How to replace a center desk drawer with a keyboard tray

Written by ray padgett
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How to replace a center desk drawer with a keyboard tray
Replacing centre desk drawers ensures your keyboard does not come crashing down. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Desk drawers can eventually begin sticking or coming loose. Center desk drawers can be particularly troublesome since they are thin and wide but often carry the same weight as deeper, sturdier drawers. Drawers containing keyboard trays should be replaced as soon as they begin coming loose, since an unexpected drop could break the keyboard. Replacing a centre desk drawer with a keyboard tray is relatively easy.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Remove the old desk drawer by pulling it out. Many keyboard drawers will catch at the end; wiggle it to get it over the catch and remove it completely. Discard it.

  2. 2

    Try sliding in the new desk drawer if you have not already. If you have the replacement drawer specifically for this desk model, it likely will fit right in and you will be all done. If you have a different type of drawer, read on.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the screws that connect the metal drawer runners to your desk. There will be two runners; one on each side of the drawer. Your new desk drawer will come with new metal runners.

  4. 4

    Hold one of the new runners up to where you want it to go. See if the runner's screw holes match existing holes in the wood. Because of manufacturing standardisations, they likely will. If they don't, though, you will need to use a power drill to drill holes in the wood that line up with the runner's screw holes.

  5. 5

    Screw the runner into place with a screwdriver.

  6. 6

    Screw in the second runner on the other side. If the screw holes matched in Step 4, they will match again and this will be easy. If you had to drill holes, though, aligning the second runner can be tricky. Get a friend to hold the runner to the wood while you insert the drawer as if you were going to use it. Move the runner up or down until the drawer is level, then drill the holes.

  7. 7

    Slide in the drawer with the keyboard tray. You will likely have to wiggle it over the catch as you begin, but then it should slide in and out smoothly.

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