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Repairing failed dovetail drawer front

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Forum topic by trictle posted 08-17-2015 10:11 PM 707 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trictle

3 posts in 592 days


08-17-2015 10:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dovetail repair broken dovetails restoration

Hello,
A question for the Lum-jockians here:
This is a 1970’s drawer front that has suffered numerous previous attempts at repairs. I think it’s all PVA glues so i’m thinking i’ll disassemble it, remove all the old glue and try some repairs with shims but I have a question: shouldn’t there be one or two more dovetails at the top? Seems like that is why it is failing from the top down. I figure i’ll just scab in new dovetails to compensate. Any other ideas?
Thanks guys,
AJ


7 replies so far

View CharleyL's profile

CharleyL

197 posts in 2829 days


#1 posted 08-18-2015 01:38 AM

What a mess -
I think if I had to do this, after removing the old glue I would re-cut the dovetails in the drawer face a size larger than the existing ones, including the left end where they seem to be missing. Then I would make a replacement side to fit the newly cut dovetails in the front piece. Then re-assemble the drawer with Titebond II and clamps.

Charley

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Mark

820 posts in 1439 days


#2 posted 08-18-2015 02:55 AM

+1 Charley

-- Mark

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bondogaposis

4032 posts in 1816 days


#3 posted 08-18-2015 06:14 AM

It looks to me like a cheap factory shortcut and left out the upper dovetails. I think if it was mine I ‘d save the drawer front and rebuild the rest of the drawer from scratch and dovetail the the whole front.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BadJoints's profile

BadJoints

103 posts in 553 days


#4 posted 08-18-2015 06:27 AM

I would recut bigger dovetails in the front, cut the dovetails off the sides and cut new ones. The drawer would only be ~1/2” shorter than original. I certainly wouldn’t notice that.

-- Producing furniture grade firewood since 1984

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trictle

3 posts in 592 days


#5 posted 08-18-2015 10:44 PM

You know, I never considered just cutting off the old dovetails and cutting new ones…so focused on repairing what exists. You are right, 1/2” will never be noticed and then they’ll not fail again. Great idea!! Thanks guys, I knew I could rely on you for advice.
AJ

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BadJoints

103 posts in 553 days


#6 posted 08-19-2015 02:18 AM

Glad to help, would like to see a picture when you’re done so we can see how it turned out.

-- Producing furniture grade firewood since 1984

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#7 posted 08-19-2015 01:20 PM

I would put a butter fly at the top to replace the missing dovetail.
Or a pocket screw?

Its a 70’s dresser who’s gonna criticize it?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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