Installing Side Mount Drawer Slides-How Much "Wiggle Room" is OK?

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Forum topic by gerrym526 posted 01-30-2010 12:20 AM 21559 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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274 posts in 3808 days

01-30-2010 12:20 AM

I’ve used Blum undermount slides in the past, but on a current project will be mounting Accuride Side Mounted slides in a cabinet carcass. Here’s my issue-
Like most drawer slides, these need the drawer width to be 1” less than the carcass opening (ie. 1/2 for each slide). My drawer material is 1/2 inch Baltic Birch ply, the actual measurement is 15/32”. If I round up the thickness to 1/2 in calculating the drawer width there’s going to be a total of 1/16” “wiggle between the drawer mounted slides and the case mounted runners.
Is this “wiggle” acceptable,that is, will the Accuride allow for it, or do my drawer width measurements need to be precise?
Thanks for the help.

-- Gerry

8 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3428 days

#1 posted 01-30-2010 12:38 AM

If I read you correctly, that will be 1/32” on each side. If that’s correct, you’ll be good.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 01-30-2010 12:39 AM

I make my drawer boxes 1” narrower than my opening. If you look closely at the part of the glide that attaches to the carcass, you’ll see that the mounting holes are on “tongues” which can flex a little to allow for a bit of misalignment.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3648 days

#3 posted 01-30-2010 01:02 AM

it should be fine.

however – he’s another thought. instead of cutting your drawer parts by number, why not cut them by measurement? – measure the opening in the carcass. lets say that gives you 10”, rip your drawer material to width (drawer height), and when you cross cut them, put a stop at 10” from the blade, and add 2 cutoffs of the drawer material to the stop, which will make your cut exactly the length it needs to be to make up for the exact opening size.

disclaimer – the above description is very basic – you will also need to factor in any joinery you’ll be using to change the length of cut of the drawer front/back. but the basic concept stays the same.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3464 days

#4 posted 01-30-2010 09:10 PM

PurpLev, Great suggestion. Take out the error of measuring and transfer of marks. Thanks, I plan on using this method. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3808 days

#5 posted 01-30-2010 09:27 PM

Thanks for the technique. I’ve actually used it to calculate the width of rails when building face frames for cabinets. Was having a senior moment and not thinking it was applicable to calculating drawer width using the stock for sides.
I am aware there needs to be allowances for joinery-made that mistake once before and don’t want to repeat the pain of recutting all drawer parts!

-- Gerry

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3285 days

#6 posted 01-31-2010 05:37 AM

Gerry, You should be fine with your measurements. KV and Accuride allow for some play. If you look at the mounting holes in the slide where they mount to the cabinet, you will see one hole towards the front of the slide and one hole towards the back of the slide that looks like it’s drilled in a tongue instead of the other holes that are drilled in the main frame of the slide. These tabs (or tongue) is designed so if the slide is mounted in those holes you can actually pull the slide a little from the side of the cabinet to make a snugger fit to the drawer box. I’m not sure if I made that clear, but if you slide open one of the slides, you will see. Let me know if you have any questions about what I’m referring to. Good luck.

-- John @

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#7 posted 01-31-2010 05:44 AM

I usally allow about 1 1/16” for side mounted slides.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3547 days

#8 posted 01-31-2010 05:29 PM

I also allow for 1 1/16” for side mout slides. This next job we have I am using Blum undermounts and this will be our first time using them. Not sure anything about undermounts though but I will be learning soon.

-- .

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