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One-at-a-time drawers?

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 03-11-2018 10:25 PM 1019 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

572 posts in 1493 days


03-11-2018 10:25 PM

Sorry I don’t know how else to title this post.

What I’m looking for is a mechanism, either commercial or something I can make, that will only allow one drawer to be pulled open at a time, from a cabinet.

I’d like to build a cabinet for organizing a large collection of trading cards, which are extremely heavy when packed densely in drawers. So to prevent tipping, it would be good if only one drawer could be pulled out at once with some kind of passive lock that would prevent the others from opening. Each drawer might weigh 150lbs when fully loaded.

Of course, the other (simpler?) option is to just provide a place at the back inside of the cabinet carcass that could be fastened into a stud in the wall. That’s my fallback plan.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective


23 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

994 posts in 186 days


#1 posted 03-11-2018 10:31 PM

it is good that you are thinking of this safety feature now.
personally – something of that size and weight should be bolted
to the wall studs – no second guessing it.

after you get it all built and in place, a warning sticker would also be advisable.


also – keep it locked – then you can control access to it as well as when.
but, with the proper pre-planning, the bolts will be inside the carcass and not seen.

.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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William Shelley

572 posts in 1493 days


#2 posted 03-11-2018 10:33 PM



it is good that you are thinking of this safety feature now.
personally – something of that size and weight should be bolted
to the wall studs – no second guessing it.

- John Smith

Ok, good point. For this project I will make it bolt-able to the wall. However, for the sake of academics, lets keep this thread going. What would the mechanism look like to provide this auto-locking feature?

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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CaptainKlutz

280 posts in 1518 days


#3 posted 03-11-2018 10:54 PM

There are several patents regarding “one at a time” mechanisms. Most are custom designed and installed into finished cabinets.
Only know/used one brand sold commercially:
Accuride has #3641 system

Spoke too soon (Dr. Google found another option)
Fulterer also sells FPS 8000 Locking Anti-tilt System for use with their slides.

YMMV

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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woodbutcherbynight

4838 posts in 2433 days


#4 posted 03-11-2018 11:19 PM

Simpler solution much easier to do and materials are readily available. Put a keyed lock on each drawer.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Rayne

910 posts in 1563 days


#5 posted 03-12-2018 12:42 AM

Maybe you could do some kind of lever system. One lever lifts up and unlocks all the drawers, open one to cross the lock mechanism threshold, then release lever to lock the remaining drawers.

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splintergroup

2072 posts in 1246 days


#6 posted 03-12-2018 07:02 PM

Most cheap file cabinets have this feature. Check out a small 2-drawer file cabinet at Walmart or wherever to see how they do it.

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Loren

10476 posts in 3672 days


#7 posted 03-12-2018 07:11 PM

Something like a pair of shaped tabs sticking
out the back of each drawer. When one tab
is pulled from the hole in a bar, a linkage of
some sort causes a second bar to drop down,
engaging the other set of tabs in the rest of
the drawers.

Dunno. Sounds like either a hassle or a fun thing
to make.

View BoardButcherer's profile

BoardButcherer

144 posts in 118 days


#8 posted 03-13-2018 01:54 PM

This company owns a patent, but more importantly they have a video on their website showing someone building the mechanism by hand. If you’re feeling savvy you could try to copy it.

View Jon Hobbs's profile

Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 728 days


#9 posted 03-13-2018 06:22 PM



Simpler solution much easier to do and materials are readily available. Put a keyed lock on each drawer.

- woodbutcherbynight

What would stop someone from unlocking multiple drawers and opening them?

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View caboxmaker's profile

caboxmaker

281 posts in 412 days


#10 posted 03-13-2018 06:28 PM

The best idea is the bolt it to the wall.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

994 posts in 186 days


#11 posted 03-13-2018 06:29 PM

What would stop someone from unlocking multiple drawers and opening them?

if the cabinet is SECURELY bolted to the wall studs – that will prevent it from tipping over.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

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Jon Hobbs

147 posts in 728 days


#12 posted 03-13-2018 06:34 PM


What would stop someone from unlocking multiple drawers and opening them?

if the cabinet is SECURELY bolted to the wall studs – that will prevent it from tipping over.

- John Smith

Absolutely! However, the suggestion I was inquiring about was to put a keyed lock on each drawer. I was hoping woodbutcherbynight could clarify how that would solve the OP’s problem. Based on what I know now, there are other, better options, such as bolting it to the wall. But I’m open to learning new tricks…

-- Jon -- Just a Minnesota kid hanging out in Kansas

View DS's profile

DS

2924 posts in 2444 days


#13 posted 03-13-2018 06:42 PM

Compx Timberline has a lateral file gang lock that you can add a wedge to that prevents more than one drawer at a time from being opened. It is an anti-tip feature.

When you open a drawer, the wedge activates the locking bar for the other drawers until it is closed.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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BoardButcherer

144 posts in 118 days


#14 posted 03-13-2018 08:11 PM



Compx Timberline has a lateral file gang lock that you can add a wedge to that prevents more than one drawer at a time from being opened. It is an anti-tip feature.

When you open a drawer, the wedge activates the locking bar for the other drawers until it is closed.

- DS

I find it highly amusing that the two patents you and I have linked are essentially the same device, just reversed.

Mine has the peg on the drawer, yours has it on the cabinet.

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MalcolmLaurel

298 posts in 1647 days


#15 posted 03-13-2018 10:42 PM

Simpler solution much easier to do and materials are readily available. Put a keyed lock on each drawer.

- woodbutcherbynight

What would stop someone from unlocking multiple drawers and opening them?

- Jon Hobbs

Keyed alike, one key, can’t remove the key unless locked.

-- Malcolm Laurel - http://MalcolmLaurel.com

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