JAMES MARTIN

drawers in desks and dressers need lube. they slide "wood on wood". What to use for the lube?

by JAMES MARTIN Last activity date:
November 1st, 2009

tried bar soap with limited success

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Manage My Life
Thanks for the question. Unfortunately, wooden drawers aren't always that cooperative when it comes to getting them to work properly. Since lots of things can cause a wooden drawer to bind, you need to figure out what's causing your particular problem. For example, moisture in the air can make wood fibers swell and drawer slides bind. Nails or staples holding drawers together can work loose, allowing drawer sides or bottoms to get out of position so the drawer isn't square and then it binds in its tracks. Drawer guides themselves can come loose so the drawer guides aren't able to do their job. Here's some ideas on how you can get your wooden drawers working the way they should.

These are a few of the things you can use to fix a sticky wooden drawer.

* Paraffin or bees wax

* Sandpaper

* Bar of soap

* Screws and screw driver

* Hammer

* Wood glue

Fixing sticky wooden drawers;

Different furniture and drawers designs means that your sticking drawer can have any one of a number of things actually causing it to stick. Start by taking out the sticking drawer and look to see if there is some kind of an obstruction or if the drawer structure is loose or coming apart. Your problem is likely as simple as a protruding nail or staple, a loose drawer guide, a broken plastic corner guide or even a piece of clothing stuck in the drawer track.

If you have a loose nail pull it out and replace it while cracked or broken corner guides can be replaced with new guides available at home stores. A loose bottom or side drawer guides can be easily fixed. First take the loose guide right off the drawer and then spread some carpenter's or wood glue on the drawer and the guide. Reattach the guide with the screws you just removed and let the glue dry overnight. The next day your drawer and its newly refastened guide should work fine.

No matter what caused the original problem, while you have the drawer out it’s a good idea to, apply a lubricant to the drawer bottom and guides. Plain soap (don't use a soap with extra skin moisturizers) or a stick of beeswax or paraffin wax rubbed on the drawer bottom will lubricate the surfaces and make the drawer slide easily. Lubricate everywhere the drawer touches the framework of the furniture, i.e. the bottom edges of the drawer and/or the center and side guides.

If you can't find any noticeable obstruction and your drawer still sticks your next step is to sand the drawer. Take the sticky drawer out and turn it upside down. Use a medium grit sandpaper (80 to 100 grit) and a sanding block (not a power sander) to remove some wood from the bottoms of the drawer edges. Work slowly taking off a little at a time and test fit your work often. Once the drawer slides easily lubricate the bottom with soap or wax on the newly sanded edges and replace the drawer.

Nylon tape that you just peel and stick onto the bottom edges of your drawers and drawer guide tracks is available. Once the slippery nylon is installed, you won’t need to lubricate your drawers with soap or wax ever again. The only down side to the nylon tape is depending on how tight the tolerances are in your furniture, you may need to sand the drawer edges to make enough room to install the nylon tape.

You can also prevent the wood in your drawers from swelling and binding by sealing both the drawers and the inside of your cabinets with polyurethane or paint. These will prevent moisture from getting into the open wood grain of your furniture and causing the wood to swell.

Sticking drawers are frustrating. Luckily, fixing them isn't difficult and you've probably got the tools or materials you need around the house already. Thanks BB
Answered in 22 hours
by Manage My Life
November 1st, 2009
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