Introduction: Keep Your Drawers From Falling Down

With a minor addition, you can prevent your plastic drawers from derailing.
I recently bought a 10 drawer cabinet to organize some of my "raw materials".
Help I'm a Hoarder comes to mind.

I like the cabinet and do recommend it.  I picked my up for about $35.  If you want to locate it online, you will likely get a hit by googling:  Storage Cart - 10 Drawer

As seen in the photos, it is essentially a stack of plastic trays each of which slides into "C" tracks on the left/right sides.  Unfortunately, when the tray gets a bit heavy, it does flex a bit which contorts the geometry of the top of the tray.
The trays tend to pull inward and thus can come "off track" when sliding on the rails.

To fix the problem, I installed a reinforcement which spans the top of each tray.
I used some scrap wood found in the garage.  To make the result more clean, I used rivets instead of screws.

Step 1: What You Need

You will need just a few items for this instructable:

Materials
Rivets
Small Pieces of Wood
and of course you'll need a set of drawers!

Tools
Rivet Tool
Ruler
Pencil
Drill
Drill Bit
Screwdriver

Step 2: Droopy Drawers

Here's the problem.  The drawers are not strong enough to hold their shape after a certain amount of weight is placed in them.

Step 3: Fix the Problem

We'll fix the problem by reinforcing the drawers with some small pieces of wood.  My wood was about 1.50 inches wide and .375 inches thick.  What you get looks sort of like wooden window blinds.  In fact, I think that's what mine are.  I just found it in the garage... It will be important to cut the boards to the correct length.  I did this by measuring the width of the inside upper edge of the drawer.  I think mine was about 10.625 inches. 

You'll need one board for every shelf that you want reinforced.  I did all ten.

Step 4: Drill Holes for the Rivets

You will need to drill holes in the sides of the shelves and in the ends of the wood pieces.   I drilled two holes in each drawer.  The holes are near the upper lip on the left and right sides of each drawer.  They also are place halfway between the front and back sides.

Also you will need to drill holes in the ends of the wood pieces.  This is CRITICAL. If you do not drill a wide enough hole, you will likely split the woodl.  I drilled all my holes (shelves and wood) at .125 inches (that's 1/8 inch).  I chose that size because that is the size of the rivets I used.  

Step 5: Fasten the Wood to the Drawers

I used rivets to fasten the wood to the drawers.  I used rivets instead of screws because rivets have a lower profile.  You cannot countersink the plastic drawers very effectively.  You might be able to use screws but I avoided it.

Step 6: Put the Drawers Back Onto the Rails

After riveting all drawers, put your drawers back into the rails.  And load back up with your stuff.  Now your drawers won't fall down!

Comments

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-09-14

The idea is good, but I think that pop rivets are not the best choice. They expand too much, surely some woods are broken after put them.

author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-09-14

I think you are probably right. I did split a couple of them and had to get another piece of wood... What would you try - just some sort of wood screw? (a really small one)

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-09-16

No, a really small screw will not be useful. I would use long thin parker screws, but previously I would drill an appropriate hole,  a litle smaller than the diameter of the screw. IE, if the screw is 3 mm diameter, the hole will be  2,5 mm. The length, approx 2"

author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-09-17

Osvaldo, Thanks for the suggestion of long thin Parker Screws. I may give that a try soon. I have seen some of those before, but never knew what they were called.

author
KevinAlien26 made it!(author)2012-09-15

i have the same set of drawers except in a dark to light brown color scheme, and have the same problem with them falling out of the rail. I was thinking of using something thinner, like a thin metal rod because i worry some tools might not fit if i used wood.

author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-09-15
Kevin, Thanks for sharing input.  It can be really helpful getting some ideas from outside my head!  I thought a bit about using metal. Initially, I tried 1/4-20 threaded rod. It was not stiff enough - flexed too much. Extruded aluminum square tube seemed a bit expensive. I suppose a thicker rod might work.

One thing you might try:

Wiremold Metal White 10' Raceway
Item #: 216033 | Model #: 700WH+
(about $10 for 10 feet at Lowes)


It comes with a sliding metal piece on the backside. You could remove that and cut some small pieces (approx 2 inches each). Then make L brackets. Slide the L bracket back into given approx 10.625" piece of the raceway. And then rivet the exposed section of L to the drawer insides. Would need to be careful about any exposed sheet metal screw tips on finished drawers.

I wish I had tried this! I have it in the garage now.
author
bobzjr made it!(author)2012-09-15

Kevin, Still another thought:

Ceilingmax 8 ft. Zero-Clearance Ceiling Top Hanger
Model # 100-00 S
tore SKU # 325476
(about $6.75 for 8 feet at Home Depot)

This one is PVC, but believe you can get metal also...

ceiling hanger.jpg

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