Full Extension Drawers for IKEA ALEX

I’ve been using a pair of ALEX drawer units and a LINNMON table top to make a simple desk while working at home. However I feel that the ALEX drawers are not making the best use of space.

Whilst the Alex is 600mm deep, the drawer is only 500mm deep and the drawer runners do not extend all the way out. In fact I can only easily access 350mm of the drawer depth.

Note that the original runners are only about 17mm high (micro runners) and are recessed into the side of the drawer.

So we have a few options:

  1. Modify the existing drawer runners in some way – after some research, I didn’t find much – other than one (really annoying) hack that required taking out ball bearings, which I didn’t feel was the way forward.
  2. Find a replacement runner/slide that is full extension and fits in the existing recess in the drawer – I’ve Googled, but only found one set on Amazon which were 500mm long, but nearly £25 per pair.
  3. Increase the drawer recess to take a taller slide – this may work but will require routing out the slot. I also need to check there is sufficient gap between the drawer side(s) and the ALEX.
  4. Finding a drawer runner the fits UNDER the sheld, but still fits in the gap between the shelf and side of the ALEX – not much space for this, so I think this might be a non-starter.
  5. Make a new drawer, or at least the side(s) to accomodate new full extension runners – still need to use the existing drawer fronts, so everything matches.

It might be that option 5 is the best way forward – but a bit more investigation and research required.


One reason that the original Alex drawers do not extend all the way out, is safety. If your drawer extends all the way, you might overbalance the whole unit and risk it tipping over. So we need to keep this in mind, and possibly only do this hack to the top drawers.

1 Comment

  1. Would love to find out if this is a solution. I also thought of routing the drawer sides to accommodate full extension glides, but it does get expensive!

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