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Old 11-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Upgrading Monorail Drawers


Hey guys,

I wanted to get some advice on my kitchen cabinet drawers. The drawers currently have the basic monorail setup (one rail in the middle, plastic guide on the back on the drawer, and two small rollers at the front of the cabinet)

I would like to upgrade them to the "soft close" glides, but I don't know if this is possible. I know I don't have enough clearance for side mounts. Is there any other options I can try? or am I stuck with the monorail setup?

TIA,
Mike

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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Upgrading Monorail Drawers


Bottom mounted rails are available but I find them frustrating because they do not fully extend making the back of the drawer inaccessible. They are also relatively weaker than side mounts. The side mounts you mentioned typically require exactly 1/2" clearance (each side). If you don't have the 1/2" clearance cut down the drawer width or widen the opening. I've done both. Cutting down the drawer is time consuming and requires more skill but looks professional. Widening the opening is easier and requires somewhat less skill, but may look amateurish. If you are going to all the trouble, I recommend full extension slides. Some of the big box stores don't label whether their slides are full, half, or 3/4 extension. Make the salesman open the package and demonstrate the slide. As an example, a 22" full extension slide has a three piece telescoping channel system and will open to 44". The length you need depends on the front-to-back depth of the cabinet from the outside face of frame to the back mounting point (usually 22" to 24"). The weight rating should be twice what you expect to load the drawer. I always use 75 lb. slides on flatware drawers and 40 to 50 lb. on other kitchen drawers. Take into account children who may be cabinet hangers or swingers. In addition to these features soft closing, self closing, detent closing, et al are available but not all stores carry all combinations.

Rick

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Old 11-08-2011, 08:49 AM   #3
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Upgrading Monorail Drawers


Rick,

Thank you! That's awesome info! I don't know if I want to go through the work to make the drawers smaller, but I will try to widen the opening. I'm guessing the trick to making it look 'professional' would be to make sure I get perfectly straight cuts, and then sand the edges smooth. Assuming they come out right, this will save me having to replace my cabinets for years now. (which is great because priorities have been shifted to making a nursery now)

Is there any style or brand that you recommend over the others?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #4
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Upgrading Monorail Drawers


Myst420,

Accuride
www.accuride.com/Woodworking/Slide/Default.asp
I recommend this manufacturer. Because they make so many models, it may take you time to find the features you want. Use the linked selection guide.


Knape & Vogt (K&V)
www.knapeandvogt.com/
Amongst their other products, I noticed that K&V has a new "soft close" full extension slide that is under-mounted. It requires 1 1/16" clearance from the bottom of the frame opening to the underside of the drawer bottom. Usually this dimension is 3/8" to 5/8". However, it is easier to cut the drawer sides down (from the top) than to narrow the sides. Additionally this slide appears to be very "techy", having air cushion cylinders and controlled speed closing devices. Looks expensive and high maintenance.

There are other manufacturers out there but these are two I use commercially.

Rick

Last edited by Arkitexas; 11-08-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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Upgrading Monorail Drawers


That's great! Thank you Rick, I appreciate all the help!
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