How to install bottom-mount drawer slides

View of bottom draw with metal slide COB

Completely hidden from view

Why choose these?

  • The mounting position allows you to make drawers nearly the full width of the drawer opening -- minus 1/8" on each side, netting more storage space than with other slides.
  • Using a single slide ($8 to $20 per pair) in the center of the drawer reduces hardware costs.

When you use only one slide per drawer, you reduce the weight-carrying capacity to less than half that of a similar drawer with two slides. (Single bottom-mount slides typically rate for 25-pound capacity.) In order for the mounting screws to hold, you'll need to make your drawer bottoms 1/2" thick, or add a spacer -- shown on the bottom drawer on slide 1 -- if using thinner bottoms. Most bottom-mount slides are 3/8" thick, but leave 5/16" under your drawer bottom for mounting. The extra 1/16" provides clearance between the drawer sides and the face frame after mounting.

Attach to the drawer first

1. For inset drawers, align the slide flush with the drawer front and centered across its width. If your drawers will have an overlay front, notch the drawer box, photo right, so the slide sits flush with the front face of the drawer box.

2. Center the slide and attach it with screws at the front and back, photo below right.

Sawing slot in drawer
Cut the notch for the slide at least 1/8" wider on each side, to the depth of the drawer bottom. Then chisel out the waste.

Yellow tape measure on bottom of drawer
With one screw holding the front of the slide in place, measure from the drawer side to make sure the slide sits centered and parallel.

Add the cabinet mount

1. Install the slide to the face frame, securing it with one screw, photo right. For inset drawers, first attach a mounting block 3/4" thick inside the face frame to which you can screw the slide.

2. Attach the slide to the rear of the cabinet with a mounting bracket, making sure it is square to the face frame. If your cabinet has a dust frame, you can mount the slide to it rather than the back.

3. To help support the drawer, add nail-in or self-adhesive glide pads to the face frame where the drawer-side bottom edges will pass, photo below right.

MORE RESOURCES

  • Watch FREE videos on making and installing drawers, at woodmagazine.com/simpledrawers and woodmagazine.com/drslides.
  • Read about a simple technique for making drawers at woodmagazine.com/easydrawers.
  • Learn for FREE how to make drawer-lock joints on your tablesaw at woodmagazine.com/lockrabbet.
  • Or, get a FREE article on making lock-rabbet drawer joints on your router table at woodmagazine.com/drawerlockbit.

Sources
Drawer slides and mounting brackets
, available at most home centers and these retailers:

  • Lee Valley, 800-871-8158, leevalley.com.
  • Woodworker's Hardware, 800-383-0130, woodworkershardware.com.
  • Rockler, 800-279-4441, rockler.com.
  • Woodcraft, 800-225-1153, woodcraft.com.

Close up of metal slide
Mount the slide 1/32" back from the front of the face frame. You might need to angle the screw slightly to avoid the frame above.

Hammering brown knob
Glide pads not only prevent the drawer from rocking on a single slide, but they also make for smoother operation.

View of bottom draw with metal slide COB
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