There are a number of reasons why you might want to remove the drawers from a toolbox. Perhaps you want to refurbish it or just give it a good clean after years of use. Or maybe a tool has disappeared down the back and you want to recover it.
This can look like a very difficult task at first sight. If you try and just pull out the drawer then you will probably notice that it doesn’t come out all the way. Why is this and what can you do about it?
Of course, if the drawers just sat there without anything to stop them from going too far, they could fall out. Since these are often heavy, metal drawers filled with tools could be dangerous. You certainly don’t want this to happen, and thankfully toolboxes are designed so that it is almost impossible.
You are likely to find that the toolbox uses a clever system to keep the drawers from falling out, while still being able to move back and forward whenever you need to open or close them.
The system that is most commonly used on toolbox drawers uses a strip of metal that the drawer slides along. This is known as the friction slide and the key is that it has a tab at the end of this metal strip that stops the drawer when it reaches a certain point.
This clever system means that the drawer can’t just slide completely out. The tab will ensure that it reaches a certain point and then won’t go any further.
The way to get a drawer completely out is a little tricky but it just requires a bit of patience and the right tool. Basically, you need to get a tool that you can use to reach in to the back of the drawer and press the tab that stops the drawer from sliding completely out.
Bearing this in mind, the first thing that you need is this tool. You can either buy one or else make it yourself. If you choose to make it yourself it will probably need a bit of trial an error to get it just right.
This tool should be a fairly thin, long strip of metal with a slight bend at the end of it. It needs to fit in between the side of the drawer and the track attached to it. Some people grind down and bend a hacksaw blade for this, as they are often just the right length and width.
Once the tool is ready, you pull out the drawer as far as it will go. Then slide the tool in between the drawer and the track, with the bent edge leading the way.
It can take a few minutes to do this but as you reach the tab at the back you should be able to just press in until it springs the drawer free. Of course, you then need to repeat the process with the track on the other side of the drawer.
Be careful not to exert too much pressure or you could bend the tab. This could lead to the drawer not being held as steadily once it is replaced.
After you have done whatever it is you wanted to do, the next step is to put the drawer back in place. This should be a good deal easier than taking it out.
You simply need to line up the drawer with the slides on the inside of the toolbox. You then slide it into place. The drawer will work as before once it clicks into place past the tab.
There is another type of door mechanism that is seen less frequently on toolboxes. This is the ball bearing type of opening. It is most commonly seen on modern filing cabinets.
In this case, you will see either a lever or clip on the sliding mechanism. You need to press this to release the drawer. There may be one at the back and another at the front.
When you are finished with the work, you can line up the drawer and slide it smoothly back in until you hear it click into place.
By understanding how your toolbox works and how the drawers can be removed you will feel more comfortable about being able to carry out any sort of cleaning up or maintenance work that is needed over time.