How to Make Wood Drawer Slides

A drawer slide has three parts: a slider and two bars.

Build Wooden Drawer Slides

Mounting the slider on the drawer reduces the leverage on the bars when the drawer is open. Mounted to the cabinet, two bars hold the slider in position between them, and allow it to slide back and forth without sliding out of the hole when the drawer is left hanging open. One of the best benefits is that building simple drawer sliders can save you a lot of money over buying manufactured sliders. .

Step 1

Measure the length of the drawer and subtract 2 inches to get the correct slider length. Mark all six strips of pine at this measurement. Cut the slides using the hacksaw.

Step 2

Place the drawer end so that it is centered in the opening. Measure the distance from the cabinet side of the opening to the drawer. Subtract 1/8 inch. The result is the width of your slides and bars.

Step 3

Put the 100 grit sandpaper on the sander. Reduce the width of the sliders, if necessary. Hold the edge to be reduced against the flat bottom of the belt sander. Sand the sliders so that the front width is narrower and the back has very little side-to-side gap. This funnels the drawer into position when closed.

Step 4

Use the 240 grit sheet of sandpaper to smooth the sliding surface of all six pieces. Sanding the sliding surfaces to a fine finish helps the drawer slide more easily.

Install Wood Drawer Slides

Step 1

Measure 3 inches in from the back of the drawer, and make a mark 2 inches up from the bottom of the drawer for your first screw. Go to the front corner of the same side and measure 3 inches in, and make another mark 2 inches up from the bottom. Repeat the process on the other side of the drawer.

Step 2

Squeeze a thin line of wood glue along the slider rail you will be mounting to the left side of the drawer. Hold the piece against the outside of the drawer so that the back end of the strip is flush with the back of the drawer. Insert screws at the two marks inside the drawer. Install the right side rail by repeating this process.

Step 3

Place the end of the drawer in the opening. On each side, make a faint mark on the cabinet level with the bottom of the slider bar for that side. Add 1/8 inch above the slider bar, and make another mark at the new location on both sides of the drawer opening.

Step 4

Apply a thin line of wood glue to two of the strips. Position the bottom rail on the left side of the drawer opening so that it is flush with the front of the opening and the top of the rail touches the mark on the cabinet. Level with the torpedo level and insert screws at each end to mount the bar. Attach the bottom bar to the other side of the cabinet in an identical fashion.

Step 5

Place another thin line of glue along the edge of the top bars. Move the front end 1 inch inside the front of the cabinet with the bottom of the strip lined up the remaining mark on that side. Screw the piece into place using the torpedo level to maintain the correct position. Install the final top rail with the same 1-inch inset.

Things You Will Need

  • 6 pine strips 5/8 x 5/8 x 24 inches
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hacksaw
  • Belt sander
  • 100 grit sandpaper belt
  • 240 grit sandpaper sheet
  • Wood glue
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • Torpedo level
  • Screwdriver


  • Rub a bar of soap on the surfaces that slide together to reduce friction.
  • Use a table saw to cut custom-sized wood strips to eliminate the width reduction process.

About the Author

Roger Golden began his career as a writer in 2008, when he began writing weekly insurance and personal finance articles. Golden's work has appeared on eHow, USAToday.com, TheSpoof.com and his privately managed blogs, .modern Dislogic and Outdoors—Dixie Style.