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I am modifying a standalone cabinet to have a single, large drawer for holding garbage/recycling etc.

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So far so good, however, when sliding the drawer in, the last 3-4 inches are pretty stiff/sticky. When operating the slides by themselves, there doesn't seem to be any trouble. They are overextension drawer slides from Rockler.

What are the most common causes for this sort of problem? My initial thought is that perhaps the mounting for the slides isn't perfectly square in the cabinet, but wanted to see what others thought before grabbing out the belt sander and trying to shave off a little, as it looks pretty good when I measure it.

I've also noticed that because of the width of the drawer, any sort of twisting exacerbates the issue, so I think I'll mount an additional pair of slides on the bottom to try and resist that twisting. However, even when I carefully slide the drawer directly in, it still binds.

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    It does sound like the slides are binding a bit at the back. You can check that the case's width is uniform by lapping two boards at the front, extending them between the side walls and taping them together. Then slide them from front to back at the slide height. Do they remain flush with the walls? If they pinch, mark the length and reset the boards to the rear width. Unfortunately, that is the amount of width you need to reduce the width of your box.
    – Ashlar
    Sep 16, 2022 at 19:43
  • @Ashlar: I'll give that a shot, that'll definitely be more conclusive than the tape measure. Fortunately, since this is a retrofit, the slides are mounted to 3/4" hardwood added in there specifically for them, so I have some room to narrow those slightly rather than modifying the box. Sep 16, 2022 at 19:54
  • Excellent, and if you reduce their width overall, you can use shims at the rail crew locations to further adjust the alignment.
    – Ashlar
    Sep 18, 2022 at 1:21
  • @Ashlar: used the stick method and yeah that was pretty conclusive, the cabinet mountings are about 3/16" wider in the back than in the front, and it also showed me they aren't exactly vertical either. So, I get to fix that. Sep 18, 2022 at 6:17
  • Yeah the first thing I'd do would be to check the carcass is square and true, then the vertical positioning of the slides. If everything did happen to check out (I suspect it won't) then I think it's the drawer box, sorry!
    – Graphus
    Sep 18, 2022 at 16:30

1 Answer 1

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My initial thought is that perhaps the mounting for the slides isn't perfectly square in the cabinet

Could be your cause since slides are not sticky alone and it is sticking when sliding fully in and not out @ full extension.

My initial thought is that perhaps the mounting for the slides isn't perfectly square in the cabinet

it looks pretty good when I measure it.

hard to measure this spacing accurately now, tape measure won't work.

Without large inside calipers I suggest using a gauge block. Make it exact fit at front of one slide to check spacing everywhere else. Should also be tight at back, front and back of other slider

But are sides of cabinet parallel? Maybe you did everything right and original cabinet is the villain!

I've also noticed that because of the width of the drawer, any sort of twisting exacerbates the issue

That is normal but drawer maybe too narrow by small amount, or cabinet box sides are not parallel.

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