kitchen drawers: side vs. back mounted slides

just had cabinets delivered to my new home. in a 30-inch wide cabinet/drawer "unit" I have two 9 1/2 inch wide drawers. The slides are mounted at the back of the "unit" and at the drawer opening. There is 1 1/2 inches "wasted" on the outer aspects of the outer slides, then you have the drawer, then you have three inches before you get to the next drawer. I can't believe how much wasted space there is!! Is this a usual occurence, and are slides usually mounted front to back rather than on the sides? ERIC
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Not sure what kind you're talking about when you say "back mounted slides" but side mounted slides usually take up 1/2" each for a total of 1" excluding drawer width. If that's too much, you might consider a bottom mounted slide. They're usually about 3/8 of an inch thick. Free area at the drawer sides can then be about 1/8" each side or even less depending on the sideways play of the drawer. If you wan to minimize the sideways play, then dual bottom mounted slides can be used.
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Thanks for the responses.
These drawers are dovetailed and the slides seem very nice (i.e., the drawers pull out all the way, nice fluid motion). I spoke with the cabinet maker (Oakcraft, out of Phoenix, AZ) and the customer service rep was a bit perturbed at my questions. When I voiced my concern about the wasted space, she responded that looking at the drawers from above (remember the countertops are not in yet) does not do them justice. She also said that they have to work with the drawer opening, which limits the size of the drawer (obviously). I took her to task on this response by reminding her that they were the cabinet makers and they made the opening. Her response was that I needed to speak with the vendor who sold the cabinets to confirm what was ordered...
Eric
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On 16 Jul 2003 08:57:42 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (eric peters) wrote:

Maybe understandably, if I've followed the thread correctly.

Not to defend the maker, but her statement is valid. I'm assuming, of course, that these are face-framed cabinets. With a 30" wide cabinet, you lose 1/2" of width to face frame overlay, so you really have a 29.5" width. The face frames and center stile are roughly 1.5" wide, so you lose at least another 4.5", leaving you with two 12.5" max openings. 1/2" drawer sides and 1/2" clearance for each side reduce each drawer's inside dimension by another 2", leaving you with a maximum of 10.5". Not too far off from the 9.5" you said you have. A slightly wider face frame and/or center stile would easily account for this difference.

Wouldn't hurt, though I don't know what difference it would make. The vendor doesn't design the actual cabinets. She should have connected you to the manufacturer's design/engineering department so that they could verify what you have and explain exactly why it's constructed the way it is... and if they have indeed wasted an inordinate amount of space, they could at least log your complaint for the future.
Of course, if these are not face-framed cabinets, this all goes out the window, and you are rightly upset with the wasted space.
Finally, you have to keep in mind that mass-production necessarily results in looser tolerances. The extra bit of 'slop' has to be there in order to keep the assembly process moving. It's true of almost every mass-production process, although some manufacturers do take more liberty with it than others. An extra inch of slop per drawer does seem a bit much, but not seeing the actual assembly, I can't say out of hand that it's unwarranted.
John
John Paquay snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com
"Building Your Own Kitchen Cabinets" http://home.insightbb.com/~jpaquay/shop.html ------------------------------------------------------------------ With Glory and Passion No Longer in Fashion The Hero Breaks His Blade. -- Kansas, The Pinnacle, 1975 ------------------------------------------------------------------
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Hi John,
Got to say it again .... can't say how much I've enjoyed and used your cabinet booklet. It opened up a whole new method of building absolutely _solid_ cabinets a couple of years back and your methods have stood me in good stead through many a project now.
Thanks!
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 7/28/03
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That's very gratifying to hear, Swingman -- much appreciated. And coming from a true hero of the Kitchen Cabinet Wars, it means a lot. Keep up the great work! John

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