the interior provide a flush surface to mount the rear of the slide. I like to mount those vertiaclly rather than a seperate rip for each slide in the case of a drawer bank.

Every situation will be different though. Tough to say what i would do in your case.

Some jigs are handy too. I'll snap some shots when I'm in the shop tomorrow.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 07:47 PM
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This first pic is showing the rear mount brackets. If the top of the cabinet is the same in the back of the box as the front you can hold the plywood piece up tight to the top and strike a line on the frame part at the bottom of the opening. Then screw the bracket on to the plywood to the line. Then staple it in.
This case the bracket needed to be flush with the side of the plywood so no vertical line was needed. If you have more room than this to a partition then we use another marking tool while we have the plywood up in the front. The thing to keep in mind is that the inside edge of the bracket needs to be 1 5/8" from the edge of the opening. So you need a mark on the ply where that is.



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This next one shows a ripping of solid stock to pack out the slide flush with the opening.

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This last is a little jig we use with a vix bit to locate the front 2 mounting hole in the slide. Pretty simple but well worth the effort.

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When you are trying to just screw the slides through the side mounting holes cut a scrap piece of ply that stands on the deck of the cabinet and flushes out with the opening. Then after you pilot the front holes you can just rest the slide on the plywood while you screw it in.

I'll keep an eye out for a response from you. Hopefully with some pictures
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-05-2009, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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A reply to Gus:

Thanks for you response. I'm familiar w/ the rear mounting bracket that Blum sells and I have those. I suppose that my main problem is the side to side alignment. I have thought of making a jig from some staight plywood. Not sure if what I have in mind will work until I actually make it and try it out. I do not have the luxury of access to the insides of the cabinet from the top. Counter tops are in place as I am trying to upgrade our kitchen by making new doors and drawers with modern slides and hinges. The doors are a snap, however, the drawers demand a bit more accuracy. I confess to be new at woodworking, but I'm learning fast. I will try to get some photos posted in a couple of days. Your idea of a block of plywood used to help locate the rear bracket is helpful. I'll try that one. I'm still unsure of how to solve the side to side alignment, but I have an idea for a jig. Remember, these are existing cabinets of 1970's vintage construction.

Thanks for your advice.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-05-2009, 07:52 PM
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Your pictures will be worth a thousand words but lacking those, this is how we do it with new cabinets. Existing ones may need another jig or method. If this helps great if not no biggy.

This plywood piece is tight against the top and the partition of the cabinet while I'm marking it. The block with "Rear Mount" on it is the marking gauge. It's 1 5/8" wide and represents the location of the side of the rear mount bracket.

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Then just line up the bracket with the lines. There is one from the bottom of the opening and the one for the side. Then fasten it tight to the top and tight to the side back in the rear of the cabinet.

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I'll keep an eye out for your pictures
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-07-2009, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Further reply for Gus:

I will attempt to post 3 photos here. I have had good success thanks to your ideas in previous messages. I installed a filler strip on the side of the cabinet that matched the depth of the space from the side of the drawer opening to the side of the cabinet. That made one slide very secure and aligned with the drawer opening. (Used a small level to keep it level.) Then used a story stick to keep the opposite slide the same distance from its mate in the rear as it is in the front. It's a trial and error method, but it worked. I started on 2 small drawers (12" deep) that are on the inside of the kitchen bar. The other drawers (8 of them) are standard 21" deep.

Thanks for your help. I hope the photos give you some kind of idea of what I'm in for replacing all of the drawers and cabinet doors in our kitchen.

My wife & I toured Sonoma a year ago. Would have enjoyed touring your workshop.

Thanks again for your advice.

God's Peace.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-07-2009, 09:40 PM
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I'm glad to hear you are having some success. Your method is sound and if that works for you, great. The only pitfall I see off the top of my head is if the box parts of the cabinet are not very square to the frame then both slides will be installed out of square.
You might check with a framing square that the box part runs parallel to a square positioned on the face before you cut that first filler.

I would find a way around using a level as the only alignment tool for the back end of the slide. The cabinet you show has rails for the roll out that are probably faily level. Try cutting some scrap plywood that can rest on top of those and flush out with the bottom of the opening. Then you can just rest the slide on it and screw it on.

Did you make a little jig for the front screws? If so great but you don't have too many to do and with the slide resting on something you could align it and pilot a hole with a vix bit.

If you don't have a vix bit, I would get one. Very handy.

Those other pics look like there is a mounting surface in place. But particle board, possibly. True? If so not my first choice.
Strange how they seem to angle up or something.

I guess the rear mount bracket is out. Thats ok as long as you can keep the slides square to the face and parallel.

I'll keep tabs on ya. I wanna see them done.

You know how to size the drawers to the width of the opening, yes?
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-09-2009, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Gus:

I did check the side of the cabinet box against the front with a framing square. It is close to being square. I think I can compensate by making the filler strip that I will attach to the side of the cabinet a bit thicker in the spot that I checked. Seems as if its only out of square maybe 3/16". I'll check them all as I go.

Using the level appears to be the answer to keep the slides on the correct vertical plane. Don't want to depend on the rails of that slide out. I will check the rails for how level they are though.

Did not make a jig for the front screws as I do not have a problem locating where to place the front end of the slide. Purchased vix bits early on in this project. Couldn't do without them.

There is a bit of particle board involved here. Not sure how I'll tackle that problem just yet. Seems I've read about some wide threaded screws that are supposedly made for particle board. I may have to gain access to the outside of the cabinet and attach the filler strip with through machine screws and bolts if threaded wood screws won't hold. Light drawer loads probably would not present a problem, but a drawer full of silverware probably would not hold up in the long run.

I am using the rear brackets on at least one side of the drawer opening where I am unable to install a filler strip. This worked OK on the two 12" drawers I have completed the installation on. These drawers are lightly loaded.

I do not have a problem with sizing up the width of the drawer to the drawer opening. Blum's website and downloads give excellent instructions on calculating the width. I'm having difficulty with the length of the drawer. My goal is when the drawer is opened fully, the back of the drawer box will align with the cabinet face. Do you make the drawer box length 21" for a 21" slide measuring from outside of drawer box to outside? I had difficulty with this on the two completed drawers. One came out very well and the other was off maybe 3/8". I can live with it, but there must be a way to make all of the drawers open to the same point.

Many thanks for your spot on advice.

God's Peace.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-09-2009, 09:02 PM
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Ah grasshopper, you seem to be doing well.

Yes I use 21" drawers for the 21" slides. I/2" drawer box material seems a little harder to get the locking devises to engage but it works. If you are using 1/2" material you can go to 21 1/8" with no problems. 5/8" material stay with the call out size of the slide for the box depth.

Not sure what is happening with that one slide not coming all the way forward. That seems a miss. If the drawer is flush with the opening when closed, it should come out to clear the opening. You will need to do a full blown investigation on that one.

Lets see some more pictures of this thing.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-12-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Reply to Gus:

Gus:

I finally completed one section of our kitchen. Attached are 3 photos of this area. Two 21" drawers & one door. Your advice was most helpful. The drawers are constructed of 1/2" maple w/ 1/4" baltic birch plywood bottoms. Dovetail joints for the front of the drawer box with simple butt joints at the rear reinforced w/ pocket screws. The attached front is alder. Thanks again for your advice. Really appreciated.

Peace,

srrobertson
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post #11 of 15 Old 11-13-2009, 09:35 AM
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Looks great!

I'm glad I was able to help. Those slides are super nice huh?
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-05-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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Good job

Great advise. Your finished job looks good!
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-16-2009, 09:30 PM
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I accept with information:Blum makes a rear mounting bracket that when properly aligned will add to your flexibility. If there is room in the rear of the cabinet, you can mount those brackets on a piece of plywood and staple them in. Again your cabinet needs to be able to accommodate. There also needs to be 1/2" of clearance between the framed opening and an interior partition.
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-17-2009, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glilugju View Post
I accept with information:Blum makes a rear mounting bracket that when properly aligned will add to your flexibility. If there is room in the rear of the cabinet, you can mount those brackets on a piece of plywood and staple them in. Again your cabinet needs to be able to accommodate. There also needs to be 1/2" of clearance between the framed opening and an interior partition.
Great ideas here - thanks for sharing peeps.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-23-2010, 07:54 AM
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1. Undermount slides should be placed as close to the edges of the drawer as possible, this provides more stability to the drawer.
2. Align the slides along the outside edges of the drawer and mark their corresponding location on the floor or face frame of the cabinet.
3. Fasten the cabinet members to the floor of the cabinet using the marks that you just made. Or, mount them on the face frame and rear mounting brackets. When using rear mounting sockets make sure to use a level.
4. Reattach the slide members and make sure they lock by pulling the drawer in and out several times.
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