As the name implies, drawer glides make the bottom of a drawer glide smoothly along a rail to open and close it easily. In the olden days before the discovery of metal drawer glides, cabinet makers usually fashion wooden drawer glides and then give these a good coating of wax so that the drawers will glide smoothly and easily. It takes good craftsmanship to create good wooden drawer glides that do not get stuck midway. Nowadays metal glides with rollers and ball bearings make installing cabinet drawers easier and faster.
If your drawer glides are faulty or rusty or you want to replace the worn out wooden glides of a favorite table or cabinet and you want to replace them by yourself, take a look at the steps on how to install drawer glides.
- Pull out the drawer from the drawer box. If you have an old cabinet that has wooden glides, all you have to do is pull out the drawer completely out of the cabinet. If the drawer already has metal glides, remove the screws that attach the sides of the drawers to the tongue part of the glides. Some drawer glides have clips that you can access when the drawer is pulled out. You can just press these clips to remove the drawer from the metal rail.
- Look at the sides or underneath the drawer. You will see long pieces of wood that are attached to the sides or the underside of the drawer that allows it to connect with the drawer glides. Remove them gently by prying them loose with the tips of a hammer’s claw. Be careful not to damage the drawer. Remove the wooden railing in the same way.
- Mark the place where you want to install the drawer glides. If this is the same as the previous one, then you only have to screw the drawer glides in the exact place. Otherwise you have to make new measurements on the inside walls of the drawer box.
- Pull the metal tongue out fully and drill pilot holes. Locate the elongated holes on the rail part of the glide that attaches to the side wall of the drawer box. There are usually two holes. Drill pilot holes in the middle of these holes to make it easier to place the screws. Repeat the process to the opposite wall of the drawer box. Make sure that the drawer glides are flushed to the back side of the drawer box.
- Insert the drawer. Note the clearances around the drawer. Place inserts at the bottom of the drawer so that it will sit rightly and you can take proper measurement. Pull the metal tongue all the way out from one side of the rail and align its front end which has a rubber or plastic stopper to the front edge of the drawer. Mark the center of each of the two elongated holes on the side of the tongue and drill pilot holes. Use the screws that come with the metal glides to attach one side of the drawer to the metal tongue. Do the same process to the other side of the drawer. Check to make sure that the drawer glides in and out freely.
Read the instructions that come with the metal glides kit carefully. There are markings on the metal glides. Do note that there are left and right metal glides so be sure that you are attaching the right glide to the right side. When you follow the instructions carefully you will be able to install these drawer glides in less than an hour.