drawer guides

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by dnick posted 01-17-2013 01:38 AM 1274 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2379 days

01-17-2013 01:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: chest dresser drawers runners drawer guides drawer slides

I am designing a chest on chest dresser. My main concern is to have have the drawers slide in & out smoothly. I have built 8 cabinets with various numbers of drawers. On 1 cabinet I used full extension ball bearing slides, & of course they work perfectly. On the others I used a variety of shop made wooden slides with mixed results. Now I don’t want to use metal slides, not so much because I want to make a “traditional” chest, but because of the cost. I am not working anymore. Not by choice. The wood alone will cost plenty. This is by far the largest project I’ve ever attempted. More than twice the size of the tv cabinet that was my first project post. Not even sure I have the space in my garage to build it & still move around. 13 drawers, the largest drawer opening is 8” x 20”, smallest is 4&1/2” x 12”. 16 to 14” depths. I have seen a lot of chests built without runners. Drawers slide on nylon tape or stem bumpers, against wooden “guides”. I would like to know what has worked for others in the past Even what hasn’t worked might be helpfull. I welcome your advice.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

3 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2351 days

#1 posted 01-17-2013 03:10 AM

well, if you buy your slides from a cabinet supply place they will be a fraction of what you pay for them at the box stores. I prefer the ball bearing slides on chests personally because they can be setup to allow for wood movement, and they are relatively quiet compared to wooden slides. You may also look into european slides, while they aren’t the greatest, they’ll work ok, and you can replace them later.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 1978 days

#2 posted 01-17-2013 05:32 AM

On chests such as dressers I just use the wood drawer sides riding on a base. I have 1 dresser made of pine that we have been using daily for over 10 years and it works great. I usually apply paste wax to the drawer and runner and that dresser I only applied it once. I have 1 I made out of oak for my daughter and as far as I know it isn’t a problem either.

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2197 days

#3 posted 01-17-2013 05:49 AM

I have always used the wooden runners, I make them out of hardwood, two on the cabinet and one on the drawer with just a hint of wiggle room.. not much.. and I also coat the runners with paste wax before I put them to use.. so far I have had no complaints and all the runners seem to be working just fine.. the biggest thing with the wood runners is everything has to be plumb.. square, level and even.. they can’t pinch and can’t sag. I have always thought about the fact that there are cabinets from 150 plus years ago that used hardwood runners for their drawers and they are still working exactly like they did the day they were made.. if they were good enough for Gustov Stickley they are good enough for me.. just my two cents,,,,//Papa..
I built a huge chest on chest a few years ago.. 19 drawers and a 20” X 20” two door cabinet in the middle.. it was made with ash and cherry..used maple scraps for the runners.. works great… have fun.. take your time and be safe.. and ENJOY… that’s what this is all about.. I had to put signs up in my shop at one time, there were four of them, they all said in big letters..” I am not in a hurry”...I have enjoyed my work so much more ever since.. it should be a fun and enjoyable time.. good luck… papa…

-- Papa...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics