Standardizing Side Mount Drawer Slide Placement

If you want to make time, make a simple rule and stick with it. March 26, 2010

When installing side mount drawer slides like Accuride’s, does in really matter if they are mounted at the bottom, middle or near the top of the drawer box?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor F:
It all depends on how tall the drawer sides. The taller the side means you will want to mount the slide more in the middle. On shorter h drawers you can mount them middle or at the bottom and it will work fine. On shorter drawers that you make, if you make them with the bottom applied to the sides, by mounting them to the bottom you can hide the plywood edge.

From contributor Z:
You want to standardize the distance to be a constant dimension from the bottom of every drawer. As soon as you do this your drawer installation will become simpler. In our case every slide is centered 37 mm from the top facet of any element that is below the drawer box. If you are building frameless style cabinets and the floor of your cabinet is 19 mm thick, the first slide would center at 56mm (19+37). If you are building faceframe cabinets and your faceframe rails are 38 mm tall then the slide centers at 75mm (38+37). Standardization of where you mount a slide in the cabinet box will allow you to standardize where the slide member lives on the drawer box. This will allow you to develop better jigs to mount the slide faster and more accurately.

Standardization will allow you to predict where parts live in the cabinet. Eventually you will be able to mount drawer faces to drawer boxes before you have even built the faceframe. The real benefit of standardization is that it will provide you more flexibility in scheduling manpower. If things don't have to follow a rigorous set of sequences (faceframe no longer must be built and installed before you can figure out where to put the slide) then you can become more nimble. Standardization is key to simplification.

From contributor S:
Contributor Z is correct in his evaluation of the issue. I would only add that if you have one tall drawer in a lower cabinet for laundry hamper style pull out, you think of this set up. I have found that if you mount the slide close to the top, the drawer slides out easier. The drawer then hangs from the slide as opposed to resting down on the slide when it is lower on the side. When the handle is located on the top along with the slide then the two items are closer to being in line, reducing any binding that may happen. This is used on a five piece drawer configuration, not those wire baskets that one can purchase. Sometimes if smaller items slip through the holes they get caught in the slide and ruin the item, along with what could be a costly service call for such a small thing. I only make hampers now with full closed sides and fronts.