HDPE vs. Full Drawer Slides

gxout

New member
I'm in the process of building drawers and started down the route of using HDPE but so far I'm very disappointed on how they slide (Link: Sheet, HDPE, Black, 1/8 In T, 12 x 48 In). Has anyone else used HDPE and regretted it and switched to regular drawer slides? I know they are a lot more expensive, but before I glue everything together I'm debating switching or if there is a different product that works well. I've looked into slick strips, but not sure if they are going to be any better or if I just bought the wrong type of HDPE.

Thanks,
 

Alloy

Well-known member
I've used Delrin on Delrin for drawer slides.

UHMW or stainless steel on Delrin may work depending on the weight and size.

HDPE is soft you'll have limited sucsess with it.
 

2.ooohhh

Member
I've used Delrin on Delrin for drawer slides.

UHMW or stainless steel on Delrin may work depending on the weight and size.

HDPE is soft you'll have limited sucsess with it.
This^ I’d use something harder for a drawer slide. I’ve used stainless on slotted birch ply soaked with fiberglass resin and it worked reasonably well for light loads.(was a map cabinet so 20 or so wide flat drawers)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
UHMW is the material you want to use for sliding applications. It'll work great as long as it's supported, but if you want full extension you'll still need to use drawer slides or have an intermediate runner to support the weight.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
As with what everyone else is saying, you'll want to use UHMW for sliding applications. McMaster-Carr has a good selection of it.

Also, I have a buddy that build some slides and simply used wood with wax and they slid just fine.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I'm using pressboard on plywood and having no trouble at all. And my drawers stay where I leave them, when I'm on uneven ground. Don't need expensive slides at all, if you design it well enough. Been over three years since I built those and filled them up with stuff, all working fine. My top sacrificial edge trim is getting 'sacrificed'. About time to replace those.

 

eatSleepWoof

Explorer
HDPE works great:



An easy hundred pounds of gear in the large drawer, and it slides in/out with one hand.

Drawer slides will be smoother, but are stupidly expensive, and (even fully greased) will freeze when camping in sub-zero temps.
 

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
Full extension drawer slides are pretty cheap as long as you stay under 24" and don't need to support a ton of weight. As soon as you go to 28" or 36" then they start to get really expensive, although even the 36" ones I got were only about $50-60 a pair. The main reason for going with drawer slides is to get full extension and to prevent the drawer from sagging when fully extended.

.IMG_8180.JPG

If I were to rebuild my drawers I'd probably skip the long drawer and keep it at 24" with a trap door access for the back. I don't really need quick access to everything in the drawer at all times, keeping it shorter makes it easier to open and close and I can leave heavy, infrequently used items in the back.
 

gxout

New member
Thanks all. I was looking at a review of the Drifta drawers and the thread here that someone made them and just wasn't getting the same results.

Link: Drifta Drawer Unbiased Review - Rear Storage Setup for Overlanding Camping Adventuring Offroading

This video and others make them look looks like they glide really well even with some weight and I just wasn't getting the same results. Mine with HDPE didn't seem any better than just plywood on plywood. I can see they use strips on the bottom of the drawers and the base plate. My understanding is that UHMW doesn't slide well on itself so I know thats not what Drifta is using, but may give it a shot as a stand alone strip.
 

gxout

New member
Full extension drawer slides are pretty cheap as long as you stay under 24" and don't need to support a ton of weight. As soon as you go to 28" or 36" then they start to get really expensive, although even the 36" ones I got were only about $50-60 a pair. The main reason for going with drawer slides is to get full extension and to prevent the drawer from sagging when fully extended.

.View attachment 547389

If I were to rebuild my drawers I'd probably skip the long drawer and keep it at 24" with a trap door access for the back. I don't really need quick access to everything in the drawer at all times, keeping it shorter makes it easier to open and close and I can leave heavy, infrequently used items in the back.
I was debating making them a little shorter, I haven't glued anything together yet so I can still make changes. They are currently in two pieces so I can stack them on top of each other with a fridge on one side or remove completely and add one of the rear seats back in. Still have a lot of finishing work once I figure out the slides. Making it a little smaller would allow more room to stack when I wanted to do that.

Great looking setup in the GX!
 

Attachments

jgaz

Adventurer
My drawer set up is very much patterned after the design shown in the thread posted by @rayra
C8A9B7F1-A8C3-4353-8E4F-0A7D4C189032.jpeg

6938DFE9-E89D-4C1C-95D3-4B8FE85D40ED.jpeg
I’m using 1 1/4” wide, 1/8” thick, tempered Masonite, fastened to the bottom of the drawer. This slides on the plywood floor of the outside drawer case.
In case there was too much friction of the Masonite sliding on plywood, I left clearance on the drawer sides so that a matching strip could be added to the bottom of the outer drawer case.

Fully loaded, before the fancy drawer face and latch, the drawer slid easily enough that it would slide rearward and hit my tailgate on acceleration. (This is with the neck snapping power of 4.0l). lol.
This showed me quickly that I needed a latch to keep the drawer in place.

Originally I lubed the slides with sealing (canning) wax. This worked well until the AZ summer melted the wax.
I’ve since switched lubes to PB Blaster Dry Lube. This is the same lube I use on my saw tables, and jointer bed.

Lubed this way my drawer slides easily enough with one hand.

I didn’t used drawer slides because I wanted to keep the drawer box as wide as possible due to the limited width of my LJ and the fact I wanted room for a fridge slide.

A753E741-0D44-43E0-AFFA-7284FC15171F.jpeg
 
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ricardo

Observer
I have used Phenolic plates (very rigid and dimensional stable) as Rails and Delrin as slider in a few projects over the years and they still work great even if outdoors in the hot or cold and always dust or dirt.. (Stash boxes with supplies and spare motorcycle parts in Death and saline valley)
 
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ducktapeguy

Adventurer
I was debating making them a little shorter, I haven't glued anything together yet so I can still make changes. They are currently in two pieces so I can stack them on top of each other with a fridge on one side or remove completely and add one of the rear seats back in. Still have a lot of finishing work once I figure out the slides. Making it a little smaller would allow more room to stack when I wanted to do that.

Great looking setup in the GX!
Thanks. One thing you might want to think about if you forgo the drawer slides with that size drawer is how you're going to access the stuff in the back of the drawer. It looks like your drawers go all the way to the second row, so probably close to 40" or more. Without a full extension drawer slide or gorilla arms, I think you'll have trouble supporting the drawer while pulling it all the way out to reach stuff in the back. A 24" drawer is probably more manageable. The other idea I had was to make 2 shorter drawers. One would be used for easily accessed items, the other would sit behind it most of the time for rarely used items. I'd just pull out the front drawer out and reach in and grab the second drawer. It is nice to be able to use the full length of the drawer, but 90% of the time the stuff I need is within the first foot or two.

For my drawer setup, I recessed the slides into the sides of the drawer and box to maximize the width of the drawer, so they don't take up any room. I could have made them completely flush but left about 1/8" gap on each side to allow for expansion and misalignment. The other thing I used was angle iron to form a framework for the cabinets and drawer. Everything is connected with bolts and T-nuts because I wasn't sure a wood joint to hold together long term in rough conditions. Plus I had a lot of leftover scraps from previous projects.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
@ducttapeguy , look at the raw plywood box side shot I posted above. By fitting the drawer side heights to fit just shy of some rails tucked inside the upper corners of that top-most box, I'm able to draw that ~48"" drawer out to within 8-10" of fully out, fully loaded, even with that top hatch wide open. Don't have to support the drawer at all. The drawer cant sag and the draw boxes are attached to each other and the floor. The other drawer has no top hatch and full height sides and I can just fit a standard ammo can inside of it, planned that way to keep my total deck height at ~10", so I could still keep ~24" of height between the drawer / platform deck and the coaming of the rear liftgate. I can still slide a boxed residential water heater in there, or an upside down wheelbarrow (I do a lot of home renovation stuff for friends and family)

my storage drawer build topic
 
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