Undermount drawer slide installation tips and tricks?

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Forum topic by noone posted 04-11-2013 07:25 PM 6198 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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583 posts in 2296 days

04-11-2013 07:25 PM

I installed some nice undermount soft close drawer slides and damn, it took forever to install those.

My installation process for each slide into a frameless cabinet is:

1. Take my carpenter square and set it at 4mm for the set back measurement.
2. Use a piece of wood to mark the distance between the the top of the cabinet and the 1st screw hole.
3. Use the carpenter square to line up the slide with the set back, put a level on the slide and then, while holding the slide, drill the pilot holes using a centering bit.
4. Screw slide into pilot holes.

As easy as it sounds, its difficult and awkward to hold the slide while trying to drill pilot holes with the #6 self centering drill bit.

As Chuck Miller says, “There’s a better way”????

Is there?

All tips and suggestions to make my life easier are welcomed, as I need to re-install 4 more pairs of drawer slides tonight since I made more drawers too tall and too closely spaced together to accommodate the drawer fronts opening correctly…... DOH!!

10 replies so far

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1916 days

#1 posted 04-11-2013 07:32 PM

During #3. above, just before using the centering bit, mark your pilot holes first with a pencil and centerpunch in the pilot holes, then again repeat your #3. step. If you don’t centerpunch, even a centering bit can wander just a little bit – and then you will cursing.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2096 days

#2 posted 04-11-2013 10:20 PM

why don’t you find the measurement to the bottom of the cab to the bottom of the slide (5/8 below the d box) and mark the set back in pencil. Cut two pieces of wood (jacks) and set the slide on top. use you carpenters square to mark the set back and clamp the guide to the box with some quick grips. then center punch or drill, and screw. They just need to be parallel to cab bottom. A bit of soft pull double stick tape holds the jacks in place, and once you have a pair of jacks cut for each location, off you go. You can also make a jig that squares the glide to the face, that you clamp in place, and then set the guide on top of that, if you have to do a lot of them.

-- Who is John Galt?

View noone's profile


583 posts in 2296 days

#3 posted 04-11-2013 10:31 PM


I think I like the jig idea the best since this project is duplicated in two more rooms also. It shouldn’t be too difficult to build a ‘T’ jig with a few pocket holes that I can clamp at the front. That should give me the extra hand that I need.


View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1978 days

#4 posted 04-11-2013 10:59 PM

Joeyinsouthaustin has it right. He must have done a few of these. I’d add a fixture to manage the offset from the front of the cabinet / face frame so you get absolute uniformity without measuring. You could even build it into the jacks joeyinsouthaustin is talking about by using just a flathead screw in the end of the jack that you could flush up to a block against the front of the cabinet. I often find that making a fixture, even if I only use it once or twice delivers results that measuring alone can’t or won’t accomplish.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2096 days

#5 posted 04-12-2013 07:45 PM

Roger, you are correct… more than even my post betrays. Nice name style…. I am a fan!!

P.s Noone kreg and blum both make one if you don’t want to make your own. Here is a pic of kreg’s side mount version. It may give you inspiration on how to create an undermount version.

-- Who is John Galt?

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583 posts in 2296 days

#6 posted 04-12-2013 08:01 PM

now i think i like the jack stand idea…...!!!

May be easier just to make a few size stands that i can reuse on the other two closets…...

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2096 days

#7 posted 04-12-2013 09:04 PM

Jacks are what we use the most often. It is a good way to go if you are not doing a ton. In the cab shop we just line it up with the 32 mm holes and go :)

-- Who is John Galt?

View noone's profile


583 posts in 2296 days

#8 posted 04-22-2013 01:42 PM

I ended up making a jig that was simply a ‘T’ with enough clearance to be able to clamp it flush to the inside of the cabinet with some Quik Grips. It worked well.

However, i’m curious about the 32mm holes. The Rockler JIG IT I have for drilling 32 mm holes seems to offset the hole from the edge deeper than the first hole on the Salice undermounts (Blum clones) I was using. It drills holes either 1-7/16” or 2-1/2” from the edge. I guess I could have used the ‘wide’ hole slot underneath the row of single holes on the drawer slide.

What is the distance your machines drill the holes from the edge? What’s the standard?

edit – Nevermind. I see now that if I used the 1 7/16” holes and used the 4th hole, it would have lined up perfectly…..

View Hopdevil's profile


220 posts in 3109 days

#9 posted 04-22-2013 02:23 PM

Very timely question for me as well. I am about to embark on a kitchen renovation. My plan was to build a template and drill the holes for the slides before I assembled the cabinet. Is that a good or a bad idea?

-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2309 days

#10 posted 04-22-2013 04:46 PM

When I built my kitchen cabinets I used the Tandembox drawer system, but the component that is mounted to the inside of the cabinet is about the same as what you’re doing. And I used the jacks that have been discussed here. All of my base cabinets are drawer bases. All of the drawer heights are the same bottom drawers, all middle drawers are the same height, all top drawers are the same height. So I made a pair of jacks for each height as measured from the bottom of the cabinet. Slap the jacks on, hold the drawer glide on top, and PUSH a center punch into whatever hole I’m using to mount the slide. Then I used a sharpie to make a dot in the center punched dimple so I could find them easier. Done. It goes real fast.

Hopdevil, if I were to do this again, I’d drill them before assembly. You will have a dado running horizontal in the cabinet sides into which you’ll set the drawer bottom when you assemble the cabinets. Cut a strip of plywood from your cabinet bottom stock and stick it in that dado to reference your template.

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