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If you build traditional drawers without metal slides, then “drawer tape” is something you should probably become acquainted with.

Sometimes sold under the brand Nylo-Tape, this stuff is great for fixing drawers or any other sliding assembly that has become worn from use. My tool chest, for example, has three sliding tills that get moved a dozen times a day. After five years of this activity, the sides of the tills wore just enough so the tills would stick.

A single layer of drawer tape on the side of the tills fixed this problem.

You also can use drawer tape on new constructions. Once I made a chest of drawers where the drawer openings tapered slightly (and the taper was not in a direction that was helpful). A layer of drawer tape on the inside of the carcase in the problem area fixed everything. And you cannot see the stuff unless you pull out the drawers.

Nylo-Tape is made from a “low-friction polymer” that is “both self-adhesive and self-lubricating.” The stuff in my shop is about .015” thick once the tape’s backing has been removed. If that is too thick for the problem you need to solve, simply stick the tape down and plane the tape. It cuts nicely.

The tape comes in a variety of widths because some people use it on machine fences to reduce friction. I find that the 1/2”-wide stuff is the most useful.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 3 comments
  • ronkan

    The Nylo brand is very expensive.
    JVCC UHMW-PE-5 UHMW Polyethylene Film Tape: 1/2 in. x 36 yds. (Natural / Translucent) is one third the price and the online seller I love to hate.

  • Francis

    Great stuff Loren! Have been using UHMW tape for just this purpose ever since I found it at Peach Tree. Use a strip of it on fences and runners for (3/4 x 3/8) mitre slots.

  • lorenzojose

    Nice addition to the list.
    Low friction tape is great stuff. It also comes in UHMW ( ultra high molecular weight) polyethylene. Slightly softer, lower friction, available in different thicknesses, and usually much cheaper than your link . It can also be worked with ordinary woodworking tools or a knife.
    The stuff in REALLY slick. Riggers use UHMW blocks to slide massive machinery over concrete floors, so weight is not an issue. I have a couple chunks to slide my bench around when I need to.

    Available in translucent and black also. Search UHMW tape.

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