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Securing drawers inside a camper van

Secure drawer closure even during a bumpy ride
Author: Perla Werthmüller, Hedingen, Switzerland
Online since: 02/02/2011, Number of visits: 60222
I retrofitted my camper with a chest of drawers from Ikea and bolted it down. It works great in general, except the drawers constantly open and shut while driving. I didn’t find it visually appealing to secure the drawers with bungee cords or hooks, plus I find it cumbersome having to remove and replace them every single time. So I started searching for a “hidden” solution. While browsing the magnet applications on supermagnete.fi I had the idea to use super magnets. Here are my instructions for adding magnetic catch closures to a chest of drawers.

Required materials:

Remove the drawers and, on the inside of each drawer, drill holes in all four corners which will be used to countersink the magnets. Caution: If the holes are drilled too deep, the heavy magnets will drop in too far and won’t be flush with the drawer surface. Glue the magnets to the inside of the holes using UHU-adhesive.
This is best accomplished by placing the drawer face side down on a sturdy surface. Now the magnets will position themselves correctly, thanks to gravity. Let the magnets dry for one day.
Next, put the drawers back into their slot and mark the position for the counterpart magnets with a pencil. Remove the drawers again and drill the holes as marked. Again, avoid drilling too deep so that the magnets will fit flush when countersunk into the hole. Caution: It is very important to pay close attention to the polarity of the magnets when glueing them in!
It would be ideal if the piece of furniture could be laid flat when glueing the magnets. Mine was already bolted down and the masking tape proved helpful. Simply place the tape over the glued-in magnets and let dry for one day. Because the magnets are quite heavy, without the tape they will come loose and fall off the furniture. The masking tape keeps them in place and can be removed afterwards without any problems.
Replace the drawers, which will now snap shut quite nicely and won’t open on their own when the vehicle is moving. Yet, with a little force, they can easily be pulled open by hand. The snap closure system is not visible when viewed from the outside.

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