Introduction: Plastic Drawer Retainers

Here is a simple and cheap way to secure plastic parts drawers.

The Problem:

Parts drawers are great. Low cost, easy to see what is in them, lots of parts in one place. But, a wrong move, tug or bump can put a lot of parts on the floor in a hurry! If you already spent time sorting hardware out, then doing it over (and over) is not part of the fun of making things.

A Solution:

Add a set of wire retaining bars to hold the drawers in place.

Parts List:

  • Plastic drawers
  • Fencing Wire

Tool List:

  • Drill and bit
  • Hammer and flat surface
  • Linesman Pliers

Step 1: Drill Some Holes

Pick a drill bit the same diameter as the wire (or slightly smaller) and drill a hole in the center of each row of drawers. If the edge of the cabinet is curved, it is easier to hold the drill at an angle till the hole starts, then square it up to finish. Then put some matching holes on the other side of the cabinet.

Step 2: Prepare the Wires

Linesman pliers are the right tool for this part. Cut a piece of fencing wire for each row of drawers, leaving the wire a couple of inches longer than the cabinet width.

A few taps with a hammer on any flat metal surface, like a vice, while rolling the wire will straighten it out. Clamp about an inch of one end of each wire in the vice and put a ninety degree bend in it. Then trim the wires to fit the cabinet. A little trial and trimming will get a good snug fit.

Step 3: Install and Test

They look crooked in the photo, but the wires are actually somewhat level! With the wires installed, I gave the cabinet a functional test. As long as you don't drop it on the floor, the drawers stay in place just great!

With the wires bent snug and trimmed right, they tend to stay in place by friction alone. If they are too loose, try putting a small magnet under the wire end with hot glue or epoxy.

Quick, simple and cheap. Three of the best qualities of any project!