I like buying furniture from IKEA, but it doesn’t always withstand heavy use. Apparently the drawers I bought (MALM) are not designed to hold as many papers as will fit inside them, and within a couple of years the base of one of the drawers started sagging.
Soon the base was hanging so low that it prevented the drawer from opening, and things would fall through the gap into the next drawer down.
After several trips to the hardware store and many months of procrastination, I finally have functional drawers again! I’m recording my fix here mostly so I remember all the details.
The basic idea was to attach a plank of wood underneath the drawer, running front-to-back down the centre of the drawer, that would support the 3mm thick base.
Tools required: Coping saw, pencil, ruler, drill, screwdriver
Materials required: planks of wood, corner braces, screws
If the base of any drawer has fraying edges or is sufficiently warped that it cannot be popped back into its groove, you will also need a rectangle of 3mm (1/8 inch) thick board to replace the base.
Step 1: Decide on thickness of planks. Thicker planks will support heavier loads, but the plank needs to be thin enough to fit under the drawer base without obstructing the movement of the drawer.
Step 2: Decide on the lengths of screws you need. For each drawer, you will need one screw that goes through the brace and into the back of the drawer, one to go through the brace and into the front of the drawer, and two to go through the brace and the base and into the plank.
In all cases you want the screw to be long enough to get most of the way through the drawer front/back or plank, but short enough that the sharp tip won’t stick out the other end.
Step 3: Gather materials and tools.
Step 4: Measure the length you need your plank of wood to be: it should fit snugly between the front and back of the drawer. Do this by holding the plank itself against the drawer front and marking the location of the drawer back on the plank.
Step 5: Cut your plank to size.
Step 6: Position one corner brace against the inside front of the drawer. It should be horizontally centred with corner where the drawer base should be.Use a pencil to mark the hole in the brace on the inside centre front of the drawer.
Step 7: Drill a pilot hole, then screw the brace into place.
Step 8: Use your plank to determine the appropriate placement of the other corner brace.
Drill a pilot hole and screw into place.
Step 9: Hold the base of the drawer flush against the braces (this may require some force as you will be fighting the sag) and mark the positions of the holes in the braces on the base.
Step 10: Drill holes through the drawer base in the marked positions. You will want some scrap wood to support the base as you drill through it.
Step 11: Hold the plank of wood in place (again fighting the warp of the drawer base) and mark the positions of the holes on the plank.
Step 12: Drill pilot holes in the plank of wood, then screw into place.
Congratulations, you have working drawers again! I reinforced all six of mine in this way and they’ve held up for the several months between finishing the job and blogging about it.