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Using sliding dovetails as drawer slide/guides.

15084 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Joe Lyddon
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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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.

Bj :)


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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.
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!
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! :) :)
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