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View Full Version : Any ideas for low cost heavy drawer slides?



nheng
01-05-2007, 08:37 PM
Just looked (for periodic fun) at some new Lista cabinets on ebay. Wife says "build your own" so I jump over to Lee Valley to look at ball bearing slides. For slides rated at 400+ lbs as the Lista drawers are, you're in the $50 to $60 buck range per drawer set. Add adequate sheet steel or aluminum bottoms to the (already have raw stock) hardwood frames, handles and you're pretty darned close to Lista prices. Amazing.

Anyone have any low cost slide ideas?

Den

Evan
01-05-2007, 08:41 PM
HDPE running on polished up angle iron.

kennyd4110
01-05-2007, 08:48 PM
Being a woodworker who is just starting to learn metalworking, I finally found a post that I can reply to:D

Unfortunatly, low cost and drawer slides do not go together!
Even's angle/HDPE is probably the best option. If you can find some bed rail iron, it is thin, very hard and ridgid.

nheng
01-05-2007, 09:00 PM
I've got plenty of UHMW and never put 2+2 together :)

CCWKen
01-05-2007, 09:01 PM
I'd skip the plastic and go with small bearings. You can get them for less than a dollar each. With shipping, about $1.25 @. I've been getting mine from: www.vxb.com He also sells on eBay. He'll run special pricing once in a while so be sure to check all listings for the bearing you want. They'll be priced for 10 bearings in a tube or pack. The usual disclaimer applies. (No affiliation.)

BadDog
01-05-2007, 09:03 PM
I got a pair of (IIRC) ~30" long, double acting, full roller drawer slides for $10 at a surplus store. These things should handle 400 lbs easily I think. Check surplus...

KDuffy
01-05-2007, 09:06 PM
1" Channel Iron and rollers turned to fit. I made a seven drawer tool box this way for dad when I was in High School. The cabinet frame was 1" 16ga square tubing, and sheet steel was pop riveted on the sides, back and top. The rollers were made from oil field sucker rod and drilled and counter sunk for flat head machine screws as axels. Very crude, but we did not have a lathe at that school then (They bought one after I graduated)::( . We took it apart and moved it this Thanksgiving, the top drawer was heavy enough that it took two of us to pick it out and it still rolled relatively easy after 15 years and 200 lbs of hydraulic fittings in it. The two rollers under the bottom of the drawer at the front were drilled rod with angle iron brackets on both sides and a machine screw tacked in place through the roller. The rollers at the back of the drawer dropped into the channel iron through a flame cut out section of the top flange and were then secured until the drawer was fullly extended. Same principle as many kitchen cabinet drawers, especially the mobile home or camper grade drawers.

BadDog
01-05-2007, 09:52 PM
How about angle iron, or maybe small channel or stamped "C" runners with cheap inline skate bearings for rollers? Turn a "tire" for it if desired. I say channel or "C" rather than angle iron because you have to keep it cantilevered to prevent it from dumping as you pull it out, and that seems the easiest way, though a bottom roller or finger would work as well.

I may do this on my buggy for a pull out tool tray...

CCWKen
01-05-2007, 10:56 PM
The c-channel usually has tapered inside legs. Angle iron will work. Just put two strips back to back. Even flats will work and won't take up as much space. Make the bottom strip longer in front and weld a pin to the end to act as a stop. Mount three bearings on each side of the drawer. The back two bearings within about 4" of each other. That will be your extension stop. Lift the drawer up and over the pin to remove.

For full extension, you'll need to make a double slider. But hey, if you hang out here, you probably have a mill. :D

Bill Pace
01-05-2007, 11:22 PM
Put "drawer slides" in a ebay search and I think you'll be amazed...I was! I have bought 60-80 slides off the flea bay ---from litlte dinkys to some big bad boys, --- I dont remember ever paying over $10 a set. Course its been bout a year since I've cked/bought any....may have totally changed by now, worth a shot though.

GadgetBuilder
01-05-2007, 11:26 PM
Recycled slides from a file cabinet are a possibility. File cabinets are often available free in the classified ads, on Freecycle or in the metal pile at the dump.

BadDog
01-05-2007, 11:30 PM
Regular structural channel has the tapered legs. That's why I said "channel or C". I don't know what it's called, but I've seen some "C" shaped steel that looks for all the world like square tube with one side cut out. Get that in ~14-16ga and you'll be good to go. Even with the taper, shouldn't be an issue that I can see. But certainly it could be constructed of multiple pieces of angle or strap.

And a double extension would be a bit fiddly to make, but you can easily get full extension if you sacrifice some dead space at the rear of the shelf. Just extend the sides a bit past the rear wall. This is my plan for the buggy since the gas tank sump is right back there and I can’t use it for shelf anyway...

TECHSHOP
01-05-2007, 11:51 PM
The stuff I have seen like BadDog posts was made of aluminum, and used as an edge treatment for plywood, etc. I would look at the surplus dealers, they usually have something that you can use. Also, the "uni-strut" type stuff, in short length is pretty stiff, and there are ball bearing rollers ($alty) that are rated up to 600 lb each (IIRC) that run in the channel.

Don't know on which side of the US/Canada border you are, and as much as I have done biz with Lee Valley (an outstanding company), I personnal have a slight problem with buying Made in USA products from a Canadian retailer, if you follow my "roun-da-boot" logic.

Your Old Dog
01-05-2007, 11:56 PM
I built about 3 dozen utility cases for the back of news cars to hold their cameras. I used a L channel as used for suspended ceiling and they offer just enough friction to keeop them from opening and closing while driveing but yet very easy to pull open. Made the drawers out of baltic birch 8ply. How much weight are you planing on putting in each drawer?

Evan
01-05-2007, 11:58 PM
I personnal have a slight problem with buying Made in USA products from a Canadian retailer, if you follow my "roun-da-boot" logic.

Why? The US and Canada are each other's best customer.

Forrest Addy
01-06-2007, 12:20 AM
Light cangle and cheap skate board wheels in bucket quantity. Also caster wheels. These are cool but thick. Steel against steel works well provided you keep it lubricated. Here at last is a valid use for that hard angle you salvage from old bed frames. The hard agaist soft lasts for generations.

TECHSHOP
01-06-2007, 12:49 AM
Evan:

Agreed, not trying to play the international "better than" game. I have "no problems" with buying anything "Made in Canada, (even Quebec)" that is imported to the USA.

But, in my small mind it doesn't "make sense" to manufacture something "here" and then ship it "there" only to ship it back "here".

Also, if I understand correctly, Lee Valley has a warehouse in Upstate New York to "avoid" that shipping situation. So for the company mentioned, it may be a moot point.

Not trying to sound like a "sales man", because I have spoken, in person, with an employee from that company on Veterans Day (11/11/06), but that as they say, is a different story...

Paul Alciatore
01-06-2007, 12:57 AM
What on earth do you need 400 lb slides for. I bought about ten pair of 125 or 150 lb slides for about $10 or $12 each and attached them to some metal drawers from Grainger. Put three of them on my lathe bench and I have two six inch chucks in one of them. Absolutely no problems. I can't see how I coud get more steel in that drawer without making a fitted casting or pouring in buckets of ball bearings. I painted the drawers with a black hammertone for a nice appearance.

Oh, and I sold the extra drawers and slides on E-Bay and recovered almost all my expenses in the project. And the buyer was delighted. I threw in some fitted liners I had cut for the drawer bottoms. Hardest part of the entire project was packaging the extras for shipment so they would arrive without damage.

J Tiers
01-06-2007, 12:58 AM
Electronic rack slides are often available surplus from various sources, and if older may be for many hundreds of lb of tube-type equipment.

I have a set of them that my hifi stuff is on. These are 3" steel milled out and finished slides, with full extension and ball/roller bearings. If the set wouldn't hold 400 lb, I'd be really surprised.

Now, buying them off the shelf as surplus is obviously a problem, surplus by definition not being "kept in stock" anywhere. But, if you keep your eyes open they may show up.

Ian B
01-06-2007, 04:35 AM
Surplus Center have ball bearing slides, cheap enough:

http://www.surpluscenter.com/sort.asp?UID=2007010602313871&catname=misc&keyword=XD11

Ian

nheng
01-06-2007, 10:53 AM
Thanks for all the great ideas! You've also reminded me of several resources I have that I don't normally consider for mechanical stuff.

For cheap, good and flexible design, I think plastic on steel makes sense. For ultimate smooth ride and dirt cheap thanks to the inline skates, the shielded bearings for those make sense. The rack slide may be the winner in my case because I have a sorta local source for racks that I hadn't even considered.

Lee Valley has been a convenient reference a number of times (never bought anything), but I didn't realize they were Canadian. No problem here except for the same problem as west coast suppliers ... shipping costs.

Den

applescotty
01-06-2007, 10:56 AM
I ordered a few slides from Surplus Center a while back, to see if they'd work for a tool cabinet. The slides are nice, buy they're designed for use with metal drawers and metal cabinets that have slots and tabs to mount them on. I think they're still useable, but for the work involved, I decided it was easier to purchase some from Lee Valley.
So, before you place an order for a bunch, I'd order one or two to see if they'll work for you.

Scott

Ian B
01-06-2007, 11:05 AM
I ordered 4 of the Surplus Center slides, and yes, they have raised tabs on the back. I took these off with a cutoff disk in a couple of minutes, and drilled holes for mounting screws. Probably spent about 20 minutes on the 4.

Ian

Paul Alciatore
01-06-2007, 02:38 PM
Another idea I have seen on heavy electronic equipment was to double up on the lower capacity slides. Using two sets of 150 pound slides carefully aligned should give a 300 pound capacity.

tattoomike68
01-06-2007, 04:01 PM
I made a slide for a drawer in a parts washing machine that you could move 200+ pounds with a single finger.

it was nothing more than cutting some small slots in the bottom of the drawer and welding some peices of flat bar with cross holes in it and bolting some small bearings on them so that the bearings worked as rollers on an angle iron slide frame.

I wanted to make it easy to manage because a sweet old woman ran the parts washer and she would have to wrestle that drawer 20 times a day.

It might have cost $20 to make.

SJorgensen
01-07-2007, 05:59 AM
As was said before on this thread, the answer is in file cabinet drawer slides. These are produced in massive quantities. They are built to hold a solid drawer of paper weighing well over 150lbs. They are cheap and easily salvaged. These will give all your tool drawers the same feel of a professional tool box.

I planned my last drawer project so that each drawer was designed to have two of these file cabinet slides on each side of the drawers. These drawers are about 43"x 21" x 6".
I only got around to installing one drawer slide per side of each drawer, instead of two. I have Jeep transfer cases and lots of other heavy items in the 12 drawers that I built. They all work great and the drawer slides are very easy to come by.

Jimno2506
01-08-2007, 05:41 PM
I have an idea for easy access truck bed slide, and thought of garage door track and good wheels.

Jim

Your Old Dog
01-08-2007, 07:40 PM
I have an idea for easy access truck bed slide, and thought of garage door track and good wheels.

Jim

Great idea! Just make sure the tailgate lock catch is working fine :D That would be great idea for flea-marketeers for quick setup.

Evan
01-08-2007, 09:36 PM
But, in my small mind it doesn't "make sense" to manufacture something "here" and then ship it "there" only to ship it back "here".

It's no different than shipping from a California port to the East coast distributor and then back to the midwest. In many cases the north/south shipping is much cheaper than the east/west. Distances are shorter. Most of the products are duty free and cross the border as easily as going east/west. Products destined for Canada frequently come in through US ports and vice versa. They are then distributed throughout North America.

Your Old Dog
01-09-2007, 07:04 AM
I made a slide for a drawer in a parts washing machine that you could move 200+ pounds with a single finger.

it was nothing more than cutting some small slots in the bottom of the drawer and welding some peices of flat bar with cross holes in it and bolting some small bearings on them so that the bearings worked as rollers on an angle iron slide frame.

I wanted to make it easy to manage because a sweet old woman ran the parts washer and she would have to wrestle that drawer 20 times a day.

It might have cost $20 to make.

How big of a deal would it be to get a snapshot of your setup? It sounds great but can't picture it completely.