Drawers are frustrating when they don't work.

How to Fix Dresser Drawers That Fall Off Track

by Wade Shaddy

Few things are more frustrating than dresser drawers that stick or fall off the track. It happens when you jerk on the drawer, overload it, slam it shut, abuse it, or it wears out. The rollers detach from the track -- or on older drawers -- the wooden tenon comes out of the mortise. It's easy to fix if you don't force it. Take your time. Calm down. Realign everything and get your drawer back on track.

Wooden Tracks

Remove the drawer from the dresser. If it's stuck halfway out, tap the sides of the drawer from left to right gently to release it, then pull it out. Remove the contents from the drawer.

Align the tenons with the mortises. The tenons are small strips of wood on the sides of the drawer, or the insides of the drawer opening. There are corresponding grooves or mortises or on either the sides of the drawer, or the insides of the drawer opening. The tenons fit into the mortises.

Hold the drawer up to the cabinet opening with one hand on each side as if you just pulled the drawer out of the dresser. Position the ends of the tenons with the grooves or mortises. Insert the tenons into the mortises. Slide the drawer into the dresser, fitting the tenons inside the mortises.

Metal Guides

Remove the drawer from the dresser. If it's stuck halfway out, tap the sides of the drawer from left to right to release it and then pull it out. Remove the contents from the drawer.

Tighten any loose screws in the runners on the drawer, and the cabinet opening using a screwdriver. Reach all the way back into the dresser if necessary to tighten screws in the back of the runners or track.

Hold the drawer up to the opening with both hands. Tilt the front of the drawer up at 30 degrees. Locate one small slot on the left and right dresser runners in front. There are small rollers on the ends of the metal drawer runners at the back of the drawer. Slip the rollers on the back of the drawer into the slots on the dresser runners.

Tip the drawer back down flat as the runners enter the slots. When the drawer is horizontal or perpendicular to the front of the dresser, ease the drawer back into the cabinet.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

Tip

  • If you have trouble placing the rollers into the slots, wiggle the drawer back and forth gently until the rollers engage the tracks, and then push the drawer in.

Warning

  • If your drawers continue to fall off the track, it's because they are worn out. Replace them as needed.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images