How to install epoxy-coated roller drawer slides
Why choose these?
- Typically less than $10 per pair, and available in most home centers.
- Because the drawer-mount members wrap around the drawer side's face and bottom edge, they're nearly impossible to install incorrectly.
- More forgiving than other slides if the mating slides don't align precisely, because the slide track has wiggle room for the plastic wheels to move side-to-side about 1/16".
- With no lubricant needed, they're ideal for dusty applications, such as shop cabinets.
For ease of installation, we attached the slide to the back of the cabinet with a standard mounting bracket. (These sell for about $2 a pair.) Start by separating the drawer slide into its two parts: the cabinet-mount member and the drawer-mount member.
Attach to the cabinet first
1. Rest the cabinet-mount member on the cabinet's face frame, 1/32" back from the front face. You can use an accessory device for holding the slide in position as shown in photos right, or simply hold it freehand, aligning it in the next step. Drill a pilot hole and drive one screw into the face frame.
Secure the rear bracket
2. Measure the gap between the slide and the cabinet side to ensure you mount it perpendicular to the face-frame opening, photo right.
3. Drive a screw into one of the horizontal slots on the rear mounting bracket, photo below right.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3 for the other side of the drawer opening.
Now mount to the drawer
1. Install the drawer-mount member on the drawer side, keeping it 1/32" back from the drawer front, shown in photo right. Repeat for the other side of the drawer.
2. Insert the drawer into the cabinet-mounted slides and test its fit. If the drawer binds, loosen the screw on the rear mounts and adjust the bracket side-to-side until the drawer slides smoothly.
3. Use a straightedge to check the drawer front's fit to the face frame, photo right. If you need to adjust the drawer up or down, first drive a screw in the center of the rear-brackets' vertical slot. Remove the screw from the horizontal slot, make the necessary adjustments up or down, and reattach it with a screw in the horizontal slot.
4. Once the drawer front aligns with the face frame and the drawer slides smoothly, drive the remaining screws to secure the slides in place.
(If you've built inset drawers, the drawer front will be the finished face. If you'll attach an overlay drawer front to the drawer box's front, do this after installing and aligning the drawer slides.)
Magnetic drawer slide mounting tool: #NZ03, Kreg Tool Company, 800-447-8638, kregtool.com.
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