Using sliding dovetails as drawer slide/guides. - Router Forums

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Using sliding dovetails as drawer slide/guides.

I am working on a small kitchen hutch. It is 10 inches deep. For bigger projects I normally use commercial metal slides. Does anyone on your forum use and make their own wood slides? If so, is there a particular type of wood, I should use? I am considering oak. Any other considerations I should consider? Any insights would be most appreciated.

Semper Fi!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-08-2007, 09:34 AM
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Hi rzaccone

I have and they do work great, I use a T & G set to make the side guide sets.
You can make the slot in the drawer side and make the male part out of poplar, works best for me or make both parts out of poplar and glue and screw them in place.
I don't recommend using oak , walnut is nice but a bit high in price for guides unless you some left overs.

What works best for me is to make two passes when making the female slot, over size by 1/16" this will let it side in and out easy without a wax job ,plus it will not tip when it's all the way out so to speak.
Plus using the fence on the male part to make it a bit short ( the norm is 7/16" long ) I set it a 3/8" long, I use 5/16" ID bearing from MLCS to do this also.

I have looked for a long time for the bearings and I found them on the MLCS web site and will turn the T & G bit set into a real tool for the router table.
Bearing Part numbers 12111,12112,12113,12114 plus they will work with your slot cutting bits as well.
Two Piece Tongue & Groove Set
For 1/2" to 1-1/4" stock
It's a bit higher in price than most of the T & G sets but note the max of
1 1/4", that's the key in this set.
SET #7737 ............1/2" SHANK $79.95

Grizzly T & G set below, the norm 3/4" max


I should NOTE*****Don't use sliding DOVETAILS they will jam,unless you use a wide dovetail slot (1 1/4" min.) with a 7deg. or 8deg. dovetail bit.
Plus over time the sharp bottom of the edge of the dovetail slot will fill up with junk and you will say I will never do that again,great for tables, but for drawers I would say no.
The ones on tables are open on both ends so the junk can fall out.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 07:36 PM
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Just a note here, If you use different woods on the surfaces that rub each other it will last longer. Like oak on maple or maple on walnut. This is a tip from a Router Workshop show.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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My sincere thanks to both of you for your suggestions and insights. I give them a try and let you know how it turned out!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2007, 10:23 PM
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Hi Bob,

I have done the same as you... BUT...
I did it all with a straight bit, table saw, and nothing fancy.

Mine was for a small-tool tool box...

My slides were made of Walnut scraps about 1/4" x 3/8" x maybe 7-8".
I drilled holes at each end of the, say 1/8" and a 1/16" deep counterbore of 1/4" to hide the pan-head mounting screws.

The slides were laid-out on the cabinet interior sides using 1/16" spacers for between drawers and the actual drawer sides from bottom to top.

Then, I marked sides where the slides would go by marking top/bottom of each channel.

I had only 1/32" slop horiz. & vertically on each side for the slides in the drawers. Waxed everything... all worked slick as you know what.

One of these days, I will put all of the pictures together for the project and add it to my album.

Just wanted to put my 2 cents in to say, it does not need to be done with fancy high-priced router bits, etc... Think of a way to keep it simple, and we can!

Have Fun,

Alta Loma, CA
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