Fixing Drawers That Hit Each Other When Open


From original questioner:

We are finishing up a job with a customer that insists on opening all of her drawers up at the same time and complaining about the gaps not being perfect when drawer are in open position and drawers are loaded with her stuff. Its a European frameless construction job with 1/8" tolerances (when drawers are closed). Does anyone know of any documentation i could show here to make her understand this is not a flaw?

From contributor Br

Note the drawer slides we used are Grass tandem style soft close

From contributor Da

Grass slides are called Dynapros and Blum slides are called Tandem. Which slides are they?

From contributor Ri

Interesting topic. Goes to the concept the root of a problem may not be near the apparent symptoms. First, I read the post to state OP using the Tandem style of Grass manufactured slides. After nearly 30 years, I may have forgotten the exact name of every item I used.

To the point, you may have a calibration problem. I would weigh each drawer in the stack and then add appropriate amount of weight to each so they do weigh the same. I think it is reasonable to expect they maintain their gaps if equally weighted drawers are fully extended. If they do, you will have shown the difference in weight is causing the gap variance. I could then see an argument about the quality of the slides.

I would examine the slides themselves and their mounting on the drawer boxes. Does it change when you switch same size drawers? Does the issue changed when switching parts between drawers?

If not, and the drawers are equally weighted and the faces contact each other when fully extended, I would examine the spacing of corresponding mounting screws of adjacent slides. I suspect you may find variance.

Depending on how the position of the mounting screws is determined on the cabinet will help determine the cause of the variance. If you are using holes created hand, by a CNC, or a dedicated boring machine may have some relevance. If the slide mounting hole is created by hand, during assembly, even with a jig, you may have a variance caused by human error or the jig. There could even be a variance created by the slide mounting on the drawer box itself, or a defective set of slides. If the slides or the mounting

If the hole is created by CNC, you may be miss programmed or the variance may be caused by the tolerance of your machine. When you consider the way a CNC works, positioning each individual process, you can see where there can be some variance.

I have found the best production of holes to be by gang drilling of holes with a dedicated boring machine, such as a Gannomat. Within a single bank, there will be the most precision, unless there is bearing wear affecting the boring spacing. Of course there can be error introduced by boring multiple rows if the banks are not parallel. Or a longer piece may require boring multiple times, with a variance introduced by out of calibration stops.

Finally, if using system holes for mounting produced by CNC or dedicated boring machines, an additional factor may be in the panel sizing. If the part is not sized perfectly square and perfectly placed, the holes may be bored out of position.

I am curious about the outcome.

From contributor ca

Are the cases screwed together flat and are they square in the room - Are you shimmed off the wall or are you riding the stud humps. My guys fight this sometimes and it is a bitch, no doubt.

I feel for you- I will not do 1/8" for this reason. We only will do 3/16 or 1/4".

I would definitely exam Rich's post above.

Also are your cases square ? Across the top diag ?

From contributor Ma

I would try to talk some sense into her.Way too many variables involved to maintain 1/8" margins throughout the full range of motion.Those types of slides, regardless of manufacturer are too sloppy for those expectations.

From contributor Le

I think this is a ridiculous expectation to reach. Why would anyone need this other than to complain about something?

Do the drawers look good when they are all closed?

Do the drawers functions nicely while opened individually?

Are there any un drawer like sounds that happen during opening or closing?

If all these questions can be answered correctly then who cares if they aren't perfect when pulled out fully?

These types of slides are designed for ease of use and the slow close function. They are not a precision slide at all. They rely on a bit of sloppiness to work so smoothly and have that glide effect.

The comments from this person are just out of bounds. You shouldn't have to expect the slides to function to these types of conditions. The conditions she is demanding are made up. I know of no writing that states this type of test.

From contributor do

I agree with Leo. I have also installed a huge amount of these and other drawer hardware and you are never going to get them perfect like what she is saying. She is thinking too much....probably stays at home all day?

From contributor Be

'Drawers when open hit each other' (title of the original post) is a different complaint than the reveals not looking OK when the drawers are open.

Even so, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a fully loaded drawer with an undermount slide to dip down 1/8"+ when fully loaded.

From contributor Jo

Having dealt with a customer who had a similar complaint, I found that my customer's obvious intention was to find something I could not "fix" so she could demand a sizable discount.

This customer kept looking and finding ridiculous issues until I said enough. She then said she expected a discount. In her case she wanted $3000.00.

I hope your faced with the same issue.

From contributor Jo

Oops. I hope your NOT faced with that issue.

From contributor Ad

Reminds me of a customer who insisted upon a lazy susan in a beaded inset face frame kitchen. The real kind with the inset attached doors. I bought the stongest most expensive one I could find and got it working perfectly in the shop and on site. However, the person was an idiot and could not understand why all of the weight had to be distributed on the shelves.

Likewise, why would anyone have all of the drawers open at the same time? The accuracy with unweighted drawers would be possible. Weighted- forget it. There is always a bit of deflection or twist. If the mounting holes in the back of the cabinet are higher or lower than the front holes by 1 mm the actual face when opened would be huge compared to a drawer next to it.

From contributor Ji

Makes you wonder why you see an increase in assaults and people just generally snapping off.
This woman is being kept alive in a fantasy bubble. Time to get paid and find the exit.
Too bad you can screen customers for mental problems prior to working for them.

From contributor Ma

Something you might do to try to convince her that what she want's is not possible,is open one of the drawers all the way out,and show her how much slop there is side to side.You can move the drawer 1/4" side to side,and it will just stay in either position,it's not until they are closed that they can be expected to stay in a certain position.When they are hanging all the way out,they are just flapping in the breeze.

From contributor Ch

Come on. Not a reasonable request. Did the client pay $100k for a $30k kitchen? Even if. It's not reasonable. Too many variables. Makes me furious to hear your situation. If you want to open all carers to the same time then you can't have 1/8" or less reveals! Due to the slides deflecting because of various weights in the drawers is the simplest answer.

From contributor ma

Just offer your client precision linear motion slides at an upcharge: it shouldn't cost more than $1000 per drawer, + re-manufacturing the drawer box, + precision installation. A precision movement is different than a drawer slide; incidentally, drawer slides make better slides for drawers, but priorities are priorities... Who's to say she's crazy; maybe she just needs to spend some more money?

From contributor Ad

This customer has set an early lead as dumbest Woodweb customer of the year. She has my vote.

Its hard not to laugh when the customers pose questions that are so stupid that you just don't know what to say in response.

From contributor Mi

This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Like Leo, if they work right and look good when they are closed then who cares what they look like when they are open!