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HOW TO: Drawers: remove and reinstall your galley and end table drawers, fix loose or stripped screws, and glue the bottoms for extra strength


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These drawers are not at all intuitive when it comes to taking them out of the galley cabinet. It is dead easy if you pretend that you are a simpleton and don't over think things... . Stand over the end of the open drawer, reach under the sides at the very front with both hands. Put your fingers underneath on the inner edge of the orange release thingies and squeeze, move your fingers toward your palms. The latches will release and you can lift the drawer up and out, away from the slides, which will probably spring back out of sight. That is the "self closing" feature at work. Here is what is going on:

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The drawer is held to the latch assembly by two TINY SHORT screws. They are known to strip out the soft wood. Sometimes you will find the drawer lying up by the bathroom door with spatulas and other stuff scattered everywhere. Tighten them gently, they will move! If they are stripped, install longer ones. FYI this is a six year old drawer, Oliver may have altered these parts. For example, mine don't have the inner safety latches. Note that you might want to wear disposable gloves.

EDIT: one member installed 1” long screws, driven into new holes at an angle, and found that to be a very solid way to do this.

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Here is the end of the slide, showing the opening that catches the latch.

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THIS IS SO VERY COOL! I just discovered it after all these years.... On the bottom of each slide, about 5 inches in from the end, is a tiny pin that sticks down. When reinstalling the drawer, you can use it to pull the slide outwards until it clicks into the latch. It keeps your fingers away from the grease too.

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Finally, you can flip each drawer and lay a thin bead of wood glue around the joint between the bottom and the sides and let it sit overnight. It will dry almost clear, so don't worry about minor mistakes. Plus nobody but you will ever know. I do not recommend gluing the inside of the drawers, that will show and it also has some sort of protective clear coat, so the glue might not stick.

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This thread is very much related: ... https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2151-how-to-galley-drawer-travel-straps/

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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Here is a pic from that other thread showing how the screws can pull out of the front part of the drawer.

92597545-4CB4-4CB0-A9C3-3A4A6342C250.thumb.jpeg.39f7771a087d4bbc177ba68f9734aaf5.jpeg
 

John Davies

Spokane WA 

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

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John,

Useful advice on dealing with the drawer releases.  However, I suggest NOT glueing the bottoms of the drawers to the sides.  The drawer bottoms typically rest in a groove in the drawer frame and are purposely NOT glued to permit movement of the wood as temperature and more importantly, humidity vary.

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18 minutes ago, dhaig said:

However, I suggest NOT glueing the bottoms of the drawers to the sides.  The drawer bottoms typically rest in a groove in the drawer frame and are purposely NOT glued to permit movement of the wood as temperature and more importantly, humidity vary.

That is an important consideration, definitely. In this case I am not concerned since the drawer sides and bottoms are both made from wood. If they were different materials, then definitely do not glue. I think this is one of those situations where you have to decide whether you want the bottom to bow down and perhaps fall out of a groove, or stay in place and possibly crack. If an owner is concerned, he can Google “floating drawer bottom”, do some reading in the woodworkers forums, and decide for himself. 

BTW, I live in, and generally camp in, an arid part of the country, so prolonged high humidly or dramatic moisture changes is rarely a worry. And a couple of my drawers are quite heavily loaded, they are not all filled with plastic utensils or lightweight personal items. 

Thanks very much for the comment.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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  • 2 months later...

For reference,  we have a 2015 LE2 and our drawer release is the black "handle" shown in the drawer slide photo below20220618_125841.thumb.jpg.b15dcd0d83606243b828fb4ad9cf1c58.jpg.  Those handles had to be moved either up or down for the release to happen so the drawer could be pulled all the way out.  AND the black handle on each side moved in opposite direction of other side.  So if I pulled the left handle up then I pushed the right handle down. 

 

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On 4/4/2022 at 9:02 PM, dhaig said:

John,

Useful advice on dealing with the drawer releases.  However, I suggest NOT glueing the bottoms of the drawers to the sides.  The drawer bottoms typically rest in a groove in the drawer frame and are purposely NOT glued to permit movement of the wood as temperature and more importantly, humidity vary.


Don,

Agree 💯on no glue suggestion.

Thanks!

David

 

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On the glue or no glue - I would expect the drawer bottom to be dimensionally stable since it's  a thin sheet of plywood, which has grain of the separate ply layers going in perpendicular directions. There is very little movement with changing humidity along the length of grain - it happens more so across/perpendicular to the grain - so plywood is kind of frozen in each dimension by the criss-crossing grain (it will have nonzero movement, but so small as to be generally not a consideration in typical joinery like this). Similarly, the front and sides of the drawer have their grain going parallel to the slots in which the drawer bottom fits. So I wouldn't expect those sides or the front to expand or contract significantly along the length of that slit. 

It's been a while since I built any drawers or otherwise joined ply into solid wood as is happening here, so I remain open to some solid explanation for why what John suggests would cause a problem, but based on what I recall my woodworking boss teaching me about designing joinery to handle wood movement (c. 1981-82), I think this should be OK. 

One reference I just found which has a decent explanation of wood movement with respect to grain direction

 

 edited to add: this is different from the case of a solid wood (ie not plywood) door panel that’s held by channels in the rails and stiles of the door, because the solid wood panel will expand and contract in the Direction that’s perpendicular to the wood grain and so needs room to expand into those grooves during high humidity (and enough width to not come out of the groove in low humidity) and if glued in place will tend to split after a few expansion/contraction cycles. Btw at the wood shop where I worked we often made tables with solid wood framed tops with plywood inserts that were well glued to the frames. Sometimes we covered the plywood with tile, sometimes with laminate (Formica or a cousin). This would be similar structurally to gluing the drawer bottoms to the front back and sides, at least from the perspective of response to changing humidity…

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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2 hours ago, Mike D. said:

Would clear-coating the drawer bottoms with polyurethane help reduce moisture absorption? 

Not really, with respect to the effects of longer term humidity, at least that's my understanding from my woodworking days (where we used a lot of spray on polyurethane and still paid attention to things like attaching table tops to aprons in such a way as to allow for expansion/contraction of solid wood tops). But that's a bit academic IMO, because as I noted (and is described numerically at the link I shared) plywood does not expand/contract very much with changes in humidity. It would help a bit with any spills or leaks as long as you catch them reasonably quickly.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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4 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

It would help a bit with any spills or leaks as long as you catch them reasonably quickly.

Yep, I get your point.   However I meant the underside of the drawers (the side you don’t see), just as an overkill  measure for those not in agreement with the glue.  

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I have done  (0)  nothing to my drawers in 15  seasons.  Just saying. 

The format  is what it is.

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4 hours ago, Mike D. said:

However I meant the underside of the drawers (the side you don’t see),

One of the things I learned from my woodworking boss was to treat both sides of any panel the same way. If for some reason you wanted to finish the bottoms with polyurethane you should do both sides the same way. Otherwise you might get warping as humidity increases

i don’t think it would add much of any strength to the drawer assembly though with I think was John’s goal with the glue (I question how much that adds also but I don’t see a harm in it)

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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9 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

One of the things I learned from my woodworking boss was to treat both sides of any panel the same way.

In  John D. Original post he mentioned the upper sides of the drawer panels were already clear-coated,  hence my suggestion the bottom could be done likewise to seal & stabilize.  It was just a thought, I may do nothing to my drawers until it’s necessary. 

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On 6/20/2022 at 5:52 AM, Mike D. said:

In  John D. Original post he mentioned the upper sides of the drawer panels were already clear-coated,  hence my suggestion the bottom could be done likewise to seal & stabilize.  It was just a thought, I may do nothing to my drawers until it’s necessary. 

The only part of my drawers that has any kind of coating is the upper sidet of the plywood bottom. If you want to take steps to preserve the wood, you should coat all the parts, including the insides of the cabinet itself. That way if you get an unexpected gusher from a failed sink connection, it will not soak in. Though a long slow drip is much more likely to cause rot and failure, because you might not notice it for many months or years.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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  • 1 year later...

Thought I would bump this. Love the pics!

I searched for "drawers" in post titles and there it was, of course by @John E Davies! Thank you, John. My problem is with a herniated C3-C4 disc, I cannot stand to contort my neck anymore to look under tables, dashboards, etc. Too many decades of car repair and installation work and years sitting at computers, I guess.

I wanted to look back there, given another JD post on loose plumbing, and we're installing a removeable kitchen shelf. I'll make another post on that. Thanks again JD! ☺️

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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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On 4/3/2022 at 9:46 AM, John E Davies said:

Tighten them gently, they will move! If they are stripped, install longer ones.

My 2018 drawer bottom thickness is pretty thin.  Longer screws would not work.  Fatter ones maybe.  But I chose small SS bolts with small washers and nylocks.  Art (Max Burner) and I replaced them and with the bolt heads/washers on top, they pilled down enough into the drawer base that they are not a problem.  Certainly we'll not find any drawers up by the bathroom again.

GJ

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On 12/28/2023 at 1:19 PM, Geronimo John said:

My 2018 drawer bottom thickness is pretty thin.  Longer screws would not work.  Fatter ones maybe... GJ

Yep, wider deeper threads!

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On 12/29/2023 at 6:28 PM, jd1923 said:
On 12/28/2023 at 10:19 AM, Geronimo John said:

My 2018 drawer bottom thickness is pretty thin.  Longer screws would not work.  Fatter ones maybe... GJ

Yep, wider deeper threads!

But they don't work in Alaska unless you also install the JD Drawer Straps.   I tried the deeper fatter and ended up going with Micro Bolts and Nylocks AND the JD Drawer Straps too.  Belts and Suspenders.  As you have heard me say more than once:  "I like having options".

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DIY’s: Timken Bearings, BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DIY’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all, installed Ham Radio (WH6JPR).

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On 12/31/2023 at 7:45 PM, Geronimo John said:

AND the JD Drawer Straps too

...this option solved our problem immediately.  Thanks, @John E Davies!  Although, the initial problem was found on our 1st official OTT excursion to Elephant Butte Lake SP in NM, that condition was caused by the "5.5QT Smithy Dutch Oven Syndrome" - described in an earlier post.  

Now, like @SeaDawg explains, our Smithy kit now rides in the TV... and we don't expect to find galley drawers by the bathroom anymore!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I didn't notice until our recent trip, but one middle drawer opens each time we tow and when shut it hangs low on one side. You can see in the picture that the rail has been dragging on the drawer bottom for a while. The spring action is not working, broken plastic, the assembly is shot.

I did a quick Amazon search and found these that look similar, but not exact: Blum Tandem Standard Locking Device for B552/B562/B568 Series Tandem Slides Part# T51.1700.04 (Left and Right) Set of 1 Right and 1 Left - Amazon.com

Are the OEM parts Blum? Does anybody know if these will work, or another item on Amazon or another supplier?

Drawer Mechanism.jpg

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7 hours ago, jd1923 said:

Are the OEM parts Blum? Does anybody know if these will work, or another item on Amazon or another supplier?

I don't know the exact answer to your question - but - I did have a similar problem when I stopped in the Service dept this past August.

They showed me the broken part and I had them replace it.

So, I'm sure a call to them will get your the answer.

Bill

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Service sent me a couple of drawer slides when I had one break several years ago.  Easy to replace.  The strap method for each bank of drawers solved our drawer-opening-while-driving issue.  Mike

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