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Quick question about drawer slides.

I want to add a drawer at the bottom of this LP storage unit . Its 18 1/2 inches from rear to where the false front is now.

What size drawer slides should i be looking for, or how do i measure for them?

And then I have read to install the slides first and build the drawer second..make sense?

Can i put the slides on the base? or do they have to have space under them?


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Hi Matt,  I am certainly no expert but installed my first drawers on a table I recently built.  You would want to construct your drawer box first and take your measurements from that.   Most drawer glides come in "pre"measurements for example 12" 14" 16" etc.  You could use a 12" inch drawer glide on a 13" box but a 14 would be too large.   In your case with careful measurements, you could probably do well with a 18" glide but might have to choose a 16.  All depends on your clearance.   I chose full extension side mounts for my drawers but you may choose a bottom mount.  It all depends on what you hope to have as your completed project and the weight that you estimate the drawer will need to carry.   I found that the instructions that came with the glides were not very helpful.   I used the Kreg drawer brackets to help hope my drawer level for the install which helped a lot.   Also many videos available to offer instruction on installing the glides.  I am sure others can offer more helpful tips.  Just sharing my experience in hopes that it helps.

Matt, to add a drawer to a cabinet type opening measure the width of the total opening and then deduct one and 0ne-eight from that measurement    That is the finished outside width of the drawer.  Standard slides are 1/2 inch thick. 

Slides come in standard lengths of 10" 12" 16" 18" 20" 22" 24" and continued up to as long as 36 inches and greater as special orders.  Slides of greater length also increase the width as well.  The above sizes I mentioned are standard and are 1/2" thick.

I would leave at least a half inch behind the drawer and make sure there is no cross members or other obstruction in the opening that will hit the drawer when closing.  If you are going to over lay the drawers on the face frame and you opening is 18 1/2" deep then you could use slides for an 18 inch deep drawer.  If you are going to inset the drawer then you will have to set the slides back in the amount of the front thickness.  That means that if your depth is 18 1/2 inches and the drawer front thickness is 3/4 inches you will have to go the 16" slide length.

For full extension slides the above measurement are correct as the drawer moves in a straight plane of travel.

If you are going to use the euro slide which are the ones with the roller on the ends and front you will have to use give the drawer enough clearance so the when the drawer is installed it will clear the case.  Note;  Because the slide roller have to clear each other by rolling over the top of each other you will need to add the mount of the rise of the drawer to the top opening.

For bottom clearance I usually  leave  between 3/16 to 1/4 inch to assure that the drawer clear.

You can make the drawer first and then install the slides  as it is a matter of preference.

In choosing which type of slide to use it again is matter of preference as the full extension slides will allow the drawer of open it full depth where the euro slide will open about 3/4 of the way out.  With the euro slide, although they are much cheaper, the big draw back is that it will only allow the drawer to extend out and does limit the ability to see the rear of the drawer and you have to reach inside to remove all the items.

My choice of slides are the full extension slides that are rated at 100 lbs @ open and close smoothly and do not make a lot of noise when opening and closing.

The euro slide does not with stand the higher weight and do not last as long as the full extension slides.  Hope the answers your questions if not feel free to contact me.

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