How To Remove A Dresser Drawer That Uses A Center Metal Slide
Drawers are essential to home organization. Instead of having random items scattered all over the place, you can store them in drawers for safekeeping.
From time to time though, those drawers run into problems. More often than not, they just get stuck. However, there are also times when the drawer is having mechanical issues due to one of its main components.
Many drawers use a slide lever system for their drawers. To remove, pull out the drawer as far as possible and locate the slide levers on each side. Push and hold the left-hand lever up, and push and hold the right-hand lever down. Gently pull the drawer towards you and it will easily roll out.
Drawer-related problems are very common, but the good news is that they can often be addressed easily. Read on to learn more about fixing drawers with center metal slides as well as other types typically found in homes.
Why Do Dresser Drawers Get Stuck?
Do you have a dresser drawer in your walk-in closet that gets stuck consistently? You’re not just running into bad luck. There are probably being caused by certain factors, including the ones detailed below.
Wear and Tear
Drawers that make use of some kind of metal mounting hardware are prone to rusting over time. If enough rust accumulates, the drawer may no longer be able to glide in and out like it used to.
There’s no real way to fix a drawer that is starting to rust over. You can remedy the problem temporarily, but replacing the drawer or at least the hardware will eventually be required.
The Mounting Hardware Is Broken
Apart from wear and tear, the mounting hardware can also malfunction due to problems with some of its components. Screws may come loose and pieces may break off as well. Once again, replacing the hardware completely will be necessary if you encounter those problems.
The weather can also be the reason why your dresser drawers are stuck. Wooden drawers are prone to swelling up due to the humidity in the air. As they swell up, they may no longer line up perfectly with the dresser interior, leading to them getting stuck.
Compared to the other issues mentioned, drawers stuck due to humidity are easier to fix. Applying lubrication to the sides of the drawer should help it glide smoothly again.
All kinds of bits and pieces could end up in drawer slides over time. If enough of those small pieces get stuck in the slides, they can prevent the drawer from moving as designed.
How Do You Remove a Dresser Drawer with a Center Metal Slide?
Let’s now talk about how to properly specific types of drawers, starting with the ones that use a center metal slide. It’s an easy process and one you can handle on your own even if you’re not especially handy.
Step 1: Prepare Items for Disengaging the Drawer
Removing drawers that utilize a center metal slide isn’t that difficult, but you still need certain items to get it done. For this job, you’ll want to prepare a putty knife and a lubricant of some kind. Items made from wax are great options for loosening up stuck drawers.
Step 2: Look for a Locking Mechanism
Open up the drawer now and look for the center slide underneath. Inspect the slide closely and try to see if it features some kind of locking mechanism.
If you find the mechanism in question, disengage it by pressing it. Try pulling the drawer out now and see if that works.
Step 3: See if a Pull-Out Guard Is Keeping the Drawer from Being Removed
If there’s no lock keeping the dresser drawer in place, the next thing you should look for is a pull-out guard. The pull-out guard is a small plastic component that prevents the drawer from being removed completely. It acts as a protective feature that can prevent unnecessary accidents.
Homeowners looking to fix their drawers or find something missing may not want that pull-out guard getting in the way though. Disengage it by going to the back of the drawer and setting it out of the way.
Step 4: Use Some Force
With the lock and pull-out guard disengaged, the dresser drawer should be removable now. However, that may not happen still if there are other issues affecting the drawer.
To pry the drawer loose from its position, you will now have to exert some force. Pull on the drawer with a moderate amount of force. You can also try to move the drawer slightly from side to side and try to get it unstuck that way.
Step 5: Lubricate the Drawer
You may notice that the drawer is starting to move more the greater the amount of force you apply. To help it move even more, you should apply a lubricant.
When it comes to drawers, lubricants such as silicone spray, candle wax, and wax paper can all be used. Apply your lubricant of choice to the sides of the drawer and try to pull it out again.
Step 6: Free the Drawer by Working on the Slide
The next thing you can do if your previous efforts fail is to work on the slide itself. Open up the drawer and then go underneath to check on the slide.
Get your putty knife now and start running that along the tracks of the center slide. Doing that should get rid of any debris and allow the drawer to move again.
Step 7: Contact the Professionals
If following all those steps still didn’t work, then that likely means the mounting hardware has serious issues. It may even be broken. Your only choice now is to get in touch with the professionals and have them remove the drawer.
How Do You Remove Other Types of Dresser Drawers?
Let’s say that your dresser drawer doesn’t have a center slide. Instead, it has slides along its sides or perhaps there are two of them underneath. How should you go about trying to remove those drawers?
The procedure is pretty much the same. You have to start by checking for locks and pull-out guards before trying to pull out the drawer. Also consider using added force, lubrication, and a putty knife to free up the drawer.
How Do You Remove Drawers with Stabilizer Screws?
Unlike drawers with center, side, and bottom mount slides, drawers that use stabilizer screws are harder to remove. Those stabilizer screws are supposed to secure the drawer better, but they can also make removal way harder.
You can follow steps one to three detailed earlier in this article. After you finish step three, look inside the drawer and search for the stabilizer screws at the back. Go ahead and remove those with a Philips-head screwdriver.
Once you’ve removed the stabilizer screws, you can get to work on the catch tabs. They can be found along the sides of the drawer. The catch tabs can be removed by pinching on them and then pulling them out.
With the stabilizer screws and catch tabs removed, you should be able to pull out the dresser drawer. Use added force, lubrication, and the putty knife if they are needed.
What Is the Best Mounting Style for a Dresser Drawer?
If you’re building a piece of furniture with drawers, you will probably have to decide how you want them mounted. Your options include the center mount slide, bottom slides, and slides located at the slides.So, which of those options should you choose? The reality is that there is no clear superior option. In all likelihood, you’ll have to make your choice depending on how much clearance you’re getting from the piece of furniture.Center mount slides require clearance based on how thick they are, while the bottom and side options need half an inch. Bottom slides also rely on how thick the sides of the drawer are. Regardless of which option you ultimately choose, just make sure you have the space needed for your drawers.
How Do You Determine the Size of Drawer Mounting Hardware You Need?
The mounting hardware used for your dresser and desk drawers will have to be replaced at some point. In order to find a suitable replacement, you first need to find out how big the new hardware should be.To find out the size of hardware you’ll need, remove the drawer and start taking some measurements. You’ll want to measure the size of the drawer box, its width, and how wide the opening in the dresser is. Another option is to simply take the drawer with you when you go shopping for the new hardware.
Which Lubricant Should You Use on Your Drawers?
We mentioned earlier that wax lubricants work best on drawers, but which specific item should you use? Candle wax and beeswax are among the options you can use. They should work fine, but they can get messy.Using wax paper is the neater alternative. Folding up multiple sheets of wax paper and using them to lubricate the sides of the drawer will aid with removal.
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