A loose drawer or loose sliding parts in general jam more easily than ones with tighter clearance. There is a name for this problem but I can not remember what it is, and searching for "loose drawer jamming effect" is not helping.

There are simple recommendations that mechanical engineers learn involving the ratio of the depth of the motion and the looseness, perhaps 10:1 or 20:1 is a recommended minimum from what I recall, but now I lack the words to even search for this.

Can someone remind me what this principle is called?

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    $\begingroup$ the concept is called lash. I know of no standard for such things. $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ I’ve always called it ‘crabbing’ - not a technical term, though I don’t think $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2020 at 7:35
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    $\begingroup$ Tolerance / Tolerances ? A sliding fit vs an interference fit vs a loose fit vs a press fit vs a pass-me-the-plasma-cutter fit vs a fell-out-down-the-road fit ? $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Jun 17, 2020 at 4:33

1 Answer 1


I made this article on https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schranken I don't know the English name for it either. I then searched extensively for it.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh this is wonderful, thank you very much for the answer! (now to find someone willing to create an English page for it as well...) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jan 6, 2021 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ Link-only answers are discouraged as they are useless when the link dies. Instead put enough information into the answer so that it makes sense even without the link. Welcome to E.SE. $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Jan 6, 2021 at 21:04

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