I’m showing you how to build a drawer for Blum drawer glides. Blum’s instructions leave a lot to be desired but the hardware is great. I have become a big fan of the Blum Tandem plus Blumotion drawer runners. They so much easier to install than traditional side mounted drawer slides because:
- You don’t have to worry about perfecting lining up the drawer and cabinet parts because you install the runner inside the cabinet and the drawer sits on top of that and locks into place. BOOM.
- These runners allow for some “slop” in your drawer sizing. No shimming or sanding to get the space between the drawer and cabinet perfect down to a 1/16″ before it will glide smoothly.
- The quiet, soft, smooth, self closing action is like a purring kitty!
How to Build a Drawer for Blum Drawer Glides
Every time I install these Blum drawer runners I have to look up the installation guide, FIND the section on notching and boring for the drawer runner and then translate the metric measurements into imperial so my brain will recognize what the instructions are telling me to do. They finally started including metric and imperial measurements so I don’t have to translate. Yeah! But when I look at this diagram, it makes my head spin a bit.
I think it could be done better. Made easier and more clear to figure out what the hell you need to do to your drawer parts before or after you build your drawer so you can use these purring kitten gem of a glide — drawer runners!
You know what else makes my head spin? The fact that there about about a bazillion different model numbers to choose from and then 20 different locking mechanisms for each of those…
So I created the following for anyone (including myself next time I need this info) to use when they are picking out drawer runners and then figuring out how to notch and bore for the locking mechanism. (To myself next time I need this — You’re welcome!)
Purchase your runners and Right and Left locking mechanisms.
Yes, you have to order both a right and a left locking mechanism for each drawer runner pair you purchase. The runners come in pairs. The locking mechanisms come one by one like the ants that go marching on. Why? Because someone, somewhere is an idiot!
But that’s how it is so make sure that for EACH drawer you are building you order:
- 1 pair of drawer glides (sold as a pair)
- 1 Left locking mechanism and
- 1 Right locking mechanism
- Screws (I use #6 1/2″ for locking mechanism and #8 5/8″ for drawer runner)
I shop around for the best price whenever I need a new batch and more often than not I find the best price on CSHardware.com.
Important: You have to order the correct glides for the thickness for the drawer material you are using. Most of us build drawers with 1/2″ to 5/8″ thick material. The glides I have linked to below and the instructions in this post are specifically for the 563H Drawer runner for 1/2″ -5/8″ material!
*Also, the Blum drawer runners come in 3″ increments. Decide which runners will work in your cabinet and then build your drawer the same length as your runners.
These are Affiliate links
21″ 563H Drawer runner for 1/2″ -5/8″ material (for frameless which is what I always get) is generally about $20 for the pair.
Left Locking Mechanism – $1.47
Right Locking Mechanism – $1.47
Or the cheaper locking mechanisms with less adjustability that I have no idea why I purchased…
Size your drawer
Measure your cabinet opening. Then figure this out…
Or do this: If you’re using 1/2″ plywood to build your drawers, subtract 5/8″ from your cabinet opening to determine the outside width of your drawer.
The sides should extend the full length of your drawer. The front and back should be installed INSIDE your sides. With 1/2″ plywood, the math for the width of your drawer front and back is easy — subtract 1″ from the outer width.
The front and back parts can be attached to the drawer sides in a number of ways: the easiest of which are loose tenons, dowels or pocket screws.
Most people have a pocket hole jig so that’s what I’m using for this tutorial.
Prepare the drawer back for the drawer runners.
Before you build your drawer, you need to prepare the drawer back. It’s easier to do this before assembly than after. You need to drill a 1/4″ hole and cut a notch for your drawer glide. You need to do this on both the right and left side of your drawer back.
Make sure you are doing this on the BACK side of the drawer back. The groove for the drawer bottom is on the inside of the drawer. The opposite side of that groove is the drawer back (and the bottom of the drawer back — back.)
IMPORTANT: 563H Drawer runner that I linked to is for 1/2″ -5/8″ thick drawer material and that is what these specific notching and boring measurements are for. If you are building 3/4″ thick drawers you need to order a different pair of runners. Good luck! If you are using a different model number you’ll have to use the Blum guide for that model number. Good luck. 😀
For 1/2″ up to 5/8″ drawer material.
The notch you’ll need to cut out is 1/2″ tall by 1 3/8″ wide (minimum). You can cut that out with a jigsaw.
The 1/4″ hole you need to drill out is as shown below. 9/32″ is difficult to find on a tape measure so I find it easier to use a metric ruler for this part.
7mm over and 24mm up is easier to find on a metric ruler.
Phew! Now you can go build your dangblastid drawer! Hehehehe It’s actually quite simple with the right diagrams!
You can even print out the PDF versions of my drawings for super duper convenience!
Build your drawer
Using floating tenons, dowels or pocket screws. Make sure you DO NOT drill a pocket hole on or too near the groove for the drawer bottom. If you drive a screw in the groove, the drawer bottom will not slide into place.