Slides for Five-Foot-Deep Drawers

Where there's a will, there's a way. April 29, 2012

I'm building some built-ins for a client in a bedroom with a three foot knee wall. The gist of the situation is they want maximum storage, hence the big drawers at the bottom of the 19 foot wide armoir/bureau/cabinet/built-in project. They are looking at getting some five foot deep (front to back) drawers to hold shoes or whatever else they want to put in them. Has anyone tackled this before? What are my hardware options? I've done some big drawers before and used some ball bearing slides, but this isn't a "ball bearing job". I'm a Blumotion guy, and that's what they expect here.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor N:
They can expect all they want, but they won't get Blumotion. The only slide I know of that can handle 60" is the Accurides made for truck beds.

From the original questioner:
Yep that's what I figured. It is what it is as they say.

From contributor A:
Put a set of Blum 30"s inside a second set. Itís going to lose some space, but not much vs 5'.

From contributor D:
There is a bottom mounted pull-out slide from Hafele, an EKU Forte, which goes up to 40" depth and has soft close. It holds a great deal of weight and is very smooth.

From contributor W:
Another option like said use the 30" soft close and add a sliding drawer inside the large drawer that will bring the rear section forward maybe.

From contributor P:
Make sure they understand the geometry. The cabinet will need to be 60 plus inches deep, and will require a clear space 72" wide in front of the drawer. That's devoting 11 feet of whatever room is available to this. Plus, if it's at floor level, they will have to walk backwards a couple of feet, bent over, to open it. Last, what kind of upper cabinet is going to go over this? Will it be five feet deep as well?

If you do it, I would second the use of the very heavy duty Accuride slides - they can handle it - but be aware that they don't have quick removal feature. The drawer will have to be mounted to the slide permanently. There are lots of red flags here. Make them sign a release acknowledging that they understand the potential problems.

From contributor D:
Five foot deep drawers sound like an ergonomic nightmare. Somebody is going to step into the drawer to reach something in the back, and guess who they'll call to repair the torn out screws or blown out drawer bottom?

From contributor I:
I have built many crazy drawers in my time. That's what we all do. So the best way to go about a job like this is to make the homeowner understand every problem youíre going to run into. Like the other guy said a contract is a great idea but unless youíre a lawyer or you have one drawn up by one your out of luck. Instead of explaining all the problems in person send quite a few emails and make sure they respond back. When there is a problem you at least can take out your stack of emails.

Other than that Accuride is the only way to go or something similar. The only other product you may be able to work with is pantry pullout hardware which mounts top and bottom and is designed for the stress. Your limited to top and bottom mount and I don't think they have quite the throw your looking for.

The only other suggestion I have is if they have to be under-mount Blum (which are my favorite) you could if there floor height as explained takes casters, make a dummy skirt on the bottom of the drawers and mount the casters on the bottom and behind the skirt. I know for a fact this works. The main problem is the level of the floor. I have made pull-outs this size but not as tall where push locks are applied and they are used as steps. Sounds crazy but it works. The main challenge is mounting the drawers.

You have to mount them in place to make sure they slide along the floor and don't bind up, etc. There are many things that could go wrong but if done right it works. If thereís a rug good luck. It will work, but will be difficult. Also, if itís tile or hardwood make sure you spend the money on good non-marring wheels.