Retrofitting New Drawer Slides in Old Face Frame Cabs

Tips on how to align and secure the back attachment points of replacement drawer slides in an existing cabinet. May 6, 2007

How do you guys install the rear sockets for standard 3/4 white epoxy slides in cabinets? This is for refacing cabinets. Are there any jigs or can I make a jig for easier installations? The face frames rails and stiles can and do vary from kitchen to kitchen. By the way, we are using the Blum standard slides. I have a Minifix jig from Blum, but either I am not using it correctly or it doesn't really work. The Minifix jig hardly holds the slide in place, and the rear of the slide seems to twist and go out of plumb and level.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
Make a "socket nailer" usually scrap melamine or what ever about 2-3" x 25". Make one for each side, place behind the face frame, mark drawer openings, take it out and attach sockets, nail to back of cabinet. You are done.

From the original questioner:
To contributor A: First of all thanks for the reply, but I am unclear regarding the procedure you are suggesting. I think that you are suggesting that I take the piece of scrap, butt it against the side of the face frame and use that to mark the position of the drawer front opening on the back side? If that is what you are suggesting would you still need to level and plumb the scrap piece or would you be fine just butting the piece flush to the face frame and using a clamp?

From contributor B:
Another way to do what Tom is suggesting is to cut the scrap piece the size (length) of the drawer opening, mount the slides to the ends of it, insert it and attach to the back of the cabinet. This will keep the proper spacing at the rear of the slides and keep them parallel. The only other adjustment you'll need is up and down. Your side to side will be taken care of. A torpedo level works well, or you can just insert the drawer box and let it tell you what it needs to do.

From contributor C:
Another spin on the same technique is to make a piece of wood very similar to what has been posted above, but instead of affixing the bracket to the wood, use it as a jig to attach the bracket right to the back. It will help if the inset on the edges of the FF are all the same. Although, now that I think about it, it may be faster and certainly easier to just do exactly as posted above. Some of those cabinets can be hard to work in due to space constraints. Would putting in the block affect the shelves? If so, you can run the block from the top of the cabinet down. It would only about 6" long and a little more difficult to install.