Full extension drawers #1: Prototype

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Blog entry by yuridichesky posted 01-18-2014 09:28 AM 3854 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Full extension drawers series Part 2: Cowardly backing out to industrial hardware »

Guys and gals, I need your advise.

I’m cooking my underbench chest of drawers to store some tools. And I’m dreaming about full extension drawers.

Here’s what I’m up to so far: half-wooden shop-made full extension slides.

Two aluminum extrusion profiles and wooden runner:

The extrusions are cut in flash into carcase wall and drawer:

I think whole idea is more or less clear, anyway see some pictures of drawer in action.

Fully closed:



The screws protrude through wooden runner and work as stoppers: the runner travels halfway through carcase wall and halfway through drawer side.

The chest (about 20” wide and 15” deep) will be made out of pine. If it would be some hardwood I think I’d go for sliding dovetails instead of aluminum profiles.

The runners will be some hardwood (oak or beech – which one is better BTW?), cross-section about 3/4”x3/4”. Also I’m thinking about putting some teflon tape onto runners to decrease friction.

Do you see any flaws in this design?

Do I need to seal the pores of wooden runners to prevent them from season expansion/contraction?

What is better: to glue aluminum extrusions in or to secure them with the screws (again thinking about wood movement)?

All your critiques, opinions, suggestions are very much appreciated.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

8 comments so far

View Sergeich's profile


109 posts in 1822 days

#1 posted 01-18-2014 11:05 AM

Wow! I never saw befor selfmade full extension slides! Yuri, is your life credo Never buy anithing you can make yourself? :) I am the same in most aspects. As for me I prefer always make details from wood if it possible. Dovetails rule. Regarding beech and oak from my experience (not too big) beech is more flexible. It is good feature preventing breaking details during usage. Oak is oak. It’s always good.

View Boatman53's profile


1056 posts in 2221 days

#2 posted 01-18-2014 12:49 PM

Very nice Yuri. You might try just waxing the the wooden runner instead of the tape. Wax will also protect it from moisture

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 1989 days

#3 posted 01-18-2014 04:08 PM

Sergey, thank you. I’m not sure that I’d go for this shop-made slides if I’d have ready for use full-extension slides available around. Speaking about woods: oak tends to split, beech tends to twist when moisture changes. Still not sure about woods…

Jim, thanks. Yes, I think about waxing as an option. I waxed wagon vise parts (well, not waxed in fact but used candle paraffin and heat gun to let the wood soak it) and it works just fine for almost year already.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Mosquito's profile


9353 posts in 2317 days

#4 posted 01-18-2014 04:23 PM

That’s a great idea!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Jorg Zimmermann's profile

Jorg Zimmermann

24 posts in 1631 days

#5 posted 01-18-2014 06:05 PM

I’d use Beech wood for the runner not oak, in general wood with fine pores doesn’t wear off as much as oak for example, just think of sanding paper. I had to build full extension drawers on my exam piece made entierly from wood. Similar construction. I used Beech and Maple. I don’t think you have to worry so much about the expansion of the wood after all the dimension of the runner is not really big so the change in dimension is tolerable. Assuming a maximum of 10% Humidity change in the wood that wood make not even half a milllimeter difference between dry season and wet season. The wax I would see useful to make the running smooth. I would screw the Aluminium in but make sure you sink the screw heads in very well!


-- Jorg

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3701 days

#6 posted 01-19-2014 02:39 AM

Interesting idea.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 1989 days

#7 posted 01-19-2014 09:20 AM

Mos, you are kind man, thank you!

Jorg, thank you for thoughtful answer. All-in-wood design looks pretty attractive, and I’m thinking in this direction too.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1752 days

#8 posted 01-22-2014 02:16 AM

I would probably use a hardwood like maple for the runner.
Not sure if it’s the best or not but probably what I would try if I were doing it.

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