fitting metal drawer runners to old furniture?

Hi All 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
J^n
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On 01/10/2011 14:13, The Night Tripper wrote:

It's easy enough to fit something like this http://www.locksonline.com/acatalog/accuride-3832-front-disconnect-drawer-runners-full-extension-45-kg-capacity-side-mounting-10768.html 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.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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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
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On 01/10/2011 21:08, fred wrote:

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.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Hi Roger     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 carefully.
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...
Thanks j^n
Roger Mills wrote:

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On 04/10/2011 21:09, The Night Tripper wrote:

Any chance of a couple of photos - one of the chest with a drawer removed, and the other semi-side view with a drawer partly open?
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Hi Roger
Roger Mills wrote:

Sure - here you go:
    
http://www.nicorp.co.uk/download/c_of_d_1.jpg
    
http://www.nicorp.co.uk/download/c_of_d_2.jpg
    
http://www.nicorp.co.uk/download/c_of_d_3.jpg
Cheers Jon N
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On Sat, 01 Oct 2011 14:13:37 +0100, The Night Tripper wrote:

Tried rubbing a candle along the bits of wood that rub together? Not just the runners but a little on the sides of the drawer(s) if they catch the anywhere.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Hi Dave

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 like:
- 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 so - fumble around underneath/above drawer and mark the position of the outer slider holes - remove drawer, fit outer sliders (assumeing they are of the demountable type - fit back together, hope you've got it right, fiddle forever with elongated screw holes or packing material if not
??
Thanks J^n
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On 01/10/2011 21:58, The Night Tripper wrote:

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 as follows:
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 correct height.
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 uncle!
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!]
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Hi Roger
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?
Thanks again TNT
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On 04/10/2011 08:53, The Night Tripper wrote:

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.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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