Drawer slides

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I finished the top of my workbench and now I'm making two sets of drawers to support the top. (This is all similar to the workbench in the current issue of American Woodworker.)
Full extension drawer slides look nice, but they're also expensive (about $15 each). Are the standard slides that limiting by not coming out all the way? Or is there some other cheaper alternative?
I've seen reference to full extension hardwood drawer slides, but no details.
Mike
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Trying to save money on materials is IMHO a waste of time. If you want to make wooden slides for esthetic or other reasons, that's fine, but just to save money....

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Interesting use of drawers ...

Actually, full extension drawer slides look like shit, but only you can determine whether they are worth the price for your application.
If you would like/need to have them, $30 more on a project you've spent _your_ time and effort on is not "expensive". Generally speaking, if it's worth your time in doing any woodworking project, you soon learn that you will be eternally kicking yourself in the butt for not using the best materials available to you at the time.

The good ones will make the metal versions look like bargains and. if you do them yourself, and unless you're making a fine furniture project, you will probably find they take much more time and effort.
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If it was $30 I would do it. But I'm talking four drawers on one side and three on the other, so...7 x $15 = $105. That's more than the materials for the entire bench. The top is just 2x4s and particleboard. This isn't a fancy bench, just a general workbench that may get relegated to general fix-it work.
Mike
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Features most always have a price and only you can decide whether to pay it. Amortized over the life of your bench, they may still be a bargain in the long run.
For DIY, a sliding dovetail wooden drawer slide underneath the drawer will let you get to the entire contents and you can use a 'button' at the back of the drawer to keep from pulling it all the way out. For a drawer with heavy tools you might consider two, one on each side of the bottom.
On page 3 of my Projects page there are a couple of wooden drawer slide options. Although used mostly for fine furniture, take a peek as it may jog your imagination.
You might also want to consider waxed wooden rails, fastened to each side of the drawer, that ride in a waxed groove on the cabinet sides, with a button in the back to keep from over extending the drawer. That would be a less expensive option, but may be subject to wear over the years in a shop environment, and depending upon what heavy stuff you keep in the drawers.
That said, and having been through the battle many times, I still think full extension, commercial drawer slides are the way to go in shop bench drawers.
What you lose on the banana's, you make on the oranges.
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... snip

Thanks for that posting, I hadn't considered the use of a partially driven screw for depth adjustment, I'm going to use that for the Captain's bed drawer adjustments.
One of the other approaches for drawer runners is to cut a groove in the side of the drawer and mount wooden runners on the inside sides of the cabinet -- that's what I'm planning for my project. The groove serves as both runner and kick. Downside is potential wear problems down the road.
... snip
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"Mark & Juanita"wrote in message

That's an elegant solution I first saw my grandfather use over 50 years ago, and the old cabinetmaker I worked for in England for a while also used it, so it must be as old as the concept of screws themselves ... I am sure that both would be tickled to know that their tricks are passed on.
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You've got a lot of nice projects on your site, Swingman. I wish I had half the space you have. You do great work.
Mike
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Thank you, Mike.
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upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Why use drawer slides at all? I've built lots of drawers that just slide on the bottom of their hardwood sides. Unless you really need over-extension, or planning on putting a couple hundred pounds of stuff in each drawer, you don't need slides.
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Some but not all. There are the "under drawer"models, which are completely invisible, function smoothly and are easy to use. Expensive though.

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upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Easy way...
1. dado in drawer sides
2. hardwood runners to fit dados
3. make drawer backs about 3/8 higher than drawer opening
4. radius top back of dados and bottom front of runners
Now you can pull the drawer out and the back will stop it at the face frame. Drawer can be removed by tilting front up.
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wrote:

Can I get a detailed explanation of #4, please?
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Phisherman wrote:

If the dado/runner are close fitting and the back of the drawer is higher then the opening is wide you won't be able to remove the drawer. Or even insert it in the first place :)
The solution is to round over the specified areas with a jig saw, rasp, sander, whatever. Sort of like a rule joint. For example, imagine you are holding the runner in front of you looking at the side of it...left side is the front, right side the back. The front edge is perpendicular to the top and bottom edges. Now round over that bottom left corner so it is more or less quarter round rather than square. Do the same at the top back of the dados.
When you pull the drawer all the way out the too high back will hit the face frame and prevent it from being pulled out. When you let loose of the drawer, its weight will cause the drawer front to drop down a bit; it won't fall because it is supported by the runners; it won't drop very far because the back contacts the face frame. However - because of the radiused runners/dados - you can lift the drawer front above horizontal...doing so pivots the back ...pivoting the back means that its vertical section becomes less than the drawer opening and that means the drawer can be removed.
That's about as detailed as I can get. Can't tell you how much to radius, I just "eyeball it". I make backs about 1/4" higher than the normal clearance; i.e., if you've allowed 1/8" clearance at the top for sides and back then add 1/4" to that. I cut off about 25% of the extra back height adjacent to the sides and round over the proud edges - no reason other than esthetics.
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http://www.leevalley.com has some resonable prices.
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Check out www.wwhardware.com for details on slides. After fighting to see in the back of drawers with 3/4 extension slides I buy only full extension now and enjoy every one of them. Haven't gone back to change the 3/4 slides yet but have considered it. Make a couple of drawers and compare before committing to either.
On 6 Jan 2006 09:49:08 -0800, upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Personally I don't like the mechanical slides. A properly fitted drawer works as well as and slide, unless you want full extention. The bottom of the drawer should be elevated about 1/16 inch (formica, strip of hard wood, or make the drawer side 1/16 wider than the face). Keep the runners waxed, so that the drawer slides on the wax, and not wood, and the drawer can last indefinately. Another plus is that your drawers will have an extra inch of width. robo hippy
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They will be fine until you want something in the back 1/3 of the drawer. Then you will curse saving the few bucks the full slides cost.
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wrote:

Maybe. I'm planning on either making 6 drawers or 6 doors. The quality drawer slides I looked at were $250 (ouch!) for a set of three drawer slides, supposedly will hold 500 lbs. The cost is high, especially compared to 12 hinges for about $20. Then, I wonder about cheaper drawer slides and if there would be adequate for the application.
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On Sun, 08 Jan 2006 04:49:43 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

Look at the ratings. They guarantee 'em for 50k-75k cycles @ load. If your load is less and frequency is less, the less expensive slides (with metal balls, not polymer) should work just fine. Even the cheap slides are strong enough to stand on without deforming (though not at the handle end at full extension.) Slide manufacturers know about people like us, tool users, who will overload the SHIT out of drawers. I believe their slides are just slightly underrated. ;)
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