Where to Mount Drawer Slides

Cabinetmakers discuss whether to position drawer slides so that the slide itself halts the drawer travel, or to install bumpers instead. August 14, 2007

We have a little debate here, and I was wondering about other people’s experiences. With side mount drawer slides, there are two ways of mounting the cabinet member of the slide. This is regarding Accuride file drawer slides, four sided drawer box with a separate applied drawer face, euro style cabinet.

1) Mount the cabinet member of the slide with the first screw hole 37mm from the front edge of the cabinet as recommended in the manufacturer's specifications sheet. The result is that the drawer will be fully closed when the back of the drawer face hits the cabinet face or edge. In most cases with fisheyes or felt bumpers as a cushion.

2) Mount the cabinet member of the slide back from the face or front edge of the cabinet in a location such that when the drawer fully closes, the slide bottoms out on itself. The fisheyes or felt bumpers may be used, but it is the slide location that determines where the drawer closes.

Let me explain the difference. With the first example, the drawer front can possibly be loosened from the drawer box over time when the drawer is repeatedly closed with excess force. With the second example, the slide on the cabinet takes the blow, and may hold up better.

Anyone using the #2 method? Ever even heard of it? I will stay neutral for now just to not sway any answers of how it should be done, but this is a bit of a source of frustration for me here and I need to settle it. I would like your opinions if you have them.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
We have always installed our guides as in example number 2. This is on the euro cabinets we produce in large volume. We began doing this years ago for two reasons. 1) Supplier of the guides told us this was how they were designed and 2) we have a line of cabinets we carry for those customers that feel a cabinet is not of quality unless it comes from the north and their fronts are constantly a warranty issue for us. This is because they install their guides as in example #1. The drawers that customers store their silver in and are heavy seem to get knocked off a lot. But hey, they got a quality box! :-)

From contributor K:
I only use method #2 and always have. It is the correct way. The issue my shop runs into is that we rarely pre-drill our drawer boxes and I have to explain this over and over to all of the people on the floor.

From contributor B:
We use Dynaslides. Mount as in your #1. The slides have a soft close/bumper built in and it works. If you are still concerned about over-travel, move the box mounted component back from the front edge just a touch. With this method you use your system holes for your alignments and you are not playing around with some other method that isn't consistent.

From contributor K:
Oops! Sorry, I misread your post. I use method #3, which is kind of like #1 and #2. I always use 37mm for cabinet members and the drawer member is set back anywhere from 2-3mm. It shows all of this in the slide catalogs, and it's basically the same from all the manufacturers.

From contributor C:
Contributor K is correct, 37mm back on the cabinet is correct, and the slide is set back on the drawer box. I think a common mistake is to mount the slide on the box up against the back of the drawer front. Problem I have had is when I pre-drill holes on the CNC at 37mm, the guys in the shop sometimes don't use them because they have mounted the slide on the drawer box wrong.

From contributor L:
We use Grass Zargen glides. 37mm set back. Drawer glide is self stopping. Drawer front never hits the cabinet face.

From contributor E:
If I'm reading your description correctly, I would say #1. I mount my slides so that they bottom out on the bumpers, about 1/16" from where the slide would bottom out. I use the Blumotion so there is no slamming of the drawer fronts. They close nice and smooth and stop right where they are supposed to. Also, the drawer box just sits on the slides and clicks into place so there is no positioning to worry about with the drawer, only the slides.

From contributor F:
For Accuride side mount slides, as others mentioned, the cabinet member of the slide is fastened to where its front edge is flush with the face of the cabinet (for non-metric guys). The member of the slide that gets attached to the drawer box gets attached set back from the front edge of the drawer sides by the exact thickness of your bumpers or pads. This setting has the cabinet member fully at its "closed detent" at the same moment the bumper/pads contact the cabinet face. Naturally there is room for front to back adjustment if the correct screw slots are used.