On 24" base cabinets it seems that 21 -22 inch drawer slides are the
most common, in some places they just don't stock anything over 21
Is there a reason for this? I realize that there are variables due to
ff and inset, half inset, and full face doors, but when looking at
cabinets, like the builtin's that I am replacing they have a full 2 "
to 3" gap behind the drawers.
I don't see much said about drawer building as to sizing, recommended
or other, other than the various joints and drawer faces.
Anyhow, there are usually reasons, and very good reasons for the ways
things are made, which I am learning, a great deal in part to
Swingman's advice. When one of you guys says to pay attention, a wise
I have nothing other than my opinion to back this up, but I've always
assumed it was owing limiting the reach-in distance from the days before
there were full-extension slides and it's now just tradition.
Another could be keeping the extended moment arm of that extra length
under control...there's a lot of leverage and little restraint to little
arms hanging on the front.
That said, I've also built longer drawers and used slides that could be
cut to fit to make use of the additional space.
Keep in mind most shop built base cabinets have a 24" EXTERIOR dimension
as far as depth.
Interior dimension of a 24" FF base cabinet, with a back panel, from the
back panel to the front of a FF, is generally a bit over 23"
Therefore, I usually buy 22" drawers for NEW 24" deep, shop built cabinets.
When remodeling existing, BUILT-IN cabinets, I still use 21" or 22", as
you often need some wiggle room to replace, or add, a back board to
attach mounting brackets.
About the only place I'll use 24" side mounted slides is in specialty
cabinets, like those for a shop or commercial establishment.
Installation issues wag the dog, and the extra 1" or two is not often
worth buying different slides for a project, in both effort of keeping
track, future replacement and initial price.
On Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 2:51:13 PM UTC-4, Swingman wrote:
My head was spinning! I was sitting here trying to come with reasons why
you (especially *you*) would buy drawers if you were building the cabinets.
I was torn between asking and trying to figure it on my own.
I'm glad you cleared it up for us...unless you've been fooling us all
these many years. Hmmm....
With side sliders that seems to be no problem, but with undermount it
seems like 21" is standard. And when you find them over 22 the price
starts climbing fast. I just bought 4 pr 24" undermount's and paid
more for them then 16 pr of 21" undermount's. Needless to say when I
start on the pantry with even deeper drawers I will give up the width
of the shelves for side mounts at less than 1/2 the cost.
I had to order the 24' undermount's so I am on hold until they arrive.
I understand, and was adjusting my desires according to price and
availability. I had to splurge on the 24" undermount since had I
installed the blind drawers with those they would have to be totally
destroyed to be replaced since once the drawers were in, there would
be not way of getting them out. Undermount's are a natural for such a
situation. I'll take pictures showing why as I do them.
But I got curious about the drawer sizing after going through all the
slides available, looking at what I already have at home and the
pictures you guys post. Plus reading the few books I have on cabinets.
While it was real tempting just to move ahead and deal with things as
I went along. I followed your advice to get the ducks in a row, as
well as from doing things in my old trade. Thank you.
Just my own thoughts. That 24" base cabinet is its outside dimension.
Allowing 3/4" for the face frame the inner depth is more like 23".
Then, the drawer has a 1/2"-3/4" back, and the back part of the drawer
doesn't need full support anyway. So, a 21" slide mounted toward the
cabinet front will give you full support anyway.
On Tue, 24 May 2016 12:47:27 -0600, Just Wondering
Yeah, I have been playing around with the internal numbers to keep the
Outside at exactly 24", depth of dado, making up for that with the
exact dimensions of the end panels and so on. Depending on side,
versus undermount's would make a difference on the drawer length, plus
the drawer edge thickness, just to see what common sense would dictate
for an over all picture. Do this, not that, and so on.
All this brought up the question, because I felt like I was
reinventing the wheel, and how stupid is that? :)
The only "gotta pay attention to" factor is the space available for the
drawer; I happen to like a fudge factor of 1/4" less than that.
It is easy to find slides on even dimensions with 2" increments; i.e., 18,
20, 22, 24. It can be less easy to find ones on the odd inch.
Since you are building your own cabinets, you can use whatever length slide
you want. I'd use the longest that will fit; IMO, the torque on an open
drawer isn't even worth thinking about.
There really aren't any rules about dimensions. The vanities I built
recently are 23" from front of the face frame to the wall. Most of the
drawers are set 3 1/4" into the cabinet so I could put a medicine cabinet on
the door covering the drawer stack. Those that aren't set in are 22" deep;
I could have made them deeper but there was a nailer in the back that would
interfere with one so I just made them all the same.
The cabinet depth was determined by the available sizes of the soapstone
tile I wanted to use for the top. The 23" depth allowed for a soapstone
vertical edging nder the top without having to cut any field tiles.
BTW, there are no metal slides on any of the 11 drawers; all run on oak
runners which work just fine.
Which begs the question with 3/4 drawer sides why not dovetail or box
joint style runners? Or dual under mount dovetail runners? Made out of
hardwood they should last for a very long time. It would certainly be
less expensive and my house was built early 70, and it has hardwood
runners for all the drawers, anyhow those thoughts were also running
through my mind.
Factory built drawers are smaller to save money.
I build my drawers as big as the cabinet will allow.
Something to remember, if using side mount full extension slides the
slides can be shorter than the drawer.
On Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 4:15:11 PM UTC-4, Leon wrote:
I have stick built cabinets from the mid-50s. The original drawers glided o
runners, which is why I assume they were made much shorter than the depth o
When I made new drawers with full extension side slides, I was able to add
over 3” to the
depth of all the drawers. 3+ inches by 5 drawers plus the full extension sl
ides make for a
lot more usable space.
Then do your drawers only go out, say 3/4 of the way when you do that?
When the drawer depth is say 6 to 10 " it isn't such an issue, only on
shallow or top drawers that have over hangs, that I can see.
If the drawer is 6" shouter than the slides the back of the drawer
obviously will have a 1/4 or so remain inside.
But IIRC you were talking about 21-22 slides for a 24" cab. If the drawers
were actually 24" deep, 21" slides would only leave1/8 of the drawer
unexposed if the back of the drawer is not dadoed in. If dadoed, less is
unexposed. Just because the drawer does not come all the way out does not
mean that you will have difficulty seeing inside the entire drawer or not
have use of the full drawer.
Yes, 24" cabinets were my main thought on this.
My wife somehow has "junk drawers" where everything ends up dogpiled
and the back, and silver ware drawers right under the counter, so the
countertop blocks the views even more. Usually the odds and ends at
that back of that drawer are a problem to reach because of vision not
I'm not sure what you mean about the drawer being dadoed regarding the
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