All Replies on How perfectly parallel do draw sides need to be?

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View Andy382's profile

How perfectly parallel do draw sides need to be?

by Andy382
posted 08-10-2016 04:37 PM

7 replies so far

View ScottM's profile


748 posts in 2997 days

#1 posted 08-10-2016 04:44 PM

I think it will depend on your plans for the drawer fronts. If the sides aren’t parallel then it will show once the front is either laid on top, for an overlay, or has to fit between them for an inset. You’ll have to cut your drawer front to match the “wonkiness” of opening.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3297 days

#2 posted 08-10-2016 04:47 PM

You should do your very best to make the sides parallel ,or you’ll end up shimming one side or even removing material from the other side to stop the slides from binding.

you could make a spacer (cut from scrap wood) to the exact distance as the width of the drawers and test the space between the runners ,it should give you an idea how parallel it actually is.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View pintodeluxe's profile


6206 posts in 3664 days

#3 posted 08-10-2016 04:50 PM

Make the slides parallel. Build the drawer box to fit, based on the smaller dimension. Only the drawer front needs to fit with consistent reveal (assuming they are inset drawers), and that can be applied at the end.

If you’re building overlay drawers, then it is even less critical.

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

View Andy382's profile


2 posts in 1505 days

#4 posted 08-10-2016 04:59 PM

Thanks everyone for the quick responses!


View Loren's profile


10588 posts in 4498 days

#5 posted 08-10-2016 05:16 PM

You can make a pattern using the Joe Frogger
trick… using an undersized piece of cardboard
in the opening, trace an undersized pattern
using a spacer block. Then make a full-sized
pattern from that and you can from that pattern
make a drawer perfectly tapered to fit the

Ball-bearing slides are pretty unforgiving… maybe
1/16” of play for the pair side to side so
you’ll either want to shim out the slides to
make them parallel or do something like
I described above.

View MrRon's profile


5934 posts in 4094 days

#6 posted 08-10-2016 06:03 PM

5 mm is too much to be out-of-parallel; the slides will bind. Determine which side is the most out by checking for square with the front using a combination square. Shim the most out-of-parallel side.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2304 days

#7 posted 08-10-2016 09:07 PM

You cannot taper ball slides. It does not work. For best results your play should be no more that 1.5mm. (1/16”)


-- Madmark - [email protected]

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