Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Can one successfully use UHMW plastic for drawer runners?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,562

    Can one successfully use UHMW plastic for drawer runners?

    I have a small jewelry box project for which I am trying to maximize the width of the drawers. Normally I use those small Rockler 7" drawer slides but cant fit them this time without taking up too much space and don't have enough side thickness to put slides in dadoes. I was thinking I could cut some strips of UHMW to use as runners under the drawer and that would give enough smoothness for the movement. Any thoughts?

    Drawers are roughly 2"x8"x8"
    Hobbyist

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    15,316
    You didn't say how thin your drawers or case sides were, but in the jewelry box below, the drawer sides are 1/4" thick and the case wall is also 1/4" thick. The runners are wood 1/4" tall and run in slots in the side of the drawers. The drawers are 6-1/2" wide, 4" deep and 1" or 2" tall. They show no sign of wear after 15 years.
    jewel5.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 10-31-2022 at 1:41 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
    Go Navy!

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,814
    Try slippery low friction tape from Lee Valley .https://www.googleadservices.com/pag...ECAUQDQ&adurl=

  4. #4
    I just used this tape (based on similar recommendation from this forum!) for a project and its working great. You need to have very square drawers and cabinet and be good with a hand plane to fine tune it. But worked great for me.

    DDBBCE82-DC91-4F00-9A2A-A01B52F8662A.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,562
    Thanks for the input guys. I was focused on the UMHW because I had a piece of that sitting around. I'd not heard of that tape before and will look into it. Lee, I'm struggling to accept that you had room to cut dadoes into the sides and case that are only 1/4" thick. Seems like too small of a runner would result. I need to rethink.
    Hobbyist

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    15,316
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Lee, I'm struggling to accept that you had room to cut dadoes into the sides and case that are only 1/4" thick. Seems like too small of a runner would result. I need to rethink.
    Just to show you the detail. It is actually a dovetail slot in the walls to hold the dividers and the runners and a plain dado in the drawer sides.
    joint detail.jpg
    Since it is a cross grain joint for the runners, they are only glued at the front 1/4 inch so the side panels can move.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 11-01-2022 at 8:21 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
    Go Navy!

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,562
    Thanks Lee, that's a level of detail and precision I can only hope to achieve some day.
    Hobbyist

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    2,173
    I have a roll of UHMW with adhesive back that was originally purchased for putting on the table saw fence. It is thicker than the tape referenced, and have used it successfully on a number of such applications - simply putting a layer on the dividers for the drawer sides to run against.

    A quick search shows it is avail in difft thicknesses (1/8" thk must be what I have). 'Slick strips' is one such product

  9. I tried this option but I failed. If you can finish this project I would love to hear what and how you did it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,562
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C.W. Berry View Post
    I tried this option but I failed. If you can finish this project I would love to hear what and how you did it.

    Chris, I almost replied to my own post. I failed too. There just wasn't enough room to work with, and I ended up trashing the project due to cumulative errors.
    Hobbyist

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    22,357
    Blog Entries
    1
    I have used UHMW tape (slick-tape, drawer-tape, etc.) with good success. No complaints from any clients and no complaints from me as I have used it on my own pieces as well. For smaller drawers a hardwood runner with a shellac sealer and a good waxing will run smooth for many years.
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".


    Samuel Butler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    3,005
    If drawer width is what you want to optimize, you could use a thin web frame below the drawer to slide on, instead of a slide or runner.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    1,523
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I have used UHMW tape (slick-tape, drawer-tape, etc.) with good success. No complaints from any clients and no complaints from me as I have used it on my own pieces as well. For smaller drawers a hardwood runner with a shellac sealer and a good waxing will run smooth for many years.
    I agree with Glenn. We are not talking about drawers we are going to store sledgehammers in. On my saw till I used poplar for the secondary wood of the three drawers, but then glued a strip of American Beech about 1/8 thick to the bottom edge of all of the drawer sides. IIRC I left the drawer face 1/16" above the floor the drawers are resting on, so all the weight in the drawer is resting on the beech runners on the bottom of each of the drawer sides.

    I probably went a little overboard on "a good waxing", but I bought a brick of carnuba mixed with bee's wax from probably Don's barn dot com, and a tiny little hobby iron from a craft store like Michael's. I was surprised by how much wax those skinny little strips of beech took up with the help of the hot iron, but they haven't given me any trouble.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •