Sliding Glass Door on a display cabinet

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Forum topic by jleakey posted 11-21-2014 03:47 PM 3372 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2850 days

11-21-2014 03:47 PM

I am currently building a display cabinet I designed through Sketchup and had a question I was hoping someone might be able to answer. I haven’t purchased the glass as of yet, but was looking at using 1/4” thick pieces that would slide in Dado’s in the wood. I was wondering if most glass is actually 1/4” thick and if so should I step up to a 5/16” router bit to cut the dado’s or would that have too much slop and cause the glass to wobble too much?

I know the logical thing is to buy the glass first so that I could get the measurements but that also leads me to my next question. I was going to cut the bottom and side Dado’s at 1/4” deep and the the top Dado a little deeper at probably 3/8” so that if the glass ever had to be replaced they could possibly wedge it into place with the added depth at the top. Will these depths be sufficient to allow for smooth operations or is 1/4” depth too much?

Any suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


4 replies so far

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364 posts in 3190 days

#1 posted 11-21-2014 06:40 PM

Jim, I haven’t used any lately, but they did make a plastic/nylon track for these type of slides. You just rout for the track (same size for most) and order for the slide for the width glass you plan on. They slide really well and if they wear too much they can be replaced. I can’t think of the company that I purchased from. But they were listed as class cabinet door slides. The glass (I was using mirrors) could be lifted in and out by sliding up and out at the bottom.

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15 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 11-21-2014 08:43 PM

Thanks for the information bold1 … A quick Google search and I found a couple of different slides that can be purchased and installed. Looks like they offer metal and plastic ones with spacers that go on the glass to help the glass glide along.

They seem a little pricey as the ones I’m finding are around $30.00 for what I need. Might try the routed dado’s first and see if they work if not I’ll bite the bullet and go with the extra cost.

Thanks again.

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530 posts in 3997 days

#3 posted 11-23-2014 05:46 PM

I’ve made several medicine cabinets this year with sliding mirrors. It’s a simple matter of calling your glass supplier and have them check the exact thickness of the glass you want. I would go with tempered glass.

As for fitting in the cabinet, make a groove in the bottom board about 1/32” oversize 1/4” deep. Make another groove in the top board 1/32” oversize, 1/2” deep. With two sliding glass doors, make double grooves about 1/8” apart. Now assemble your cabinet.

When it comes time to order the glass, measure the opening between the top and bottom boards where the grooves are. Don’t measure inside the grooves. With this measurement add 1/2” to the height of the glass.

When setting the doors, they will slide up into the deeper upper groove, then drop down into the lower grooves. The glass will be 1/2” taller then the opening so you will have 1/4” in the bottom groove and 1/4” in the top groove.

As far as the glass sliding smoothly, make sure you ask your glass supplier to polish the edges. This enables the glass to slide easily in the grooves.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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15 posts in 2850 days

#4 posted 11-24-2014 01:44 PM


Thanks for the information. I am ordering the glass today and will definitely get the tempered glass. I had no idea all the options with the edge profiles that could be put on glass. I looked at getting the beveled edge but that added way to much to the cost. Called and the manufacturer that I am purchasing it form and they provide the edge polished at no additional cost so I will be adding that.

As for the grooves I plan on routing those when I actually pick up the glass and will definitely add 1/32” to the dado. Thanks again for the information. I really appreciate it.


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