Drawer ball bearing slides

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 01-12-2011 02:49 PM 1365 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1333 posts in 4313 days

01-12-2011 02:49 PM

This may sound a silly question, does the lenght of ball bearing drawer runner have to equal the depth of the drawer? the reasoin I ask is, as I sit polishing a seat at my desk I noticed the slides on my drawer tote are about half the lenght of the depth of the cabinet yet the drawer opens fully. Is this an acceptable practice or should the slide be as near to the depth of the drawer as possible?

My desk drawer doesn’t hold particularly heavy items but as I will be undertaking some shop projects in the near future requiring drawer slides I was hoping someone could provide some info. I have sourced some runners which give 20, 50 & 80Kgs holding capacity which will suit my workshop needs. So if for instance I have an 18” deep drawer what lenght of runner should I be using.

Thanks all in advance


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

6 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 4796 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 03:02 PM

My person feeling is that the length of the guide should be close the size of the drawer. There are a few reasons, 1) It will allow for more travel to the back of the drawer and 2) the longer the slide the heavier weight capacity. For smaller drawers and light weight applications I dont see why you couldnt use shorter glides.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View cutmantom's profile


408 posts in 4369 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 03:09 PM

usually the slides match the drawers, but if they can be attached I don’t see why any length could be used you will just end up with possibly a strange operation

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1333 posts in 4313 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 03:13 PM

Thanks for the response fellahs. There isn’t much difference in the price between the longest and shortest slides but I have a couple of odd sets left so thought about using them even though they don’t match the depth of the forthcoming projects.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7191 posts in 4528 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 04:28 PM

Greetings bkf: I use what I call the “1 inch rule” when I build a project that requires drawer slides. In other words that means that I allow 1” clearence inside the cabinet (1/2” clearance for the drawer sides) to make the drawer have a nice fit. So….if your inside dimension of the cabinet is 24”, you make the drawer 23” wide.
Same goes for the length of the slides….if the cabinet is say, 23” deep, use a 22” slide to have enough clearence at the back of the cabinet to allow for the say 1/4” plywood back. I also drop the drawer down 1” from the top of the inside cabinet to allow for clearance, if you use a false front on the drawer. Hope this helps a little…..... Rick.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5089 days

#5 posted 01-12-2011 05:18 PM

Here is a web site that has useful information on drawer slides/dimensions

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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1333 posts in 4313 days

#6 posted 01-13-2011 12:00 PM

Many thanks fellahs, as is usual on LJ a helpful response to my queries, much appreciated.


I like that tip regarding the 1” rule, that will always be easy to remember on future projects. I intend to go the false front route, that way I won’t have to be too fussy about having perfectly fiiting drawers. Time is always an issue with me so if I can get the job all done in a day so much the better.

Thanks all


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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