Installing Full Extension Slides

by "Jarhead0531"

This article first appeared in a thread on theWoodNet woodworking forum. It was compiled and reproduced here for easier public consumption. All Text are the property of "Jarhead0531."

One of the simple things I have always struggled with is installing drawer slides square and with the proper set back. I know there are plenty of jigs available, but they tend to be manufacturer specific and I never stock up so I end up using different brands based on availability. Also I have never seen a jig that makes sure you mount the slides at the same height on each side of the cabinet.

I figured since installing drawers slides in the past has kicked my butt, I'm sure other people have had questions but didn't ask for fear of ridicule. This project has fifteen drawers in a 54"x21" plywood case. It will be my under bench tool storage when completed.

To start I begin putting a piece of masking tape roughly centered on both sides of the front of the drawer then mark the exact center on the tape using my trusty 6" square set to the right distance. Just in case of little variations I made all the measurements from the top of the drawer. You can see one section here all marked up.

After I did that for all the drawers I put them in the cabinet using scrap pieces of lumber to get spacing between the drawers, unfortunately I didn't take a picture of this. With the spacing set I move the entire stack over to the side of the cabinet and using my square transfer the exact mark of the drawer centerline to the cabinet on masking tape I put on the face.

With that done I made up a jig to match the spacing of the horizontal adjustment holes on the cabinet side of the slides and teh vertical adjustment holes on the drawers side of the slides all lines up with a centerline drawn on the jig.

Make sure you have the set back done correctly on the cabinet side for inset drawers like I'll be using here. With the jig made I simply matched up the center lines on the cabinet..

And drilled the holes necessary. You'll notice I put tape over the holes that I shouldn't use.

With that done I did the same thing on the drawers as seen below.

I went ahead and installed all of the cabinet parts of the slide at once leaving the screws a little loose. Then I came back made sure they were 3/4 back for the false fronts using my trusty little square. While I was snugging them up I forced the slide up to the top of the horizontal screw slot. I did this on all drawers, kind of set a standard deviation across all drawers.

When I got all the hardware mounted and installed you can see the drawer ends up being about 1/16 higher than the original mark. This is caused by me forcing the cabinet side up. I figured if I didn't do this you could have as much as a 1/8 error between the two slides which could cause some problems with opening and closing.

The whole process worked better than I expected and you can see the final results...

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