Drawer Slide Problem - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Drawer Slide Problem

I bought 16" soft close, full extension drawer slides from Lowe's. I got that length, even though the vanity is 19" deep inside, because there really isn't enough room to open the drawers more than 16", unless you stand in the shower.

The drawer box I built for the bottom turned out to be an eighth-inch, maybe less, too wide. My first attempt to mount the drawer box to the slides resulted in some gouging of the finish and a bent carrier (for the ball bearings) on one of the slides. I couldn't rebuild the box, so I just shaved a 16th off each side where the slides attach.

The second attempt at mounting the drawer on the slides (I replaced the bent one) was also a failure. I followed the directions, even watched some videos, but the drawer only goes in a few inches, then stops dead. It's seems to be hitting something on both sides. Up until it stops, it glides in and out smoothly, so I don't think the box is still too wide. It's not hitting a screw. It does seem to stop exactly where you see in the last 2 photos below, where the inner slide part touches the plastic soft close mechanism.

PS: I mounted the slide parts with 2 screws each. I will add more screws after I get this working.

I hope these photos will help you help me. I'm at a loss.
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Last edited by Other Foot; 08-04-2018 at 04:24 PM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 05:21 PM
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It sounds like your cabinet is not exactly square. The drawer goes in part way and stops because itís out of square and tightens up mid point. You have a couple of options.
Probably easier to adjust the drawer than to adjust the cabinet if you stay with the slides youíve purchased.
Another option will be to toss the metal drawer slides and install wood drawer guides.
I know thatís not your first choice but your first choice isnít working.
You can install a sliding stop on the back of your drawer so the drawer canít be pulled out all the way by mistake. The wood slides are much more forgiving and donít have the tight tolerance of the metal slide.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 05:22 PM
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I am guessing that either or both that your drawer is not square or that the opening is not square.


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post #4 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 05:24 PM
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Is it just the photo or are the heads of the Phillips screws not seated all the way? They must be flush with the slide or they will interfere with the mating slide half when trying to close. Been there and done that myself?
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 05:58 PM
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My guess would also be you are hitting a screw. Pull the drawer all the way open and when you close it, don't let the cabinet section of the slide go in, just let the drawer member in to see if that half is working.



Here's it open




When you are closing

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post #6 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
It sounds like your cabinet is not exactly square.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
I am guessing that either or both that your drawer is not square or that the opening is not square.
I don't know about absolutely perfect, but the box, cabinet and drawer opening are all square.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
The drawer goes in part way and stops because itís out of square and tightens up mid point.
It doesn't tighten, like gradually, it stops dead, as in hitting a brick (rather, plastic) wall.

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Originally Posted by Saw Dust Rules View Post
Is it just the photo or are the heads of the Phillips screws not seated all the way?
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Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
My guess would also be you are hitting a screw.
I bought #8 3/4" screws to replace the 1/2" screws that came with the slides. They looked the same, but the cone behind the head does appear to be a bit proud. I removed the 3/4" screws and used the ones that came with them, but the drawer still won't go in.

The problem I'm having now seems to be a personal physical limitation. I can't hold the sides of the drawer and lean to see either slide to guide the drawer part of the slides into the cabinet side of the slides. It's a real struggle rassling with it and I got this breathing problem. The thought occurs to me that as my lung disease progresses, I may not be able to do any maintenance or major cleaning involving the removal and replacement of those drawers, even if I managed to get them working now. I've read a few stories about how these big box store slides tend to break or malfunction in too short a period of time.

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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
You have a couple of options.
[1.]Probably easier to adjust the drawer than to adjust the cabinet if you stay with the slides youíve purchased.
[2.]Another option will be to toss the metal drawer slides and install wood drawer guides.
Yeah, I think either a different kind of slide. or wood guides. I'll do some more research and see what I can find. The wood drawer guides you described may not be able to accommodate a stop (well, maybe a pair of them on the sides) because the vanity carcass is mostly one big open hole for 3 inset drawers (see the pic for a reminder).

Thanks for the help and suggestions.

Drawer Slide Problem-bath-remodel-vanity04.jpg

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post #7 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 08:53 PM
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Who is the drawer slide manufacturer? Also, some manufacturer's drawer slides are more forgiving than others when it comes to working with tight clearances between the sides of the drawer and the cabinet. I have found the KV8400 series to be very forgiving. Also, some manufacturers will produce several products at different price points. The difference in quality is definitely noticeable. I'm assuming that since you bought these at Lowes that they aren't high end. Double check the slide's drawer side to cabinet side clearance requirement.
Check to make sure you haven't damaged the slides and try lubricating them as it doesn't take much tightness for them not to slide in.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-04-2018, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Who is the drawer slide manufacturer?
Richelieu - full extension, soft close 16"

Quote:
Also, some manufacturer's drawer slides are more forgiving than others when it comes to working with tight clearances between the sides of the drawer and the cabinet. I have found the KV8400 series to be very forgiving.
They claim the same clearance that Richelieu does, + 1/32", - 0", which I take to mean zero play if the box is too wide, minute clearance if it's too narrow.

Quote:
I'm assuming that since you bought these at Lowes that they aren't high end.
I thought I was buying a better quality product, even though it was from Lowe's.

Quote:
Check to make sure you haven't damaged the slides...
I did damage the ball bearing carrier on one slide, as I mentioned in my first post. I did repair it, but switched it out for a new one anyway.

I just ordered roller guides from Rockler. I don't have the patience or stamina to continue struggling with these. I will return the unused Richeleiu slides to Lowe's the next time I go to Reno.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 12:52 AM
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An eighth of an inch is a lot when talking drawer slides. The drawer box has a range where it needs to be from 1" to 1 1/16" smaller than the opening. If you have built your drawer box 1/8" too big all you have to do is rabbet the side of the drawer box enough where the drawer slide recesses inside. Option two would be to cut the drawer opening 1/8" wider.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
An eighth of an inch is a lot when talking drawer slides. The drawer box has a range where it needs to be from 1" to 1 1/16" smaller than the opening. If you have built your drawer box 1/8" too big all you have to do is rabbet the side of the drawer box enough where the drawer slide recesses inside. Option two would be to cut the drawer opening 1/8" wider.
You must have missed the post where I talked about doing this and showed a photo that illustrates it.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 07:58 AM
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You must have missed the post where I talked about doing this and showed a photo that illustrates it.
No, I was gone all day and only had a little time for the forum so I didn't read any of the posts other than the first one.
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 12:43 PM
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Jim's note above about the KV8400 series reminded me of an alignment issue with the 8450's. They have a little round piece of plastic that protrudes ahead off the soft close mechanism. If the slide cabinet members are not parallel to each other and the backs close in just a little bit, those protrusions will stop the drawer from closing. It's like you hit something solid (don't ask me how I know). As you are using a different slide, remove the drawer from the cabinet and check both the cabinet and drawer components of those slide looking for something that sticks out. Your slide may have a similar component. If so, the alignment will need to be adjusted. As Steve mentions above, the tolerance is 1" to 1 1/16" which is over the entire length of those slides, being parallel to each other. Also, make sure they are in vertical alignment with each other too. Good luck.

Last edited by Tom-G; 08-05-2018 at 12:49 PM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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No, I was gone all day and only had a little time for the forum so I didn't read any of the posts other than the first one.
It was the first post, second paragraph and first 2 pictures.

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post #14 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 05:13 PM
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Other Foot,
I used soft close slides on one job a couple of years ago. When I tested them, I had the same problem, but my cabinets were dead square, etc. It turned out that after I had pulled the slides apart for mounting, there was a small catch or something that had to be released in order for the slides to go back together. I am pretty sure that is what must be happening here. It took me a few minutes of bewilderment to figure it out because it was not obvious, and there was no indication in the directions about it. Look at your soft close mechanism and move that rectangular piece to the rear. That tiny curved slot in it might have the release button. This has to be done before you insert the drawer into the cabinet slide.



I accidentally double hit the submit button and the edit function will not allow me to remove the second submission. Sorry.
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Last edited by mmwood_1; 08-05-2018 at 05:20 PM.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 05:14 PM
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[QUOTE=mmwood_1;2000996]Other Foot,
I used soft close slides on one job a couple of years ago. When I tested them, I had the same problem, but my cabinets were dead square, etc. It turned out that after I had pulled the slides apart for mounting, there was a small catch or something that had to be released in order for the slides to go back together. I am pretty sure that is what must be happening here. It took me a few minutes of bewilderment to figure it out because it was not obvious, and there was no indication in the directions about it. Look at your soft close mechanism and move that rectangular piece to the rear. That tiny curved slot in it might have the release button. This has to be done before you insert the drawer into the cabinewt slide.

Last edited by mmwood_1; 08-05-2018 at 05:21 PM.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-05-2018, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, mmwood. I ordered different slides - the roller kind - so I'm through worrying about these.

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I accidentally double hit the submit button and the edit function will not allow me to remove the second submission. Sorry.
I hate when that happens to me. Just click the Report Post icon in the lower-left of the errant post, type in "double post" in the text box and submit. A moderator will take care of it.

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