How to install ball-bearing drawer slides
Why choose these?
- Ideal for drawers with hefty contents, such as silverware or tools.
- Full-extension range allows the drawer to open fully for best access to contents in the back. Less-costly, 3/4 extensions open to expose all but the back fourth of the drawer. Installation is the same for each style.
- Lubricated bearings make for the smoothest sliding action.
- Typical ball-bearing slides sell for about $8 to $25 per pair. Additional features, such as self-closing mechanisms or higher weight ratings, increase this cost.
Mount to the drawer first
1. Begin by attaching the drawer-mount member. With the slide aligned flush to the drawer front and bottom edge, attach with a screw at the front in a vertical slot, photo right, and then add one at the rear.
2. Repeat for the other side of the drawer; then separate the cabinet-mount portions of the slides.
Now for the cabinet
1. With the cabinet-mount member clipped into its front mounting bracket (about $1 apiece), seat the bracket's wrapped shoulder snugly against the back of the face frame for the correct offset, photo right.
2. Tape a torpedo or any short level onto the slide -- or use one with a magnet that will grip the slide -- and use it to align the slide up or down. (The cabinet must be shimmed level for this to be accurate.) Measure the gap between the slide and cabinet side to ensure the slide mounts parallel to the cabinet side.
Attach the back end
3. Secure the rear mounting bracket ($1.50 each) to the cabinet, photo right.
4. Slide the drawer into the cabinet mounts until the catches lock. To adjust the fit, use the same techniques from Step 4 of the roller slides.
5. Drive the remaining screws to secure the slides in place.