desk center drawer slides

mikey99June 28, 2011

I recently acquired a nice old desk made by Myrtle Desk in NC. This desk has a large center drawer and it appears someone has replaced the drawer slides at one point with a very basic (white) metal slide with nylon wheels. This desk has a locking feature that is engaged when you close the center drawer all the way, which prevents the other drawers from being opened. One problem is the center drawer will not stay in the closed position unless I push it in and lock it with the key. It protrudes about one inch from its closed position. If I push the drawer it will go in all the way ...and I can feel the locking mechanism being engaged. I'm just wondering if this is normal, or is it possible the original drawer slides had some type of detent to hold the drawer in a fully closed position without being locked. As it is.... the only way the drawer will stay fully closed is to lock it with the key.

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I have a desk like this, and have encountered others, and the top drawer always closes fully without the key. If you investigate how the locking mechanism works you may be able to figure out why it is all happening. Take out all the drawers and see what you can see.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 12:50PM
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My suspicion is that the center drawer should stay closed via friction on the glides. Maybe it has worn to the point where it slides too easily?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:50PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I crawled under there and checked out the mechanism. Theres two levers, one on each side of the center drawer that are engaged when you close the drawer. These levers are mounted to a rod that goes through the wood and moves a rod up to engage the hook on the back of the drawers. It takes a fair amount of force to move each of these levers. One thing I noticed there is a spring on each of the levers, pulling it in the opposite direction, most likely to assist with unlatching the drawers when the center drawer is opened. These springs look like they may have been added by someone because the drawer lock mechanism was sticking and not allowing the other drawers to open. I suspect this because one end of the spring is fastened to the wood with a nail.
I doubt the manufacturer would have used a nail here.
I'll try to remove the springs and see how things work then. Looking at the mechanisms, just the center drawer opening should allow the levers to drop back down allowing other drawers to be opened.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Very good description! I took one of these desks apart once - actually just the pedestals; I never had the whole desk - and the rod that moves up and down did simply have nails on it to engage the hooks on the back of the drawers. So they used nails where appropriate, but you can certainly remove the spring to see what happens, I suppose. Or would some lubrication help?

I have a picture... it was a real wreck, so you'll understand why I took it apart. I repurposed the drawers as underbed storage; it was all that could be salvaged. Here you're looking at the inside of the left pedestal.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 3:19AM
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