Attaching Drawer Slides to Solid Wood Cabinet Sides

      How to install drawer slides so that wood movement won't cause trouble. April 18, 2006

I am building a reproduction cabinet (appearance only) and the lady would like the same drawer slides as her kitchen, which are the tandems. I am concerned that mounting the slides across the grain of the solid pine gable ends is going to cause problems due to seasonal changes in the width of the gable ends. The gables are 20 inches deep. Am I being overly concerned, and if I am not, is there a way around this problem?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Do you have a face frame? Mount the slides to a ripping of plywood. Mount the front of the plywood ripping to the back of the face frame, and staple the back of the plywood ripping through the back of the cabinet. This keeps that plywood ripping isolated from the pine and it can move all it wants. Unless I missed something, this will work wonderfully for you. I do it all the time this way because I think adjustment is much easier initially than moving the slides. You don't have to stick your head up inside the cabinet to see what you're doing.

From contributor B:Here are a couple of things to think about. First of all the 2nd mounting hole for the Tandems is 261 mm from the front edge, so your only dealing with the movement of 224 mm (261-37) worth of wood. Now assuming you’re using good KD stock and the likelihood that it's going into a nice house with some climate control, your wood movement isn't going to be all that much. Finish the inside of the cabinet also to eliminate any extremes of humidity exchange, and I think you'll be OK.

From the original questioner:Thanks guys for your responses. Both appear to me to be good solutions and I had noticed after my original post the location of the holes. Have been using them for the past year and never realized they were that close to the front. It is great to have the opportunity to ask questions and get good answers.

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