# How perfectly parallel do draw sides need to be?

 Forum topic by Andy382 posted 08-10-2016 04:37 PM 838 views 0 times favorited 7 replies
 Andy3822 posts in 705 days 08-10-2016 04:37 PM Hi everyone. I’m a novice woodworker, trying to convert my space under the stairs into a cupboard and drawers. I have a space prepared to install a drawer, but I’m concerned that the sides are not quite parallel. The drawer will be 80cm deep, and the space is 48cm wide at the front. However, the space at the back is 5mm shorter, at 47.5cm. This is a really minor difference, and to the naked eye the sides look perfectly parallel. If I install the draw runners (75cm heavy duty ball-bearing) should I be ok, or do I need to do something to make the sides 100% parallel? (in the photo the drawer is going in the space at the bottom – photo is on its side with the top on the left) Thanks for any help that you can give! Andy

## 7 replies so far

 ScottM658 posts in 2197 days #1 posted 08-10-2016 04:44 PM I think it will depend on your plans for the drawer fronts. If the sides aren’t parallel then it will show once the front is either laid on top, for an overlay, or has to fit between them for an inset. You’ll have to cut your drawer front to match the “wonkiness” of opening. distrbd2252 posts in 2497 days #2 posted 08-10-2016 04:47 PM You should do your very best to make the sides parallel ,or you’ll end up shimming one side or even removing material from the other side to stop the slides from binding. you could make a spacer (cut from scrap wood) to the exact distance as the width of the drawers and test the space between the runners ,it should give you an idea how parallel it actually is. -- Ken from Ontario, Canada pintodeluxe5723 posts in 2864 days #3 posted 08-10-2016 04:50 PM Make the slides parallel. Build the drawer box to fit, based on the smaller dimension. Only the drawer front needs to fit with consistent reveal (assuming they are inset drawers), and that can be applied at the end. If you’re building overlay drawers, then it is even less critical. -- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush Andy3822 posts in 705 days #4 posted 08-10-2016 04:59 PM Thanks everyone for the quick responses! Andy Loren10476 posts in 3698 days #5 posted 08-10-2016 05:16 PM You can make a pattern using the Joe Froggertrick… using an undersized piece of cardboardin the opening, trace an undersized patternusing a spacer block. Then make a full-sizedpattern from that and you can from that patternmake a drawer perfectly tapered to fit the opening. Ball-bearing slides are pretty unforgiving… maybe1/16” of play for the pair side to side so you’ll either want to shim out the slides tomake them parallel or do something like I described above. MrRon4851 posts in 3294 days #6 posted 08-10-2016 06:03 PM 5 mm is too much to be out-of-parallel; the slides will bind. Determine which side is the most out by checking for square with the front using a combination square. Shim the most out-of-parallel side. MadMark979 posts in 1504 days #7 posted 08-10-2016 09:07 PM You cannot taper ball slides. It does not work. For best results your play should be no more that 1.5mm. (1/16”) M -- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com