I like to use ball-bearing drawer slides in my cabinet projects because of their super-smooth operation.

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I like to use ball-bearing drawer slides in my cabinet projects because of their super-smooth operation. However, those slides take up space outside the drawer that could be used to expand the size of the drawer.

I put some of that interior room into the drawer by recessing the slides in 14 " grooves on both drawer sides as shown at top. That gains me 12 " of width in each drawer. I make the grooves about 18 " wider than the female part of the slide that mounts to the inside of the cabinet. The process works with any drawer side at least 12 " thick.

As a time-saving bonus, I no longer have to measure and mark the location of each slide on the drawer. I simply eyeball the slide in the center of the groove and move the female part out of the way just far enough to drive the first two screws. Then, I remove the female part completely and drive the rest of the mounting screws.
—Edwin Hackelman, Omaha, Neb.