Continuously and incessantly used, drawer slides eventually wear out over the years and one day require replacement. Here is a task within everyone’s reach, even for amateur do-it-yourselfers.
What is a drawer slide?
Commonly also called rails, slides or slides, this mechanism is essential for the operation of any drawer, since it is through the grooves of this part that the mobile and removable part of the furniture, more precisely its case, simply slides. Moreover, on old furniture, wooden slats were used. And for the movement to be possible, they were coated with paraffin.
However, with this system, handling drawers, especially full ones, was still quite difficult and laborious. But fortunately with the arrival of the drawer slide, opening and closing have become easier, but above all less painful. To our delight, the new generation models are all now equipped with it. In plastic or galvanized steel, these rails, apart from their great comfort of use, have many advantages.
For example, the slides support heavy loads of up to 160 to 200 kilos without flinching. This is why we do not hesitate to equip storage furniture with large capacities. Otherwise, this piece is also commonly found on shop windows. But did you know that their safety locking system prevents accidental dislodgement of the case from its cabin? This is not at all the case with wooden slats.
There are two main types of slides. The first and probably the most encountered are roller shutters. They are also the cheapest on the market. However, the ultimate in drawer rails are the ball bearing models. These are the ideal devices if you have wide and deep drawers. In addition, depending on your needs and expectations, the slides can be fitted with an automatic safety closing device, or even a silencer.
How do I replace drawer slides?
Only here, insofar as the wings are made up of many small parts, over time, some elements end up wearing out due to friction. In the long term, this friction thus inevitably leads to a malfunction of the device. To find out, you only have to see the furrows dug by the drawer on rails. Otherwise, the other clues are the wear of the heel of the drawer, as well as the creaking of the mechanism, at the slightest request.
Faced with these symptoms, a replacement is necessary. To reach the device in order to dismantle it, the removal of the drawer is essential. To achieve this, you must perform the following manipulations, namely pull the box to the end of the rail, then gently lift it to release it definitively. Next, you must unscrew the screws that hold the worn slides in place. For your information, these parts are always two in number.
To be sure to take the right models, buy exactly the same references as the old ones. However, you can also swap them for more resistant or more ergonomic models. In this case, you must take into account the depth and width of the box, the desired opening length, not to mention the weight of the items you plan to store in the drawer.
Once the rails have been chosen, their installation is child’s play, since all you have to do is put them back on the location of the old ones. Here, the only difficulty is the alignment of the two slides. To work well, the two devices must be perfectly parallel.