How to Make Wooden Drawer Slides

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to Make Wooden Drawer Slides
(Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Traditional wooden drawers have a slot that runs the length of the sides. The slot corresponds to a wooden drawer slide that is mounted inside the cabinet in the location where the slot lines up. The wooden slide is a simple and easy-to-maintain method for operating a drawer. It is still considered a viable method for traditional woodworking projects.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1- by 2-dimensional hardwood board
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drawer, with side slots
  • Table saw
  • Belt sander
  • Router table
  • 1/8-inch round-over bit
  • Box, wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • Paste wax

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  1. 1

    Measure the length, width and depth of the slots in the sides of the drawers.

  2. 2

    Cut the hardwood board to the length of the drawer slots. Make two boards as this length. These are the blanks for the drawer slides.

  3. 3

    Cut the drawer slide blanks to the appropriate width for the drawer slots on the table saw. Cut the drawer slide blanks to the appropriate depth for the drawer slots on the table saw.

  4. 4

    Set up the router table with a 1/8-inch round-over bit. Adjust the fence and bit height to round the edges of the drawer slide that will fit into the slots in the drawers.

  5. 5

    Sand the slides with fine-grit sandpaper on the belt sander until they are completely smooth.

  6. 6

    Place the drawer into the opening in the cabinet so that it is properly aligned. Mark the position where the slots line up on the inside sides of the cabinet opening.

  7. 7

    Align the drawer slides so they are on the pencil marks. Fasten the slides in place with wood screws. Space the screws every 6 to 8 inches along the drawer slide. Drive the screws through the drawer slide into the inside face of the cabinet sides.

  8. 8

    Apply paste wax to the drawer slides to enable them drawer to glide along the slides. Insert the drawer into the cabinet by aligning the slots with the wooden drawer slides.

Tips and warnings

  • Add paste wax on occasion to keep the drawer slides operating freely.
  • Wear eye protection when operating power tools.

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