From Repairing to Routering



Every DIY’er likes to spend their time making something new or up-cycling something old, creating something fresh and beautiful.  But sometimes, we have to spend our weekend keeping the house from falling down around our ears.

I had big plans to build the base of my bedroom desk this past weekend.  Hours of alone time with power tools, the smell of saw dust and my old 70’s radio station…. cuz that’s how I roll.

But first, my home office was calling my attention.  I spend a great deal of time here during the week and thought it needed a deep cleaning to keep it fresh and clutter free!

While trying to arrange some files in my lateral drawers, I lost one my file clips down the back of the cabinet and had to remove the drawer to get to it and found this:

Damaged Drawer Slider

The drawer slide was damaged, which explained why the drawer was so difficult to open and close.  Well, duh!

No worries, I just needed to run to the hardware store and pick up a new set of slides, and while I’m at it, I will replace the slides on both drawers.

Even better, I decided that the new slides should be rated at 100 lbs or more, since I keep a ton of paperwork in these drawers.  Plus, they extend further so that I can easily reach those older files in the back of the drawer.

New Slides

It was simple enough.  The new slides where the same length and one of the screw holes from the previous install matched up to the new slide so it was pretty easy to put them in the all the right places without a ton of measuring.

Checking for level

Of course, it is very important to be sure your slide is level when you install them or your drawers may not close properly.

Easy enough, right?!?!  Except, I found out when reinstalling the drawer that the two new slides were 1/8″ wider than the original slides and now the drawer will not fit.  FAIL!

Now, this problem would have defeated a lesser person, but it only kicked in my serious problem solving skills.  After all, I cannot leave my office looking like this:

Office Disaster

So I consider my options:

1) Reinstall the original slides

2) Buy skinner slides

3) Make the drawer smaller

Option 1 was not really an option, since the slides were destroyed and ball bearings were all over the place.

Beyond Repair

As for option 2, skinner slides were not available where I purchased the slides.  I did think this might be a problem when I made the purchase so I did check for a skinner variety.

Looks like option 3 was the way to go.  The plan was to cut down the front and back of the drawer by 1/4″ and then reassemble.  I began to disassemble the drawer and remove the fascia board.  Even with all the screws removed, the drawer was strangely intact.   For some reason, I thought I had bought it as an “assembly required” product, but this thing was assembled with glue and finishing nails, which was not my style 10 years ago.

Foiled again!  But not deterred….

At this point, I would like to thank my Daddy who bought me a router when he came to visit me last fall.  Thanks, Dad.

I figured the only way to get those slides on the drawer to meet up with the slides in the cabinet was to make a 1/8″ deep groove on each side of the drawer.   So, after carefully removing the fascia board (with it’s 20+ brads holding it tight), I was able to router a 2.25″ wide groove to accommodate the width and depth of the slide.

Getting my Groove On!

Caution:  Be sure your router guide is completely locked down after each pass and adjustment or you will see something like this:


Yep, that router can sure have a mind of it’s own.

So, with the slider reattached to the drawer, I was able successfully fit it back into the file cabinet.

Perfect Fit!

This is how the drawer looks without the fascia board…..

Another shot of that Perfect Fit!

And here is how it looks with it all put back together and working perfectly.  I could spend all day pulling and pushing these drawers in and out.  It feels good to have them working smoothly again.

All is well again!

And here is another shot of the defective hardware along with an “awww” inducing shot of my nosy little helper, Roxy.


And let’s not forget an up close picture of the clip that started it all with it’s duck and dive into the depth of the cabinet.

So, 4 hours and most of my Sunday later, I had a perfectly functioning lateral file cabinet.

Project Cost:

New Slides:  $28

I feel just as much satisfaction in coming up with a workable creative solution than had I built the file cabinet myself.   I hope this gives you some ideas for fixing those “unfixable” problems.

How are you planning to spend your weekend?  Have any new projects or is there a home repair that needs your loving attention this weekend?

I need to repair the exhaust hood over my stove.  Right now, it is hanging by a screw and needs some TLC.  I will blog about it next week.  Have a great weekend.



3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Reframing the past…. « Single Mom Thriving

  2. Pingback: Roses and Chains Revealed …. « Single Mom Thriving

  3. Pingback: Home Office Makeover « Single Mom Thriving

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