How To Attach Drawer Slides

Photo of drawer

Drawer slides are lengthy metal structures that are attached to the insides of your drawer. They are there to facilitate the smooth sliding of your drawer in and out each time it is opened or shut closed. Depending on the quality of your drawer slides or due to improper installation and mishandling, often times your drawer slides may tend to misalign themselves and get damaged, resulting in difficult operation. 

Here are some simple steps to aid you in attaching your new drawer slides:

  1. Familiarization. Unpack and open the packaging of your drawer slides and refer to the installation example in the manual. Determine which slide goes to the left and which goes to the right. Take a look at the inside of your drawer opening to familiarize yourself and determine how the slides’ attached position should be in the drawer cavity. Also determine its position with the drawer according to the installation manual.
  2. Left or right side. Starting with the left side of the cavity, place the slide into the cavity making sure the bottom rail of the slide is facing the bottom of the cavity. Also, make sure that the front of the lid does not exceed the exterior of the drawer, but is aligned. Begin attaching the slides by screwing in the screws that came along with the package. Do the same for the right side.
  3. Drill the screws. Make sure that the front of the slide structure does not protrude out of the drawer cavity. Make sure it is properly aligned then drill in the screws in the front and rear end of the rail. Depending on the screw used, you may need a flat head or Philips head screwdriver with this project.
  4. Wheels. Carefully place the wheels into the rear end of the rails. Refer to the manual and position your drawer into the cavity. Gently insert the drawer all the way inside until it is shut. You may need to retry and reinsert if it gets stuck or doesn’t slide in smoothly. For the most part, it should slide in smoothly like the feeling of gliding on ice. 
  5. Open and close. Try opening and closing the drawer a few times to get a feel of the slides and to see if installation is successful. If it feels rigid, you may either remove and reinsert to see if it was an improper insertion or simply apply hardware lubricant to the wheels, as sometimes this may just be the case.

There are actually many woodwork projects that include drawers. Keep in mind there are many different types of drawers slides as well, so it is best to purchase a kit that includes a step by step instruction manual as opposed to a simple diagram printed on a piece of paper with numbers and legends. You can have single, double, wooden, or metal. Installing or replacing drawer slides are fairly easy and does not require much tools at hand as some of these kits come ready with it’s own mini screwdriver  But just the same, keep your toolbox and first aid kit handy as small mishaps may occur. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.


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