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Old 05-03-2023, 09:50 AM #1
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Help me fix my drawer system

Ok so I recently replaced my 3rd row with a drawer system that I made. Itís been working fine for off-roading and daily driving but had a pretty big issue when I had a bunch of stuff loaded on it a couple weeks ago for a camping trip. The dang thing wouldnít openÖ. The weight that was sitting on the top board was all resting on the drawer faceplate and It was nearly impossible to open. I thought the aluminum angle a attached to the front of the top board would offer some rigidity and prevent this but I was proved wrong.

Any suggestions? There is nothing supporting the middle of the top board as itís 1 large drawer. Iím thinking I should have done two drawers so there would be a support in the middle but Iím a little past thatÖ and would rather not redesign everything and buy more parts. What do you thinkÖ




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Old 05-03-2023, 11:53 AM #2
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What about a frame the size of the top, all the way to the edges, made of 2x4s, with plywood screwed to the top of the frame, like another shelf almost? You could even leave out the 2x4 that sits over the aluminum front, and just use three 2x4s and the plywood. The weight of what's on top would then rest on the three sides of your drawer unit, not on the front. And the frame could just rest on what you already have, no need to screw them together. So you could just lift it off and leave it at home most of the time. Plywood not depicted in this crude pic, but imagine not being able to see the frame due to the plywood.
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Old 05-03-2023, 05:05 PM #3
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Aluminum angle is not very strong, I would try replacing it with steel angle iron and paint it.

I build custom cabinets for a living, other than a stronger angle I don't know how to solve your issue, hopefully the steel angle will work.
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Old 05-03-2023, 05:23 PM #4
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I broke mine into 2 separate drawers with a middle piece providing additional support.
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Old 05-03-2023, 05:23 PM #5
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What about a frame the size of the top, all the way to the edges, made of 2x4s, with plywood screwed to the top of the frame, like another shelf almost? You could even leave out the 2x4 that sits over the aluminum front, and just use three 2x4s and the plywood. The weight of what's on top would then rest on the three sides of your drawer unit, not on the front. And the frame could just rest on what you already have, no need to screw them together. So you could just lift it off and leave it at home most of the time. Plywood not depicted in this crude pic, but imagine not being able to see the frame due to the plywood.

That would definitely work but I little more than I want to do. I donít want multiple pieces to move around.


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Old 05-03-2023, 05:24 PM #6
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I broke mine into 2 separate drawers with a middle piece providing additional support.

Iím thinking steel angle next ooorrr a C channel over the edge. Instead of just the angle. Gotta see what I can find that fits nicely.


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Old 05-03-2023, 06:54 PM #7
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Iím thinking steel angle next ooorrr a C channel over the edge. Instead of just the angle. Gotta see what I can find that fits nicely.


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Another thought is to cut down the drawer face a bit to give more clearance when it sags from weight, even with the steel angle it's still go to sag some when there's weight on the top.
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Old 05-03-2023, 07:50 PM #8
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Was it resting on just the faceplate?
If it moves freely after clearing it, I would also recommend
reducing the faceplate top edge and adding some oval
cutouts for your hands. Give you a bit more pulling power.

Only other idea I had was raising the top surface and adding a
bunch of 1/2"x.120" angle iron spanning the whole box laterally.
Kind of a corrugated surface to add rigidity.

side view

_________________ top surface plywood
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ angle iron
------------------------ original box

Does raise whole surface and add some weight,
but just spit-balling without a complete redesign..!
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Old 05-03-2023, 10:01 PM #9
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That would definitely work but I little more than I want to do. I donít want multiple pieces to move around.


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Well, it would actually be just one piece, but I get it.
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Old 05-04-2023, 04:30 PM #10
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No need for complicated reinforcement. Just screw a single eye bolt into the center of the top. When you need to open, just run your winch line through a series of pulleys to the ceiling above the eye bolt. Attach the line to eye and just a little tug will take the weight off the top and the drawer will be free.
here is a crude design
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Old 05-04-2023, 05:40 PM #11
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No need for complicated reinforcement. Just screw a single eye bolt into the center of the top. When you need to open, just run your winch line through a series of pulleys to the ceiling above the eye bolt. Attach the line to eye and just a little tug will take the weight off the top and the drawer will be free.
here is a crude design

Thanks for the idea. I just dropped 5k on bumper winch and a bunch of pulleys. Hopefully your idea works! Fingers crossed!


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Old 05-05-2023, 09:55 AM #12
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Thanks for the idea. I just dropped 5k on bumper winch and a bunch of pulleys. Hopefully your idea works! Fingers crossed!


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Your very welcome.....having been previously married for 18 years you have to come up with creative ideas to justify purchasing "toys" and other things you may not necessarily need. The old "this makes it safer or it helps fuel mileage" works 90% of the time. In your case..."honey, last time i pulled the drawer out I strained my back...."
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Old 05-11-2023, 11:05 PM #13
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If it was me I would just cut back the edge of the top piece and make a new faceplate that is slightly taller so it still has a clean look.

Also, throw a big handle on there. It helps opening a heavy drawer!

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