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Thread: Drawer Slides - How long?

  1. #1

    Drawer Slides - How long?

    I will be building some shop cabinets in a couple of weeks and need to buy some drawer slides. I have virtually no cabinet making experience, so I am indeed a bit green. If my base cabinets are 24" in depth, how long should my (full extension) drawer slides be? I am guessing 22" slides should work well. Does it matter if the cabinets are to be face frame or frameless (I am leaning towards frameless).

    The lengths I can get are 18", 20", 22" and 24". 24" would be too long for a 24" base cabinet, correct? What about 22"?
    Regards,

    Glen

    Woodworking: It's a joinery.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Sparta, MI (West Michigan)
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    For a typical nominl 24" deep overall cabinet a 22", or 550mm is exactly the length slide you want to use. In practical terms, it makes no difference if you build face-frame or frameless for slide length, though you may need to either blockout the sides of the cabinet or use a rear mounting bracket if you go the face-frame route.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    Glen,

    I just built two rolling carts/cabinets. I used 14" on the first cabinet and 18" slides on the 2nd.

    Longer is better, IMHO.
    Ken

  4. #4
    The confusing part for a cabinet neophyte such as myself is why one would place slides shorter than 22" in a 24" base cabinet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Glen,

    I just built two rolling carts/cabinets. I used 14" on the first cabinet and 18" slides on the 2nd.

    Longer is better, IMHO.
    Regards,

    Glen

    Woodworking: It's a joinery.

  5. #5
    For shop cabinets I go frameless so I do not lose the additional drawer width to spacers required to allow the glides to pass. I also run 100#, 22" glides either full extension or over-travel if the drawers are under a work surface.

    Within reason I buy glides based on price but I don't go too cheap. I have gotten good deals on packs of 10 from McFeely's and Woodworker's Hardware. Glides from both these sources have performed for years in the shop without issue. Our cabinet building members can probably chime in with a few other sources that they use.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    The longer the slide, the more open projection you get with the drawer.

    I usually make my cabinets about 1/4" deeper than the slides.......Regards, Rod.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Blanchard View Post
    The confusing part for a cabinet neophyte such as myself is why one would place slides shorter than 22" in a 24" base cabinet?
    Small room?
    .
    "I love the smell of sawdust in the morning".
    Robert Duval in "Apileachips Now". - almost.


    Laserpro Spirit 60W laser, Corel X3
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  8. #8
    I think you have learned grasshopper, that the hardware drives the design, not the other way around.
    .
    "I love the smell of sawdust in the morning".
    Robert Duval in "Apileachips Now". - almost.


    Laserpro Spirit 60W laser, Corel X3
    Missionfurnishings, Mitchell Andrus Studios, NC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Chicago, IL
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    [QUOTE=Glen Blanchard;1455672]If my base cabinets are 24" in depth, how long should my (full extension) drawer slides be?QUOTE]

    Glen – I hope you are measuring the internal length. The glides I have been using sit almost flush to the front—set back only 5/64.

    I have had some confusion moments myself... I have been buying non-fancy glides from HD and Lowes—side mount, white metal, plastic wheels. You already got the answer on length from the posts above, but here are a few newby learnings from building shop cabinets:

    Buy some glides first and believe the spacing requirements on the label. At first, I was aghast that I would waste ½” per side, ¼” on the bottom and 5/8” on the top of a drawer... but turns out it just won't work without that spacing.

    I thought I could inset the glides behind the face frame, but the component mounted on the drawer needs that 1/2 inch of space too. I did end up trimming some thickness from the bottom of my drawer sides for my first cabinets in order to make it work, but it would have been better to get the glides first and read the instructions.

    If you are mounting on face frames, you can either shim the glides for the space behind the frame, or mount them to the rear interior of the cabinet. I don’t think the rear mounts area very stable—at least as compared to the practice of shimming on the side.

    The Lowes’ glides are nicer… same proportions, design, even look, as the HD glides… But Lowes glides have a ridge that sit under the drawer for support… HD only screw in from the side on the drawer.

    If you are building something nice, there are lots of options out there. I wouldn’t get the cheap glides from the borg. For my first shop drawers and a nightstand I made six months ago, I made glides…. That worked well too—you can google the topic to get some ideas.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
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    641

    Consider Type of Hinges, Placement & Door Clearance

    My favorite tools are my graph paper, ruler and pencil. Depending on what types of hinges you use, they could potentially conflict with the rollout shelves. In base cabinets your conflict is likely to be with the bottom shelf.

    Depending on where the cabinets are placed, you may only be able to open the door 90 - 105 degrees. For instance a cabinet in that sits in a corner. A hinge that might clear your opening when the door is open 180 degrees now blocks your rollout shelf from going anywhere if the door is only opened at 90 degrees. Also if you go with a frame, consider the type of door design you use. Full overlay - then no problem, partial overlay then if your drawer fronts extend beyond into the face frame void, you can again have some conflict - worse if you go with inset doors. Of course this isn't just a function of the length of the slides, but the length of shelf and how you attach it to the slides.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    Glen,

    My cabinet is 1/2" deeper than the glides.

    My first set of drawer glides were 14" long.

    My second set was 18" long.

    The first set and cabinet turned out well but it was a definite learning experience.

    By using a much tighter tolerance on my work on the 2nd cabinet and sets of 3 drawer glides 18" deep, they work better than the first.
    Ken

  12. #12
    Actually on a 24" cabinet you can use any slide that is shorter than the overall inside (not outside dimension) depth of the cabinet. Since drawers are usually intended to be used for storage remember, the longer the slide the more drawer you can put in the space. If you are mounting the drawers using rear mounts then you must use the 22" slides or build extra structure inside the cabinet to support the runners. IF the slides are to be mounted to the side of the opening, then any length can be used.

    Full extension slides will allow the drawer to open wider so you can see what is in the back. 3/4 extension slides only let 3/4 of the drawer slide out of the opening which can make it harder to see what is in the back.

    Drawers can also be longer or shorter than the slides they ride upon.

    It comes down to what suits your design needs.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    South Orange, NJ
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    I've been contemplating to "upgrade" the pantry's shelves to drawers and came across what seemed to be "not so bad deal" bulk drawer slides from Woodpeck (http://www.woodpeck.com/drawerslidesbulk.html). I was not sure what size should I get so searched and found the specs of those sliders. It didn't reveal overall length to find out what minimum depth requirements for a given slider. Called Woodpeck and the person I talked to said the stated length is the actual length of the depth you need to fit the slider. For example, a 24" slider will fit into a cabinet of 24" or greater but actual length of the slider is less than 24". I took his word with face value and order 20 pairs for an exact 24" inside depth cabinets (two separate pantries, various lower cabinets and center island cabinets). Hope I was not "misinformed".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Upstate South Carolina, USA
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    I have used drawer slides like these a few times, and they do work well - they are a bit heavier duty than the slides you normally get on builder cabinets.

    On the drawer slides I have installed like these in 24 inch deep cabinets, there was a plastic clip that mounted to the rear inside back of the cabinet - this accepted the rear end of the "outside" slide.

    The drawers themselves are 22 inches deep, and have the "inside" slide screwed to the drawer sides. Hope this helps.

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