More About Drawer Slips

My last post about my Shaker-style side table included a reference to drawer slips. Here’s more about them as they are not common in the USA.

Here’s the side table for reference.

Shaker-style side table

Drawer slips are small rails that are glued to the inside of drawer sides. They have a groove for the drawer instead of cutting a groove into the sides. Here’s an example from my side table. This is the rear of the drawer and shows the drawer bottom before it was trimmed to fit.

Drawer slips are a British tradition that did not make it to the US with the colonists. The common practice here is to cut a groove in the sides of the drawers. A British friend mentioned them to me and after some research I decided to try them on this project. I really like them. They have several advantages:

  • The sides of the drawers can be much thinner than I was used to using. I think this makes for a very nice looking drawer.
  • The bottom of the sides are wider and larger drawer runners can be used. This can reduce the wear of the drawer sides and the runners.
  • The inside of the drawer has an elegant look. This is subjective, of course, but I like them. The tops of the slips can have some edging for a nicely finished look. I chose to have the slips and the drawer bottom be level this time but I might do something fancier next time.
  • The slips are easy to make and are applied after the drawer is assembled.

Here’s the drawer before I trimmed the bottom to fit. You can see the slips on the sides.

This photo shows the slips and shows how thin the sides are. They are just 5/16″ thick and they could be even thinner. They are cherry and plenty strong and stiff.

I like drawer slips a lot now and plan on using them on all future drawers.


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