You may remember that in my How To Be Content With Your Kitchen post, I wrote about how much I love my sliding kitchen cabinet shelves.
Well, that very night, we were in the living room and heard a mysterious crashing sound.
We looked all around the house, couldn’t figure it out, and then Joshua opened the larger of my two sliding-drawer-cabinets (not the one pictured above), and lo and behold, the brackets had given way and the whole thing had fallen.
(I was all, “Hmm. If this is what happens when I say I’m thankful for something, I need to break that habit!”)
Thankfully, no dishes had broken, but the brackets needed some help.
They’re this type of bracket:
…..and after some googling, I discovered that our cabinets were made by Merillat, and that a lot of people have had trouble with these brackets breaking.
I thought it would be simple to order a few new ones, but nope.
Merillat stopped making these available, and the only solution they now offer is to order a whole new $15 sliding track system, which includes brackets.
I slept on it, and in the morning, I decided to just press the easy button and order the new track system.
But then when I started to check out, they tacked on another $10 for shipping, and that sent me over the edge.
$25 when all I needed were two small plastic brackets??
I was pretty crabby about that, and I wrote a polite but unhappy email to the customer service person who’d informed me about Merillat’s fix.
(I made sure to let her know that I was aware that this was not her fault, but that I was unhappy with Merillat.)
I left the Merillat site without buying anything and hopped in my car for a trip to the local hardware store. The guy there who helped me said, yup, that’s a unique bracket, and a one-size-fits-all replacement won’t work.
So he took me to the plumbing aisle, handed me two hose clamps, and sent me on my way.
(I think I paid $1 for the two clamps.)
Yup. The bottom of each bracket had separated, but not completely fallen off, so his idea was to clamp the bracket together and reinstall it.
I like the way he thinks.
I wasn’t sure there would be room inside the cabinet for the clamps, but I tried it out, and there was indeed space.
(See how there’s plenty of empty space beside the bracket for a clamp?)
So I glued each bracket piece together with E6000 glue, and then tightened the hose clamp around the brackets.
I let them dry for over 24 hours, just to be on the safe side, and then cautiously reinstalled them.
In order for the drawer to shut all the way, I had to slide the hose clamps all the way to the back, which makes the bracket not quite as strong, but so far, they’re holding up fine.
(I might have let out an audible “Ha!” when I saw that the fix was working. Ahem.)
To be on the safe side, I rearranged my pots and pans a bit so that the drawer is holding less weight, and two weeks later, all is still well.
I don’t know if this fix will hold up forever, but for the moment, I am deriving great satisfaction from not buying Merillat’s drawer track set.
If these do give out, the next thing I’ll do is try these brackets, which I’ve read are a good replacement for the discontinued Merillat bracket. A pair only costs $3.50, so I feel like they’re a decent option.
And they would still give me the satisfaction of not buying that kit from Merillat.
Just to be clear, I’m not especially upset that my Merillat brackets broke. They’re fairly old, and that drawer had some pretty heavy Pyrex on it.
What DOES upset me is that they’ve stopped making a small, inexpensive part available separately, and that they make you buy a whole new track set just to get two brackets. It’s such a waste of resources and money.
Dear people of Merillat, if you ever see my post, hear this: I don’t want new tracks! I just want brackets.
I know in the grand scheme of things, $25 is not the end of the world. And usually I don’t get hung up on the principle of the thing, but for whatever reason, I got seriously hung up on this one, and I’m pretty stubbornly set against ordering that kit from Merillat.
I’ll keep you posted every so often to let you know if my clamped brackets are still holding on.
Would you have been crabby about the $25 replacement kit? Or would you have just bought it anyway?
P.S. I’m sure some of you are wondering why I didn’t just turn the brackets upside down. I did think of that immediately and I gave it a try, but the drawer wouldn’t close properly with upside down brackets. Oh well.
P.P.S. A few days after I decided not to buy the kit, Merillat sent me a, “You left something in your cart!” email, and I was all, “Um, yeah, that wasn’t an accident.”