Stickley High Chest #3: Request for advice on dovetailed drawer slides

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Blog entry by Greg posted 01-24-2011 08:42 PM 4985 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Drawers Part 3 of Stickley High Chest series Part 4: Pieces »

I am going to start in on making my dovetail drawer slides today. I haven’t found much info on LJ or the rest of the web on tips, tricks, and rules of thumb. I made up a couple practice slides the other day and they seem to work well (unmounted), but I still have some questions:

1. How many slides (under mounted) should I use? An antique dresser we have uses one down the center and a newer dresser we have has two. The drawer size on both are approximately the same. The drawers I’ll be using them for are approx. 32” wide x 16” deep x 8” high and about 8 lbs per drawer (empty).

2. Any advice on installing the slides (i.e. techniques that ensure good alignment)?

3. Any other things to do or not do? I am always eager to try methods that are more efficient or provide more consistent results.

One tip I did find on another site is that I should consider making about 20 ft extra after getting set up for future projects. I think I’ll do that.


-- Greg - For the benefit and enjoyment of the people

1 comment so far

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1601 posts in 3679 days

#1 posted 01-25-2011 04:34 AM

First a confession, I have never used dovetail drawer slides. However, I have followed purchased plans that use no guides (the frame is the guide) and they say just run a length of HMWP tape down the sides along the bottom and let the drawers slide on that (see my Gentleman's Chest project). This unfortunately rubs the finish of the bottom part of the frame surrounding the drawer. Using dovetail drawer slides is one of the many things I think about when I get a bout of insomnia. I was thinking that using the actual drawer to locate the slide might be a good idea, since I’m trying to get away from all of the inherent error in measuring things. Maybe screwing from the underside with the drawer/guide in place may work. I also thought that if I glued the slide in that might be better. If I did that from the front, then some glue could get squeegeed onto the frame (where I currently have rub marks and sawdust), or I could slide it in from the back and ignore the mess. If I install the drawer(s) from the back, then I don’t get the benefit of the back panel squaring the entire piece. A bit of a Catch 22. I know my rambling probably didn’t help, I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone on this one. Good luck… BTW, if you’re going to use guides underneath the drawer, I would just use one to avoid any pinching issues. It’ll be fun enough to get one installed. I’ve also seen Stickleys with guides on either side of the drawer.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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