How to install ball-bearing-type drawer slides
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Photo 1: Remove drawer and slides
Pry the old drawer
slides from the cabinet
and from the bottom of
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Photo 2: Attach new slide to drawer bottom
Draw a line down the center of the drawer bottom.
If your drawer has a 3/8-in. lip, chisel a
notch as shown. Align the top half of the slide
over the center line and attach it to the drawer
with one screw in front and one in back. The back
of the slide will probably overhang the drawer.
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Photo 3: Build support rail
Screw the bottom half of
the drawer slide to the 1x4
support rail with 3/4 x
No. 8 pan head sheet
metal screws. Make
sure the front of
the slide overhangs
the front of the
wood rail 3/4 in.
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Photo 4: Install support rail in cabinet
Shim the front of the drawer slide if necessary. Center the slide on the drawer
opening and secure it with one screw in the front. Now adjust the back of the
slide until it's level and square with the front of the cabinet. Then attach the back
of the support rail to the back of the cabinet by driving 1-1/4 in. drywall screws
through the predrilled clearance holes in the cleat.
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Photo 5: Slide drawer into cabinet
Slide the drawer into the opening. Align the
two halves of the drawer slide and push the
drawer all the way in to connect them. Test the
operation of the drawer. Remove the drawer
and adjust the slides if necessary. Then tighten
all of the screws.
You don't have to put up
with creaky, sticking drawers. Replace
your old worn-out drawer slides with
the modern ball-bearing type. The
drawers will roll so smoothly that
you'll think you have new cabinets.
Most new side-mounting drawer
slides require exactly 1/2 in. between
the drawer side and the cabinet frame.
The center mount slide we're using
mounts to any drawer regardless of
side clearance, which makes it a great
choice for replacing old drawer slides.
We used 22-5/8 in. Accuride No.
1029 slides, but No. KV1129P22 are
similar. Both come with a mounting
bracket that can be screwed to the
back of the cabinet to support the
back of the drawer slide. But we
decided to attach the slide to a
wooden support rail instead (Photo
3). This stiffens the slide and gives the
drawer better support when it's fully
extended. Cut the 1x4 support rail to
fit between the front frame and the
back of the cabinet. We used a
1-in. wide cleat (Photo 3) to make it
easier to attach the support rail to the
back of the cabinet. Make sure this
cleat doesn't interfere with the drawer
below. If it does, fasten the 1x4 with
metal angle brackets instead.
Measure the depth of your cabinet
from the front of the frame to the back
wall. Then check the drawer slide
package to find the correct length.
Standard depth kitchen cabinets
require 22-5/8 in. slides. You'll also
need four 1-1/4 in. drywall screws to
attach the support rail to the cabinet.
Here are a few pointers and things
to watch out for:
- Separate the two halves of the slides
by extending them as far as possible
and giving an extra tug.
- Measure the height of the lip on the
bottom of the drawer (Photo 2). The
drawer slide requires 1/4 in. If the lip
is more than 1/4 in., make up the difference
by shimming under the front
of the bottom rail before you screw it
to the cabinet. Our lip was 3/8 in., so
we added an 1/8-in. shim (Photo 4).
- Two small plastic pads come with
the drawer slide. Put one on each side
of the drawer opening to keep the
drawer from tipping. Fine-tune the
drawer by adjusting the thickness of
the shim under the bottom rail until
the drawer sides barely touch the
- Don't tighten any screws until
you've checked the operation of the
drawer. Adjust the position of the
slides until the drawer operates
smoothly and the drawer front rests
flush against the cabinet.
- Drawers like the one shown, with a
3/8-in. lip around the front, require a
notch to allow the slide to be mounted
flush with the front of the cabinet. Cut
the notch with a sharp chisel.