Update Drawer Slides with Soft Closers


Everybody loves the smooth action of soft-closing drawers. Self-closing epoxy drawer slides are economical, easy to install and versatile. But they do have one downside. They can be noisy when the drawer closes. Well, if you’ve ever wished for quieter-closing drawers. The easy way to update your drawers to make them soft closing is to install Rockler soft-close adapters to your existing epoxy-coated slides, and you don’t have to replace the slides.


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Update Drawer Slides With Soft-Closers - Video Transcript


Chris Marshall: Epoxy drawer slides like these have their advantages; they're economical, they're easy to install, and they're versatile, but they do have one downside. When you push drawers closed they can slam. The self-closing feature is nice, but it makes them noisy. Well, if you've ever wanted softer closing drawers, Rockler has a product you should know about, these soft close adaptors for wooden drawers, retrofit to your existing epoxy coated slides to slow down that closing action, and you don't have to replace the slides.


Now, here's how the system works, this is the closing mechanism. It's spring-loaded on the bottom and it's got a piston here on top to slow down the closing action of the drawer. The closing mechanism mounts inside to the cabinet wall or the edge of a face frame on face frame style cabinets, because this system works on either style of cabinet. Now, this white piece here serves as a catch and it fits on the side of the drawer right behind the drawer face, and when the drawer is closed this lip on the catch fits in between these two tabs on the closing mechanism like this. Then when the drawer is opened, and I'm going to use my fingers here instead of the catch, the catch loads the closing mechanism like this.


Now, when you close the drawer, the lip on the catch hits those tabs which close the drawer the last couple of inches and that's the soft close feature at work. Now here's how to install it. We're going to set the closing mechanism into place, so these two long tabs here on the bottom are resting right on top of the cabinet side portion of the drawer slide, that way there's no need to measure anything. Then slide the closing mechanism back until this little tab is resting right on the front of the cabinet or the face frame. Now attach the closing mechanism with a flathead wood screw driven into its front mounting hole.


If your drawer opening allows access, drive a second screw through one of the other mounting holes too, for added stability. This next step for installing the catch is kind of hard to see inside the cabinet, so I'm going to show you how it works on the drawer instead. Now imagine this is the closing mechanism you've just installed inside the cabinet and the drawer is back in its opening again, set the catch into place against the drawer, so this big lip is facing out and its other end is touching the back face of the drawer front. Then slide it down until its bottom edge just touches this little nub on the closing mechanism, that's where you want it.


Now mark these two slotted holes in the catch for a centered screw in each. Drive those two screws to secure the catch and then insert the drawer, so the catch engages the tabs on the closing mechanism. Now you're ready to give it a try, and remember, opening the drawer loads the mechanism so closing it should engage that soft close feature. Mine seems to be working well. As you can hear, it's nice and quiet, but if your adapter doesn't work quite as well, remember you can adjust the catch up or down a little bit in those slotted screw holes.


Now you only need one of these adapters for drawers up to 23" wide, but for really big drawers just install another adapter on the other side. You can find these soft close adapters for wooden drawers at Rockler stores nationwide or @rockler.com. I'm Chris Marshall with Woodworker's Journal magazine and thanks for watching.