A fitting fix - Woodshop News

A fitting fix

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I finally fixed a badly fitting kitchen drawer that’s been bugging me for years, but it was anything but a simple fix.

At the end of our L-shaped kitchen counter are three drawers – silverware on top, napkins and placemats in the middle, bread and snacks at the bottom. This bottom drawer constantly scraped against … something. I could never figure out what.

It did this every time you opened it, and though you could make it stop by “jiggling” the drawer the scraping was always there the next time. This annoyance was minor enough that I managed to successfully ignore it for 11 years.

I finally had enough of it yesterday and made up my mind to fix it. Removing the drawer I could see where the scraping was occurring as there was some fine, gray metallic powder at the bottom of the cabinet. But I couldn’t get to where the issue was to fix it. The drawer opening is 8" x 17" and I have a 200-lb, 6-foot frame. Although I could reach in and touch the spot (with one arm at a time in the carcase), I couldn’t work back there.

I suspected the roller tracks weren’t parallel; a bit wider at the back, I assumed the wheel on the left side-mount drawer slide was jumping the track on that side, causing the scraping. But I couldn’t do anything about it! Even with an extension bit on my drill/driver, I simply couldn’t engage the screws holding that track at the back. Not helping was the fact that the screws back there were both stripped, probably by the installer.

My thought was that if I shimmed that drawer slide at the back of the drawer box where the roller was, the little wheel wouldn’t slip. So I did.

Of course, the drawer would not now fit inside the face frame opening at the front. To fix that, I unscrewed the track at the left/front, used a rasp to create a tiny mortise to slightly recess the front of the track, and then reattached it.

In the end, my inelegant fix worked. I’m not proud of it, but it fits.

A.J.

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