Drawer & Cabinet Guys:! Opinions Needed!

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You know who you are, ehem! Karl, Leon, etc. Wake up, pay attention. Actual advice wanted here!!! :-D
So I have a client who runs a retail store and the contractor who built it out did a "decent' job with the cabinets but used those $3, stamped white metal drawer slides on 32" wide, 5"-ish high, 24" deep, 3/4" plywood, solid wood fronted drawers. Nice, strong, heavy drawers... with terrible slides. They are having all kinds of problems so I'm replacing them with good ones, meant for that size drawer in a commercial environment.
I'll not only take advice on what make/model slides you like, but also on the best way to retrofit them because there are some issues I'll explain.... right now...
First, they used these spacers on the drawers because none of the openings are the same exact size. The spacers are different sizes on different drawers and some have none at all. <https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vAyMyOgXdFa3SqRY3qceENMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
This is the recess behind the face-frame and the box. It is uniform (apx. 1/8") on all boxes. At the very bottom of the picture you can see a portion of the cheap slide mounted with a shim. <https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Sg6TPhq4EjtReWgqmBJ2TNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
This is what I'm dealing with inside the cabinets. It's a fuzzy pic, but you get the deal. <https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1uOYbU5G8U6WfCiY52qv8tMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
The drawer boxes are 32" wide x 23.5" deep. The interior of the cabinet boxes average 33-1/4" wide +/- 1/4". So I'm either going to need spacers attached to the insides of the cabinet boxes or to the sides of the drawers, and they will all be different thicknesses.
So do you think I should put spacers on the cabinet or the drawers? And what slides do you recommend? I would prefer full extension, soft close.
Thanks!
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 2/2/2016 9:49 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Commercial application....
I would build a cabinet insert to slide into the opening and build new drawers to fit those inserts. In other words measure the openings and build the whole thing in your shop. Then return and do a quick install of the assembly. You can sell it as in and out of their hair in the minimum amount of time.
It is hard to fix something that is done wrong.
I have been using these side full extension soft close slides for about 5 years. I think they will ship.
http://www.cabinethardware.com/G-Slide-4270-100LB-Full-Ext-Slide-with-Soft-Close-p/1012.htm
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On 2/2/16 11:44 PM, Leon wrote:

I don't think building cabinet inserts is the answer in this situation. 1. I don't think they'd go for the cost. 2. Despite your valued and trusted opinion, I don't think it's necessary.
I do, however, see the wisdom in being as "in and out" as possible, especially in a retail store where renovation may have an adverse effect on customers.
--

-MIKE-

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wrote:
<snip> >The drawer boxes are 32" wide x 23.5" deep. The interior of the cabinet

Now you know I am not the guy to answer this all. LOL, and Leon made a suggestion I thought was great, for both you and the customer.
But I did want to ask you this.
Did you check the drawers for squareness? From your descriptions none of it, or not much is squared and you would need to know this right up front.
Just out of curiosity, you mentioned a gap of 1/8" or so between the FF and the carcass (sp) by that did you mean between the groove/dado in the FF and the panel that was supposed to sit tightly in it?
If that is the case, then how the cabinets are mounted could over a short time cause the whole thing to loosen up, I would think, like all the crappy cabinets in LA after an earthquake.
Just a couple thoughts.
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I am betting that your client would not like to see you rebuild his cabinet s, drawers, etc., and just wants better working drawers. Yes? No?
Most of my clients (especially my commercial guys) always cast a strong eye towards the balance of utility to price equation and will almost always ta ke what they perceive is the best bang for he buck.
Just a thought here, another look at the situation.
If they are happy with the drawers (heavy built, doing the job) and aren't interested into making their sack drawer into a piece of cabinetry, why don 't you replace the slides and be done with it?
They sell these slides
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-22-in-Full-Extension-Ball-Bearing-Side-M ount-Drawer-Slide-1-Pair-D80622C-ZP-W/202200646
under different names, but the ones that they sell at HD and Lowes are now branded as "Richelieu" and "Liberty" and almost all the upper end products from those two companies branded as such are the old Accuride products. I like KV, but also like Accuride and have used their products for years as w e had a supplier here for years. I used the Accuride products in kitchens and some commercial and never had a kick about their durability.
And if you leave the spacers on the drawers, you could like a hero to your client if you can find a slide with the same dimensions that would be a dir ect replacement. With a purchase from the big box, you could simply return the slides if they don't work.
Personally, having run into the situation you are in now, I left the spacer s on the drawers as somebody else took the time and effort to shim out the sides (reason to me unknown, I think they didn't plan for or get the right slides) to make the drawer slides fit. I did a straight replacement and wa s done with six drawers in less than a half day as I had to put a couple of blocks in the backs of the drawers to receive the end of the slide that wa s inside the cabinet.
My client was pleased with the drawers and pleased with the price.
Robert
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On 2/3/2016 4:48 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Just an observation, the link I provided for the KV distributed G-Slide soft close slides goes to Cornerstone Hardware here in Houston. They are a very nice store/supplier to the trades. They have been around for decades and family owned. BUT I noticed that their receipts followed by a news letter a few days ago indicated that they have been bought by Richelieu hardware. I'm hoping that their service remains the same as they were always informative and always offer to carry the purchases out to the car for Kim. AND they almost with out exception offered equal and better quality than Rockler and Woodcraft and pricing up to 40% lower. I think we are going to begin seeing a lot more Richelieu hardware in the future.

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On 2/3/16 4:48 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That was my read and that's what I recommended because the cabinets and drawers are actually pretty decent despite somewhat neanderthal joinery. The cheap, underrated slides are the weakest link.

under different names, but the ones that they sell at HD and Lowes

I see great wisdom in the reasoning behind your suggestion to use the spacers already on the drawers. In this particular case (pun!) I may end up replacing the existing spacers but using them as a measurement for the thickness of the new ones. I don't think the existing ones are high enough, nor attached as securely as I'd prefer.
If I can get slides similar to your suggestion that are soft close and attach to the face-frame in front and use a strong enough rear socket, that may be the easiest solution for slides.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 2/3/16 2:42 AM, OFWW wrote:

I did not measure for square because they actually did function properly without a load. when any kind of lateral force was applied (ie: pulling or pushing drawer from a side instead of center) they easily slipped out of the rails. That type of cheap slide has too much twist in it to suffice for drawers that big and heavy.

No, I mean the face-frame is wider than the cabinet box sides. I would guess the frames are 1-3/4" and the two box sides, being 3/4" each makes 1-1/2" leaving 1/4", giving me the 1/8" on each side.
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-MIKE-

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wrote:

< snips >

Would they be Blum brand or a copy ? If they are a cheap copy - might the Blum be better ? If they are Blum they are rated for 75 - 100 lbs and have a lifetime guarantee .. http://www.leevalley.com/en/Hardware/page.aspx?pU143&cat=3,43614,43616&ap=1 I'd love to see a trial comparison - retrofit a few of the worst drawers with Blum - and see how they last .. Just a thought. - before a more difficult retro-fit. John T.
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On 2/3/2016 5:49 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

The biggest problem with the style slide he is going to replace is that it does not lock together. If the tracks are slightly out of alignment they can jump off track and get jammed. With wide drawers it is always a task for slides to keep "wide" drawers running true, wide drawers can wobble back and forth, but slides that capture their components tend to work better and not get jammed up.
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On 2/3/16 8:33 AM, Leon wrote:

What he said. ^^^ Plus, the plastic bracket that holds the rail to the back of the cabinet is barely suitable for a narrow cabinet, let alone 33" wide ones.
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-MIKE-

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On 2/2/2016 9:49 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Occam's razor is your guiding principle.
For an RO that gives you _at least_ the 1/2" on each side required for medium duty slides, I would prefer to shim the drawer slide on the cabinet side of the rough opening.
For any drawers that have been previously shimmed on the drawer side, leave the shim and add whatever you need to the height to mount your drawer side slide, if any.
Since the old drawers used back brackets according to the photo, use back brackets made for the new drawer slides you choose.
I would use KV8400's of the appropriate length, and they can be ordered with back brackets.
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On 2/3/16 10:33 AM, Swingman wrote:

Those slides have rear brackets *and* face frame adapters so I'm liking them already. If they made adapters/slides that attached to the cabinet rail below the drawer, I would've have to deal with spacers.
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On 2/3/2016 11:08 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Since I face what you're facing on almost every remodel where the client wants to keep the drawers but have the latest and greatest in drawer slides; or when the cabinet RO's vary past the required 1/16" tolerance for new drawers, I find the KV 8400 give me the most flexibility, often allowing me to mix and match the FF and rear, or lack thereof, brackets according the cabinet, and often the position of the drawer in the cabinets.
Looked around to find some photos to illustrate doing whatever it takes to get a good installation and found this 2014 video ... it's short, but you can see some "mix and match" for the same cabinets ... and this was a fairly easy one:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopRozelleKitchenRefresh?noredirect=1#6089792205120220706
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On 2/3/16 11:30 AM, Swingman wrote:

At about the 12 second mark there's a good view of the spacers you used to attach the slides to the face frame. When I visited the store, yesterday, to inspect their problems, I actually "fixed" a few of the drawers just to get them functioning well enough to use in the mean time. This involved shimming out a couple slides from the face frame using similar blocking.
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-MIKE-

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On 2/3/2016 11:08 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

Obviously I would prefer not to use any brackets, but they can come in handy, particularly the back brackets, when the existing cabinets are badly out of square, and you have room to mount and adjust them.
Mike already knows this, but For those following along who are not already familiar, it's pretty much a no brainer once you've installed a few back brackets:
You get that smooth operation, and good fit when closed, when the drawer slides are parallel to each other, and perpendicular in all planes to the face frame.
When mounting, simply use one screw on each back bracket, in the middle of the horizontal screw slot, with at least one tightened just enough to move with light pressure.
If your back brackets are close to alignment to the front to start with, pushing the drawer in the first time will often be enough to shift the loose bracket(s) perfectly parallel to each other.
If the drawer works easily, carefully open the drawer about half way and tighten any loose bracket screws, and add a couple more before completely removing the drawer.
CAVEAT: You need to insure the back brackets are close to being in the right spot to begin with, and as close to parallel as possible.
(I'll often use a bar gauge to do that).
And don't force the drawer on the first attempt or you'll likely play hell getting the drawer out if the back brackets are splayed.
(sometimes it helps to pull out the cabinet side slides all the way out, and mount the drawer to those slides before closing it the first time by clicking the interior sliders into place manually).
--
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If it were me, I think I'd put them on the cabinet. Especially if the drawer boxes are uniform in width, because then with luck you'd be able to move drawers between openings (which someone, someday, is likely to try to do).
John
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On 2/3/16 2:02 PM, John McCoy wrote:

The openings are not uniform, unfortunately. And you're right about people moving them around. It would be nice for the client if I could figure out a way to make them universal.
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On 2/3/2016 5:12 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Only way to do that is make the RO where the drawers go the same (33") in every cabinet.
You can build out, or shim, or both. That way your drawers would then be interchangeable in those locations ... providing the drawers are indeed 32" wide.
If you have to err, err a scooch on the wider side. You can always shim a too wide RO, not the other way around.
It is certainly doable if the budget allows.
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On 2/3/2016 5:12 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Similar situation you are in.
Not a single RO, side to side, top to bottom, the same in this set of 6 garage storage cabinets.
What will really frost your butt is I originally bid on the whole cabinet job (including drawers), lost the bid, and was called back later to fix the problem when the asshat who out bid me couldn't figure out how to make and fit/install the damned file sized drawers the client wanted.
Boy howdy, did they have to pay through the nose for what you see in these photos ... and I was not about to make six different size drawers.
Also had to replace the door hinges to get the needed clearance for the specific width drawers to hold file folders.
If you look closely you can see some of the variation in "spacer" thickness from cabinet to cabinet ... and from top to bottom drawer.
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopGarageCabinetStorageDrawers?noredirect=1#
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