Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hanging Drawers

I like Accuride full-extension drawer glides. Yes, they are ugly, but they have a high load rating, come in many sizes and styles, are easy to adjust, and they work well. They are suitable in all but the finest furniture, and nothing feels as nice as a drawer on ball bearings.

I've struggled with installing them, though. Each drawer has two cabinet tracks and two drawer rails that need to be in alignment, level and square. I've found the easiest way to keep everything straight is through two simple spacers.

I start with the drawer itself. The glide is assembled, the rail installed in the track. For this piece the reference is above the drawer, so I place the drawer upside down on a flat surface. I rip a scrap of plywood 7/8" wide, and use it to space the glide from the top of the drawer. The rail is slipped out of the track, its end is placed touching the drawer front, then screwed in place.

To maintain alignment, the rail is slipped out and screwed to the drawer one hole at a time.

After the rail is attached to the drawer the track is removed and screwed to the carcass. Here I use a 1" wide spacer, this keeps the rail level and automatically gives me a 1/8" reveal. That's a little coarse, in a finer cabinet I would use a 15/16" spacer for a 1/16" gap. Again, the front of the rail is placed right behind the drawer front.

The result is a drawer that hangs properly directly after install, level, with a consistent gap and smooth operation. No adjustments are needed.

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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.