06-21-2011 04:26 AM
I'm going to try to make new "dovetail" drawer slides. They have a plastic guide that attaches to the rear of the drawer and only one runner or slide per drawer. The existing pieces have worn off so bad they are useless and I'm wondering how tight or loose I should make the new ones? Just a ballpark on fit like 1/16" smaller than the guide? I can make them fit by leaving slightly large and ease up on the final fit but thought there might be a rule of thumb so I could get close right off the bat. The guides are plastic and the runner or slide I'm making will be out of some maple I have on hand. I ask about fit as there are 22 to make and hopefully each one won't be a custom, read different, size.
06-21-2011 05:16 AM
Have you checked all of them to make sure the size is same?
If not, I'd stack them by sizes. Than go make them.
You don't want too much play. Start with as you mentioned, at 1/16, and see how it goes.
06-21-2011 05:30 AM - edited 06-21-2011 05:58 AM
If this is what you're referring to, read on. If not, then please ignore the rest.
I made a few dressers and chests using this method years ago. I cut the track the same width as the glide. I then ran the track (both sides) over my jointer, taking off just enough to clean the saw marks. The result was very close to 1/16" clearance. I waxed the guides and everything worked great.
That said, I looked at the technical documents at the above link and, if I read them correctly, they show the gap in the glide as 1 5/32" and the track at 1 1/16". That's 3/32" clearance.
By the way, after years of use, the only issue I've seen with this design is that the side saddles compressed over time. This allowed the fronts of the drawers to sag lower than the back. I replaced the saddles with slivers of hard maple and they seem to be ok.
06-21-2011 05:59 AM - edited 06-21-2011 06:42 AM
Sorry, Paladin. The word "this" is the link. I just edited it and made it bold and underlined.
Edit: I went back and looked. Although the underline shows up in edit mode, it's not there in the post. At least the bold part works.
06-21-2011 08:36 AM
I too have installed these guides or better put re-done them, and I haven't had the good luck with them as you did. Although a snap to install, I'll abmit in my case, I should have went a different route. The screws have this tendency to pull out on the plastic end, since the force of opening & closing of the drawer is pushing directly against the screws in, instead of a shear.. Once this happens then I was faced with striped out screw holes & its repair. Also the plastic breaks off.
With out a built end drawer tilt stop just above the tops of the sides, there seems to be a lot of pressure placed on that piece of plastic out there on the drawers end, when the drawer is pulled open & left on it's own. Especially in the case of a large furniture store bough clothing drawer set. As in the case of my wife's bedroom set she had, when we got married. Needless to say did not go that route when I built that chest on chest of drawers of ours.
RRandy would not the longer thus more lengthy engaged wooden one there on the left of his clickie, be a better choice. Or to mill your own allowing for the margin against the existing drawer's bottom to match the already installed male slide. ????
06-21-2011 09:56 AM
Mine look like this but the top piece is a plastic or nylon piece that attaches to the drawer end. The piece I'll be making is like the bottom piece in my link. Just for added confusion...a triangle with a flat on top and thepoint down. Mine is maybe an inch wide on the flat. These are not expensive to start with although the whole piece of furniture wasn't cheap. It looks like a pretty cheap quality slide rail to begin with. I'd like to say,"cheap Chinese junk" but wasn't made in China so I'll be fair and not say that. Since I have some maple scraps that will work I'll try that first and see if it will last a few years. A poor design to begin with IMO. Thanks for the replies and I'll let y'all know how it works out.