A telescopic drawer slide is an oft-overlooked part of cabinetry and machinery. It may not get its due credit, but it’s nonetheless a sophisticated mechanism that makes a big difference. You feel that difference anytime you pull out a tray or when you close a drawer.
To make the best of that movement, you need to apply the best type of mounting for your project. How do you know which one is the best? We’ll tell you!
This installation video demonstrates hard-mounting an Accuride 3832E slide into a drawer and cabinet.
Hard mounting is the most common type of slide mounting. In this method, you screw in the inner (drawer) member of a slide onto the drawer surface and the outer (cabinet) member onto the cabinet surface. You can apply this method to side-mounted slides, like the Accuride 3832E Light-Duty.
Some people flat-mount slides intended to be side-mounted. This is still a form of hard mounting. The advantage is aesthetic: slides are concealed from view when you open your drawer. The disadvantage is functionality: slides lose at least half their load-carrying capacity. There are alternatives, such as under-mounted slides, like the Accuride 3135EC Easy-Close, and special brackets, like those for the Accuride 9300 Heavy-Duty Series.
This 3D video shows how and where to apply a bracket onto a slide for more versatility.
A bracket lets you apply one method of mounting onto a slide intended for another. For example: Certain brackets, like those for the Accuride 9300 Heavy-Duty Series, let you turn a side-mounted slide into a bottom– or top-mounted one.
The advantage of a bracket over, say, flat-mounting that same 9301E is that it doesn’t compromise the slide’s load capacity. Other brackets let your slide accommodate certain cabinet designs, such as those with face frames.
FutureHAUS architect and futurist Joe Wheeler vertically mounted the Accuride 116RC for height-adjustable appliances and fixtures.
Vertical mounting is an uncommon method, largely because it’s not the most versatile.
Here you orient a slide or guide in a vertical (y-axis) so it can move an object you attach. The guide or runner doesn’t bear the object’s weight: It simply allows you to move it up or down. People usually use this in tandem with platforms or other mechanisms that carry the weight of an application.
Traditional ball bearing slides are not ideal for this method. Vertical applications often place a lot of pull on the ball retainers – a level they’re not intended to take on. Specially designed systems like the Accuride 115RS have their retainers secured by nylon belts to properly function with this mounting style. (The 115RS is a special-order variant of the Accuride 115 Linear Motion Slide.)
Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS used this type of mounting with an Accuride 116RC Heavy-Duty Linear Track System. In that instance, the Accuride system allowed up-and-down movement for fixtures throughout this award-winning home. (You can read more about the FutureHAUS on our Accuride in Action blog.)
Rail-mounted slides are only mounted onto the cabinet surface, thus “carrying” the drawers inside.
Rail mounting is a method in which all hard mounting is applied to the cabinet surface and the rail fixed to the drawer side, allowing the drawer to sit (or “float”) on the rails. Rail mounting’s advantage lies in the rails’ ability to adapt and absorb variations in a cabinet/drawer design.
Premium rail-mounted slides, like the Accuride 7432 Light-Duty, offer smooth, progressive movement and a hold-in detent to keep drawers closed. You will often find rail-mounted slides in filing cabinets.
Is there a type of mounting we forgot to add? Or is there a topic of Slideology you’d like us to cover next? If so, just comment or reach out to us on social media!
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