Drawer slides

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Forum topic by holsterguy posted 05-20-2016 11:10 PM 745 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 1233 days

05-20-2016 11:10 PM

I have a question for all you guys that make your own undermount dovetail slides.
Bought one, just to see if I liked it, from lee valley. Has way too much slop. They are going to be used on mission, inset drawers.
How much “play” do you allow (between the mating pieces )? Also, what degree bit do you like?
Thanks in advance.

4 replies so far

View MrRon's profile (online now)


5139 posts in 3418 days

#1 posted 05-21-2016 07:33 PM

A dovetail slide will have excessive “slop” so as not to stick due to changes in humidity. A better way is to let the sides of the drawer “ride” on the drawer supports and use the following illustration to “center” the drawer. Just wax the sliding parts and your drawers will glide perfectly. This is how it was done on fine furniture for years.

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3596 posts in 2163 days

#2 posted 05-21-2016 07:47 PM

MrRon nice drawing and will be useful. I would likely make these out of a hardwood and maybe ash. A couple of questions…

How much gap do you allow side to side…1/32 ?

Do you finish or seal the slides before waxing? Many of the good furniture pieces I have looked at are not finished.

What wax do you use…I have used paraffin in the past but probably not the best.


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5139 posts in 3418 days

#3 posted 05-22-2016 08:59 PM

Sorry; I should have included the tolerances needed for a good sliding fit. Side-to-side 1/32 on each side max. This is assuming you have a 1/16 gap all around the drawer front. Remember the drawer glides on the sides; the sketch is what keeps the drawer centered, so as not to bind. Just about any medium hardwood would work, like poplar, white oak, birch….. I don’t think it is necessary to seal the wood before waxing. You want the wax to work into the wood; a sealer would prevent this. I have used teflon spray, but I think paraffin is as good as any.

View wuddoc's profile


318 posts in 3892 days

#4 posted 05-22-2016 09:37 PM

The wooden undermount drawer slide may be loose in winter and tight in summer due to expansion and contraction.
Rockler has a technical paper #24877 regarding “Center Mount” AKA “Undermount” hardwood dovetail draw slides. The technical paper has diagrams and angle degrees.

Rockler sells “Slipit” Sliding Compound for drawer wood guides. I have not used their product but have used with success “Slideez” lubricant by Behlen.

-- Wuddoc

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