Undermount Slide Installation Jigs

Ways to speed up and standardize the layout and attachment of undermount drawer slides. February 11, 2010

I've been using a fairly cumbersome freehand method of installing Blum tandem undermount slides, as it seems that most installation jigs are for side-mount runners. Are any of you using jigs, either shop-made or commercially available, for installing your undermounts? I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
Blum has two new templates for installing Tandem runners. For single runners the template number is 65.1051. To drill for multiple runners in a cabinet Blum has a Cabinet Profile Template, number 65.1000. Both are adjustable for overlay or inset drawers. Go to www.blum.us and look at the Tandem brochure on page 55.

From contributor S:
Simple: get a CNC and your trouble with slides will be history.

From contributor J:
It sounds fairly archaic, but it works well. I cut a piece of 1/2 MDF to the height of the bottom of the slide, use my 4" combination square for the setback distance. If it's a bank of drawers, I start at the top and cut down the piece as I go down. Cheap and easy.

From contributor E:
To add to contributor J's thought: For drawer banks, make several template pieces and reuse them. Drawer banks are often the same size anyway.

From contributor M:
Today I use the 32 mm system, boring machines, and always follow the system pattern. We only drill the necessary holes, so there are no unused holes. Before we switched I used spacers like contributor J. It works very well. And no CNC necessary.

From the original questioner:
Contributor J, yes, that's what I've been doing, and it does work well enough, but it still gets a bit cumbersome balancing the slide on the scrap while fiddling around drilling pilot holes, etc. I decided last night that I'm just going to build a simple boring template with the setback and pilot holes pre-calculated and drilled so I know it'll be correct and consistent.

From contributor A:
The Euro Uniguide works well for Blum tandems. It's fully adjustable and durable. I've used one for about 6 years. I recommend it.

From contributor H:
We use a double line boring machine now and the system holes with Euroscrews are fast, accurate and consistent. We build a 6/6/6/12 or 6/24 or 6/12/12 combo (figures rounded off) and rarely need to modify. Before we had the boring machine, I used the Blum drawer guide with 4 rails that were never moved.

It takes less than a minute to accurately drill the pilot holes with this jig and no clamps are required. We use it on the flat side panels before we assemble.

From the original questioner:
I'd love to check out the Uniguide sometime - looks like a nice unit. I've been looking at the Blum spec sheets and they're great. One of them has measurements for the critical mounting screw locations. The measurements are from the face frame front to the screw center, so I've just written out a sheet with the dimensions and I'll drill 'em into a piece of Baltic birch or hardboard this evening. Super easy, and it even factors in the setback so I won't even have to measure and mark that anymore.

From contributor N:
For any given job where the drawer locations are consistent, we use a story stick (just a ply scrap 2 or 3 inches wide), cut to the same length as the cab box face is tall. Slide locations are marked on the stick and transferred to each side panel. Setback is established with a combination square or other simple gauge. This way the slides can be mounted with the case sides flat on the bench, prior to assembly (like contributor H's method). Primitive, but it works, and the drawers line up square and true every time.

From contributor H:
You should check out the Blum jig for your tracks, as it is not expensive and works both left and right with an automatic 37mm setback for first hole and all the holes needed for any length of slide.