Looking for keyboard slides with positive lockouts
I've been searching for this hardware for some time now and have not scored. I have two computer tables with under-hanging keyboard trays. You pull out to use and push in to hide. However, these tables did not come with any lockout device so when you use the keyboard vigorously as in gaming, the tray it sits on slides or rolls away from your hands. I bought a set of supposedly locking tray slides from Amazon only to find they have just a friction hold point not an actual detent so, again, if you push just a bit while using, they slide or roll away from your hands. What I want is cup-like divot in the slides wherein the rollers on the keyboard tray actually drop into the divot thus creating a positive lockout. I used to have a computer desk with such a keyboard mechanism where you actually lifted the tray up a bit so the rollers would drop into said divot. Same for retracting. Lift up a bit and push the tray back in. Some cabinet drawer slides work this way but they are too short to accommodate sliding a keyboard and mouse under the main table top when not in use. Has anyone seen this type of keyboard slide for sale anywhere? Thx!
May not have detent divots, but the height adjusts so the keyboard table and mouse tray can even be above the desktop, which will mean the keyboard table will not slide under the main computer table while it is up. HTH.
Thanks for the lead S_M! It's a bit pricey at $250+ but worth a look.
I created my own solution to keyboard tray wriggling during gaming and thought I would share what I did for both of our PC’s.
Initially, we both had retractable keyboard/mouse trays at our computer desks that operated on the principal of friction. You pull out the keyboard tray until it gets tight and that is supposed to hold it in place. Problem is, when you are gaming and working the controls vigorously, the friction stops fail to hold and the keyboard tray starts to creep away from your hands. Over time, this becomes more loose as the friction stops wear out. Then, it seems like the keyboard tray is skating away from you constantly and your control of both the mouse and keyboard suffers. Here is a photo of what we started with:
To counter this, I used Euro style drawer slides used on cabinets. These slides have built in stops that securely hold the sliding tray in the fully extended position. I bought the 12” model (the shortest one they had in stock at Lowe’s) as our keyboard trays were 9.5” deep. Because these slides were intended to be used with drawers and cabinets, I had to create a vertical mounting surface to which to anchor them as well as provide enough “stand off” space for the keyboard and mouse to retract under the desk surface.
Here is a photo of the pieces before assembly:
The black pieces are 1 x 4 x 12” pine I painted and notched to fit over a metal reinforcing cross member under the desk top. The euro slides come in 4 parts, two of which are already attached to the keyboard tray. The 4 silver angle brackets are corner reinforcement plates. I used them to attach the black wood standoffs to the underside of the desk top.
This next photo shows that perspective: (under the desk shooting upward)
Note how the euro slide is in the extended (to the right and “locked”) position with one slide roller on one bracket in-line but behind the roller on the other bracket. The “locked” position feature comes from the roller on the keyboard tray “dropping” into the detent on the other arm mounted to the “cabinet” (black standoff).
Here is a line drawing that illustrates the euro slide locking position:
Roller B on bracket B “drops” into the detent on bracket A between the red arrows. Gently lifting the outer edge of the keyboard tray with fingertips and pushing or pulling is all that is necessary to engage roller B into the “lock” on bracket A.
One last photo shows a close up of the overlapping euro slides in the “locked” position. You can see one roller in the shadows while the other roller is hidden under the locking detents.
My parts list and cost goes something like this:
-Keyboard tray: $0.00 already had as part of the computer desk
-12” Euro drawer slides: $4.27 per set in box of 4 pieces, 2 left and 2 right, for each keyboard
-Two 1 x 4 x 12” pine standoffs + flat black paint: ~$5.00
-One set of 4 corner reinforcement brackets w screws: $1.97 Edit: (Oops, used two sets of 4 corner reinforcing brackets (two on each side of the two black
standoffs: 2x2x2 = 8 in total.)
So for a total of about $10.00 for each of our PC desks, we now have locking keyboard trays that do not slide or skate during gaming or typing. One other added benefit to the Euro slides is that they keep the keyboard tray in the closed position by way of gravity. These trays will not accidentally pop open.
Also, an extra pair of hands is beneficial during assembly. The worst part is lying on your back to drill and screw the assembly to the underside of the desk.
Hope this helps others with similar keyboard tray difficulties. If you choose to take on a project like mine, be sure you buy Euro drawer slides that have the locking detents. I have seen some that do not.