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Opening a Stuck Drawer


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April 25, 2011

Opening a Stuck DrawerHave a drawer that doesn't open and close smoothly? Remove the drawer and clean the wooden rails that support the drawer. Clean off any dust or dirt with a damp rag. Then, rub with a candle stub (over the wood rails) a thin layer of wax. The wax will help the drawer to glide smoothly once its back in place. Now you have a drawer that will glide in and out smoothly!

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By dorothy wedenoja from New Creek, WV

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January 1, 2006

If you have a sticky drawer that doesn't want to open right, just take a white candle and drag over the gliders to make it slide in and out easier...

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December 5, 2021

Anyone know how we can unjam a drawer? We've moved and had to wipe down some furniture with some bleach water due to allergies and we left it outside to air dry. We cannot get this drawer out? Others are fine just one is not!


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December 5, 20210 found this helpful
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I know there are lots of tips on the internet, but this lesser known hint might help: if possible, remove the back of the unit and then use a blow dryer on the sticky drawer. Might take a few sessions, but the fact that none of the other drawers got stuck means the situation is not hopeless! Good luck.

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December 5, 20210 found this helpful
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Humidity might be the problem, and a blow dryer might just work (even if from above and below the stuck drawer [if you can't remove the back]). However, cold often causes things to contract and might be another option. Can you set the unit itself in a cold room?

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Perhaps remove drawers above and below to see if you can spot the source of the problem?

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December 5, 20211 found this helpful
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Try removing the drawers above and below the stuck drawer. Then place a mechanics lead light inside above or below the stuck drawer, and leave it on for several hours or even overnight, The heat from the light should dry out the wood enough to un-stick the drawer. When free, rub some wax -paraffin or candle, or even bar soap will work, on the edges and bottom runners of the drawer before putting it back in. If that doesn't work, if able to remove the back of the unit, use a hammer and block of scrap wood to tap on the back of the drawer bottom runners to free it. You might want to sand the drawer runners a bit and then coat with wax. Good luck and hope this helps.

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December 29, 20210 found this helpful
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Can you pull the drawer below it out? Sometimes if you gently giggle the drawer from below, it can be opened. If you cannot see the drawer from below, cold makes wood contract so if you are in a cold climate set it outside for 15 minutes on a dry day.

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January 31, 2014

I have an old oak banker's desk with one stuck drawer on the bottom left, any suggestions?

The desk is in excellent shape, just this drawer will not open. I have tried everything I can think of.

By Emmy

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful
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Run a knife blade around the top sides and bottom to check for a latch. Sometimes they are well hidden. If you can turn the desk over you may see a latch or lock.

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Take the other drawers out to try and find a pinch point if you have not found a latch or lock.

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful
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I posted before if there is a drawer on top take it out to see if there is something holding the bottom drawer in. then use the file to sand it down then use wax ton the runners or bottom of the drawer it might be that the runners need to be fixed.

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February 3, 20140 found this helpful
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Some desks used a latch for security. Opening another, specific drawer will release the latch, allowing you to open the bottom drawer.

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January 4, 2021

My husband glued (wood glue) the track (like the one shown) which had come loose on the bottom of his dresser drawer (it's the one above the one I took out). He put it back into the dresser before it was completely dry. 8 years later, it still won't open.

Drawers are closed from each other. Any ideas? I think the only thing in it is t-shirts, but would like to sell dresser and who would want a dresser with a drawer that won't open?

A dresser with the bottom drawer removed.
 
The bottom of a dresser drawer.
 

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January 5, 20210 found this helpful
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Hopefully, you can remove the back of the dresser and gain access to the drawer from the back. I would remove all the drawers you can, take off the back, then turn over onto top of dresser. From there, you should be able to do some light tapping with a hammer to force the drawer slide free without damaging the drawer. If lucky, with the back off, if you need to, you can get the divider off that separates drawers from each other, to give you more access to all parts of the stuck drawer.

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Then a heat gun to soften the glue, and a chisel to help scrape the glue off the slide, will cure the problem. Good luck and lets us know how it goes.

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March 24, 2013

Old painted built in drawers.I would like some advice on how to unstick two drawers in a chimney cabinet (a built in cabinet of drawers, next to a chimney). The drawers do "not" have knobs, although they have holes where knobs once resided! There is not access to them from the top or bottom. Any advice? I would love to know if there is anything in them and if possible, use them for storage once I get them open. Thank you.

By sasvermont

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

If you can find a long screw that fits the hole you can screw it in and pull. However you might not get an even pull. You can get two small screws, screw then in one on each side and use them as handles to pull out the drawer.

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If the edges of the drawer have been painted over they might be stuck. Take a small knife and go around the edges to cut the paint. Since you will have made two holes with the two small screws, use wood puddy to fill them in.

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October 6, 2019

I have a very hard to open stuck drawer in my kitchen. I tried everything, but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions would help me.


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April 26, 2020

The desk is a very old French provincial style. I took the drawers out to move it and when putting them back, one didn't go in correctly. Now it doesn't budge when I pull. There is nothing blocking from inside contents.

I can jiggle it up and down, but it does not pull out at all. Any suggestions out there I would be grateful. Desk Drawer Stuck Closed - three drawers on a white and gold trim desk
 

Thanks and be safe!

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August 16, 2010

I have a chest of drawers and the drawers do not come out all the way. There is something stuck behind a drawer and I'm unable to reach back far enough to get it out.


Any suggestions?

By ilovesophie from Laurel, MT

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August 16, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes I have been able to use something like a screw driver or the blade of a knife, sometimes use the handle of a long spoon and reach in to jiggle the jammed item loose. I usually manage to get the item worked loose.

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August 16, 20100 found this helpful

Try using a wooden ruler and see if you can move whatever is making the drawer stick out of the way, so you can easily open it.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful

Empty the drawer then try. If that doesn't work, empty all the drawers and turn the chest on its side or upside down. Whatever it is should fall out.

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There is one last hope if those don't work. See if the back will come off the chest. That will do it for sure.

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October 3, 2016

The top right desk drawer won't open. It looks like something is holding it from the back.


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October 20, 2012

There is too much food in the bottom drawer and it's stuck and will not pull out. Any suggestions?

By Birney

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October 21, 20120 found this helpful

Take the drawer above it out and remove the excess food. Then you can pull the bottom drawer out.

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August 16, 2010

I have a very old (over 100yrs) antique mahogany sideboard. Something has jammed inside one of the drawers and it won't open.

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