I have an old chest of drawers - 1950's probably, nothing special in
construction - in which the drawer 'action' is a bit stiff.
I had a quick look inside and suspect that the old wooden runners are (a)
not very well fitted or shaped in the first place, & (b) coming loose.
I have a use for this c-of-d as a tool store in the garage/workshop, but I'd
really want a smooth drawer action in that case.
How feasible is it to retrofit modern metal drawer slides to furniture like
this which currently uses the old-style runners? If nothing else, I can't
quite work out how you would mark the pieces up ...
Thanks for any pointers
It's easy enough to fit something like this
provided the drawer doesn't take up the full width of the case.
Even if it does, all is not lost - because you can get brackets which
clip onto the moving bit and screw to the *bottom* of the drawer. [They
may then encroach on space needed by the drawer below - unless that has
sides which are not as tall as the front, which is often the case.
If you use the fully extending version of the runners, you can pull the
drawer virtually all the way out for easy access to the contents - and
still have it supported. I have used this system for a sliding printer
shelf in a desk - so that I can easily pull the printer/scanner out when
I want to use it, but otherwise have it tucked away inside the desk.
I wouldn't think it practical to fit standard Accuride type runners
without re-building the drawers. You need the drawer box to be 25mm
narrower than the chest internal width.
Accuride do an alternative runner that fits on the underside of the
drawer box, making them invisible but again I think you would be very
lucky if you could make them work without a lot of work.
Making a new drawer box and adding the old drawer front might be you
best bet. Nothing fancy like dovetails required. Nailed and glued butt
joints would do as long as you secure the front to the box well. The
weight and the strain is taken by the steel runners.
On the other hand you might just think of fitting new replacement
hardwood runners and drawers guides. Might be the easiest.
Paul Mc Cann
That is true if you fit the runner to be *alongside* the drawer.
However . .
The ones I used were not alternative runners, but optional extras in the
form of strips of angle which clip onto the basic runners. Using these,
with the horizontal bit of the angle at the *top*, the runner can be
entirely *under* the drawer, without requiring any space alongside it.
It will then, of course, take up space in the domain of the drawer
below. This won't matter too much as long as the sides of the drawer
below are not full height - but you may have to ease the top corners of
the front of the drawer below to allow the runners to pass.
Thanks for all the details. I am beginning to get the hang of it,
having taken a proper look at the spreadsheet and read your answers more
Given that my drawers are not of the modern style where the fronts butt up
against each other, and as Jin K says have 'spans' of timber running L-R
between the drawer fronts, I think I woulld have to let the brackets into
the bottom/side corner of the drawer so that they clear the front - does
that make sense?
I'm still not sure what to do to ensure that the distance between the side
of the draer and the carcass is correct. I will have to take a leisurely
look inside over the w/end, I think...
Roger Mills wrote:
Yes, I know about using that thanks, but the current runners seem a bit past
their best, and bearing in mind my potential use I think I need new ones. I
could make replacement wooden ones but for tool drawers I'm thinking the
easy slide of ball bearing sliders would be good.
So what is the 'skinny' on these - the only way I can imagine is something
- fit packing material to side of outer casing if necessary, (having somehow
worked out the depth needed)
- attach to side/top/bottom of drawer as appropriate
- extend slide, balance drawer in fully open position, somehow aligned just
- fumble around underneath/above drawer and mark the position of the outer
- remove drawer, fit outer sliders (assumeing they are of the demountable
- fit back together, hope you've got it right, fiddle forever with elongated
screw holes or packing material if not
It's not as complicated as that! If you use the fully extending brackets
which I suggested, along with the optional clip-on angle strips, proceed
Clip the angle strips to the sliders, and then screw the fixed bits of
the runners to the inside of the casing - having first determined the
Pull the sliders out fully, sit the drawer on top, and mark the screw
hole positions on the bottom of the drawer.
Detach the sliders from the fixed part of the runners, and screw the
angle bits onto the bottom of the drawer in the marked positions.
Re-attach the sliders to the fixed parts of the runners - and Bob's your
N.B. Because the the right and left runners are identical, one is the
opposite way up to the other when fitted. Thus, to release the runners,
one lever has to be moved upwards and the other downwards. [You can
waste a bit of time if you don't realise this!]
Roger Mills wrote:
[lots of good stuff about fitting - thanks]
I'm still trying to visualise some of this, may buy a pair just to see. But
waht about the issue of the 'depth' (side-to-side) of the slides? Don't I
also have to ensure that this exactly matches the drawer-to-carcass spacing,
or use some packing, or whatever?
I'm assuming from this that you're thinking of having the runners
alongside the drawer rather than under it. In this case, you need at
least half an inch of clearance either side. If it's *slightly* more
than this (1 or 2 mm) it doesn't matter because the bits of the slides
which screw to the drawers are slightly flexible from side to side and
will accommodate the difference.
However, the easiest way is to use the optional clip-on brackets, fitted
so the the horizontal bit is level with the bottom of the slide. The
drawer will then just sit on these, and will be fixed by screwing into
the bottom rather than the sides - and it doesn't matter if there's a
gap either side as long as enough of it sits on the brackets.
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