Whether it occurs in the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom, opening or closing drawers that won’t close right can be pretty annoying. Drawers that fall out don’t have a mechanism to stop them; therefore, if you pull them out too far, they will fall. Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix this.
To fix a drawer that falls out, you need to install a stop block at the rear of your wooden drawer or you can repair or replace the metal slides. All the materials you will need are a drill, screws, a block of wood, pencil, and a screwdriver.
Although most modern cabinets and dressers come with drawers that operate on steel or nylon rollers, there are those that still use the traditional wooden drawer runners. Regardless of the type of drawer slides, you can still fix your falling drawers. Read on for the simple techniques that can help you with this issue.
Fixing Wooden Drawer Tracks
Drawers on many old dressers, wall units, and cabinets run on wooden slides. Unfortunately, this low-tech system doesn’t have a mechanism that can stop drawers from falling. If your drawers run on wooden tracks, follow these steps to stop them from falling:
1. Remove the Drawer
Start by completely removing the drawer from the closet or dresser. Stand in front of your piece of furniture and pull the drawer with one hand on each side. If it gets stuck halfway, don’t force it. Instead, tap the sides of your drawer gently from left to right then pull it out. To ensure that the wooden sticking drawers open smoothly, you can use a special nylon tape or a little paraffin to lubricate the sticky surfaces.
2. Make a Drawer Stop Block
Purchase or cut a block of wood about 1.5-by-2-by-5 centimeters (½-by-¾-by-2 inches) long. Drill an off-center hole through the block of wood ¾-inches (2-centimeters) from one end. Make sure that the hole’s diameter is similar to that of the screw you’ll use later. Repeat the same procedure to make as many stop blocks for all drawers in your home.
3. Set the Stop Block
Determine where you want to install the wooden stop block and mark the spot with a pencil. Screw the wood block into the marked part at the drawer’s rear panel, with the block inside the drawer. Ensure that the pre-drilled hole is at the bottom of the block, and screw the block with a long screw, which can pass through it without sticking on the other side.
Allow about 1.5 centimeters (½-inch) of the upper part of the block to emerge above the drawer’s lip. Use your screwdriver to tighten the screw just enough to hold the block securely in place, but loose enough to rotate around the screw.
4. Insert Back the Drawer
Turn the block to a horizontal position to allow you to insert the drawer back. Ensure that no part of the block is protruding above the drawer’s panel. Then, partially slide back the drawer into the cabinet or dresser. Push it just far enough that the drawer catches on its rollers, but you still have enough room to stick your hand inside and access the block. Rotate the block of wood 90 degrees back to the vertical position and completely slide out the drawer.
5. Test Whether Your Stop Block Works
Once the stop block is in place, your drawer should stop when you pull it out. The block of wood will catch the cabinet’s frame and prevent the drawer from coming out. Repeat this procedure to fix all other falling drawers in your house.
Buy Premade Plastic or Metal Drawer Stops
Instead of making your own wooden drawer stop block, you can purchase a plastic drawer stop or premade metal stop block from a local hardware store or order from Amazon. However, remember to check where they will hit inside your furniture.
Fixing Metal Drawer Tracks
Metal glides are a common type of drawer slide, and it’s most likely that your furniture uses this technology. In most cases, loose screws in the running and broken metal glides are the main cause of falling drawers. To prevent your drawers from falling out, follow these steps:
1. Remove the Drawers
Stand in front of your furniture and gently slide the drawer open. In case it gets stuck halfway out, tap both sides of the drawer to release it. You can also rub some paraffin or apply nylon tape to the meeting parts of the drawer. Remember to remove all contents from the drawer.
2. Tighten the Screws
Use your screwdriver to tighten any loose screws in the runners of your drawer and the dresser or cabinet. If necessary, reach all the way to the back of the dresser to tighten the screws. You may also have to replace any skewed screws.
3. Replace Broken or Worn Out Slides
If your runners are worn out, broken or non-functional, you may want to replace them with new ones. Old or worn-out drawer hardware may be the cause of your collapsing drawers.
However, this is an easy fix, and all you have to do is to purchase a similar model, make, and length. Most likely, the runners on your cabinet won’t be damaged, which means you will only need to replace the slides on your drawer.
To learn more on how to replace broken or worn out slides, watch this video:
4. Fit the Rollers Back
Use both hands to hold the drawer up. Tilt the front part of the drawer to an angle of 30 degrees and locate the small slots on the left and right side of the dresser runners. You will see small rollers on both ends of the metal runners. Carefully slide the rollers on the back of the drawer into the slots on your cabinet or dresser runners.
5. Slide the Drawer Back
Slant the drawer back to the runners until it enters the slots on your dresser. Once the drawer is on the same level as the runners on the furniture, ease the drawer back. If you experience any difficulties fitting the rollers back into the slots, gently wiggle the drawer back and forth until the rollers engage the tracks on your dresser, and then slide the drawer in.
Replace the Drawers
While standard drawers are designed to be durable, they are not built to take punishment. Therefore, if they’re slammed or forced, they can sag or even break. If they just come apart, you can glue them back together. However, if the sides of the drawer split or the dado break from the bottom, you will have to replace your drawer.
Drawers play an essential role in our homes – they hold various items and allow easy access. However, you can yank them out if they don’t include a stopping mechanism or if they’re broken.
Pulling drawers out of your cabinet or dresser can be annoying and also hazardous. Therefore, it’s important to install a stop block and repair or replace the metal glides to prevent your drawers from falling out.
Armed with a drill, screws, a block of wood, a pencil, and a screwdriver, you can create your own stop block, or you can choose to purchase a plastic drawer block on Amazon or a nearby hardware store. The block of wood will act as a stop mechanism for drawers with wooden runners. On the other hand, if your drawers use metal tracks, you can tighten the screws to fix the falling runners or replace the runners altogether.