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Can't get Soft Close Drawer Slides to close.

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Blog entry by dakremer posted 01-09-2021 01:46 AM 579 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok guys I’m scratching my head. I bought some 18” soft-closing drawer slides from Menards and I can’t (FOR THE LIFE OF ME) get them to shut all the way. The drawers seem a tad tight (they don’t slide as easily as I thought they would) and the soft close kicks in but then leaves the drawer open about 1/2”. I can physically close the drawer all the way, but the soft close just won’t close it all the way.

I cut a stick of wood exactly 1” wider than the drawer to verify that I have 1/2” clearance along each side of the drawer. I have about about 1/16” more than the 1” along the entire cabinet. So my tolerance is spot on. Drawer slides are mounted parallel. I can’t see anything wrong with the slides themselves. There’s nothing blocking the drawer from closing. I have run out of ideas…super frustrating.

What am I missing?????

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!



16 comments so far

View PPK's profile

PPK

1830 posts in 1786 days


#1 posted 01-09-2021 02:57 AM

The very first time that you put the two parts of the slide back together, the little ball bearing carriers bind. Push it closed and pull it open a time or two and it becomes easy. The carrier gets aligned. If this doesnt fix it, then I suspect it’s the menards slides are junk. I quit buying them because I had too many fail prematurely. Do the slides work correctly of you take the components off the cabinet/ drawer and try closing only the slide?

Finally, theres a little catch pin that catches the drawer part of the slide, when it gets about 2” from the back and guides it home slowly. I’ve had this pin get backwards, and just had to click it back and then the slides work properly again.

Hope that helps.

-- Pete

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

8304 posts in 3242 days


#2 posted 01-09-2021 04:40 AM

I used Salice soft close drawer slides on my kitchen job. The instructions required that the drawers be 1 1/32 seconds smaller than the opening. I think I pushed it 1 1/16. I have a friend with a cabinet shop who sold me the slides he showed me that I needed to screw one slide to the side securely. Then on the other side I only screwed the front screw securely and the last three screwed in but leaving a gap to allow the slide to move around a bit. Mine have been in for 2 years with no issues.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6298 posts in 3790 days


#3 posted 01-09-2021 05:23 AM

Experiment by placing washers between the case and the slide. See if the binding goes away.

Double check your drawer box for square.

Another experiment you can try… Loosen the rear screws that hold the slides to the cabinet. Just the rear ones. If the slides begin working, just use shims or washers to tighten the screws in that position.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2102 posts in 1565 days


#4 posted 01-09-2021 06:36 AM

1/16” over is not “spot on”. They need to be dead on, not over or under. Shim ye must.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View GaryCN's profile

GaryCN

497 posts in 4911 days


#5 posted 01-09-2021 02:12 PM


Another experiment you can try… Loosen the rear screws that hold the slides to the cabinet. Just the rear ones. If the slides begin working, just use shims or washers to tighten the screws in that position.

- pintodeluxe


This is what worked for me I had to slightly shim the back. My slides came from Rockler.

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2756 posts in 4068 days


#6 posted 01-09-2021 02:23 PM



1/16” over is not “spot on”. They need to be dead on, not over or under. Shim ye must.

- Madmark2

Directions say the opening can be 1/32 larger than 1/2” on each side. Thats exactly where I’m at. I even shimmed it by 1/16” so it was dead on at 1/2” – they worked even worse.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2756 posts in 4068 days


#7 posted 01-09-2021 02:25 PM



Experiment by placing washers between the case and the slide. See if the binding goes away.

Double check your drawer box for square.

Another experiment you can try… Loosen the rear screws that hold the slides to the cabinet. Just the rear ones. If the slides begin working, just use shims or washers to tighten the screws in that position.

- pintodeluxe

Thanks for the response! I will try that today. Checked for drawer square last night and they’re perfectly square. How I pulled that off, I’m not sure. lol.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2756 posts in 4068 days


#8 posted 01-09-2021 02:26 PM

There must be some sort of binding somewhere – I put some grease in the ball bearing part and they worked better. The soft close pulled it shut. Still seems to not quite be right though. I will loosen up some screws in the back to see if it makes a difference.

Thanks for the responses so far

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2756 posts in 4068 days


#9 posted 01-09-2021 02:27 PM



The very first time that you put the two parts of the slide back together, the little ball bearing carriers bind. Push it closed and pull it open a time or two and it becomes easy. The carrier gets aligned. If this doesnt fix it, then I suspect it s the menards slides are junk. I quit buying them because I had too many fail prematurely. Do the slides work correctly of you take the components off the cabinet/ drawer and try closing only the slide?

Finally, theres a little catch pin that catches the drawer part of the slide, when it gets about 2” from the back and guides it home slowly. I ve had this pin get backwards, and just had to click it back and then the slides work properly again.

Hope that helps.

- PPK

(I knew about the first time pushing the drawer in – thats not the problem) When I take the slides off, they work perfectly. So something inside the cabinet is causing it. Definitely super frustrating because as far as I can tell, the cabinet is square, the slides are parallel, and my measurements are perfect.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25762 posts in 4082 days


#10 posted 01-10-2021 12:04 AM

The drawers have to be totally free with no binding..with too wide of drawers or too narrow of drawers and they pull the slides inward. The pull force to self close is not that great so the drawer has to be free. I have one drawer in my router table that gets tight in the back and it will not pull that drawer in and I have to sand the back of the drawer down a bit.

If the slides work fine without being attached to the drawer, the problem has to be in the drawer fit.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1489 posts in 703 days


#11 posted 01-10-2021 12:39 AM

and my measurements are perfect.

If this is true, try a different set of guides.
IMO, Side mount soft close guides have never been that good. I won’t use them.

Is your drawer flat? In other words is it racked at all? If you put the drawer on a flat surface will it rock at all?

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

8263 posts in 1689 days


#12 posted 01-10-2021 12:55 AM

want to fix it get Blum your problem will vanish :<)))))))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Calvi's profile

Calvi

22 posts in 1101 days


#13 posted 01-10-2021 01:28 AM

I had trouble with my 18” ball bearings slides from Lowe’s could not get in all the way perfect level finally reefed on drawer a few times really hard went in worked fine since. Remember moisture humidity cold heat can affect drawers so they will stick some.

-- Cal, South Carolina,USMC

View Knotwyrkin's profile

Knotwyrkin

1 post in 17 days


#14 posted 01-10-2021 01:35 AM

Hi, I registered just so I can reply. The tolerances/clearances for the screw heads are tight, making an elevated screw head or an incompletely tightened screw sometimes rub against the telescoping slide. Cheap (i.e. – Chinese) screws can sometimes have too thick of a head and cause binding. Check to see if any screw heads are too thick.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4222 posts in 3324 days


#15 posted 01-10-2021 04:07 PM

+1 on checking the screws. I also assume you checked to be sure they are level and both sides are at the same elevation. I know – all basic stuff but sometimes things get shifted a bit.

+1 on Blum – if you have DEEP pockets like Tony :+)

I’ve used quite a few Menards slides. They aren’t up to the same standards as the more expensive ones but they should still work well. Never had one completely fail.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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