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Need advice repairing old drawer

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Forum topic by Michigander posted 04-07-2013 05:11 PM 685 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Michigander

145 posts in 1084 days


04-07-2013 05:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drawer repair

A friend of mine has a nice reproduction colonial style writing desk Windsor chair. Under the writing surface is a 8” x 12” x 2” deep drawer. The drawer slided on 2 wood rails. The drawer has 2 simple grooves for the rail to slide in. See picture.
As you can see the drawer is broken at the front of one rail. I am not talented enough to make an all new side and dovetail it to match the rest of the drawer. Is there a good way besides remaking the side to fix this drawer?
I was thinking to cut the broken section off at the groove and make a replacement piece that would replicate the top of the rail. This replacement rail would a have an additional piece that would slide down into the box so the rail and side support are sistered, giving the rail some structural support. Any better ideas???
Thanks for your help.
Michigander


7 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1273 posts in 1074 days


#1 posted 04-07-2013 06:03 PM

Your idea seems okay to me, I would use biscuits to join the two together, makes lining them up easier and offers some support. If not biscuits maybe a couple of dowels, some glue and it last a longtime.

Will it come apart at all? as in take the piece and put it on the bench to work with?

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1515 days


#2 posted 04-07-2013 06:25 PM

Hm. That’s a dandy.

Sistering a piece in is klutzy and not necessary.

Here is what I would do: I would cut that splintered side off below the dado, half an inch or so, on the table saw. This gives you the widest possible area to glue to. (You don’t need biscuits or dowels—a flat grain glue joint is as strong as it gets.)

Mill your piece wide and trim it gently until the groove is in the right place. Trim off the front and back dovetails and dowel—which adds shear strength—the new piece to the ends, glued to the “half side” that remains.

You have restored the structure. Get the color as close as you can, repeating to yourself that repairing this piece is the right thing to do and you’re the best one for the job. Of course it will look like a repair, and that’s just plain honest.

Gudonia for taking this task into your shop.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5381 posts in 2250 days


#3 posted 04-07-2013 06:47 PM

what Lee said is good enough for me also.Iit is actually an easy repair if you take your time before gluing and make sure it all fits then your in business. Alistair ps have fun

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Michigander's profile

Michigander

145 posts in 1084 days


#4 posted 04-07-2013 09:51 PM

Thanks guys for the advice. Lee, are you saying to take the whole side off and cut a whole new groove? Or just replace just the broken section?
Appreciate the help!
Michigander

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1515 days


#5 posted 04-08-2013 02:09 PM

Hi Michigander—Sorry for the lack of clarity.

I am suggesting that you set your table saw blade just a smidge lower than the thickness of the drawer side.

Set the fence to about 2/3 the height of the drawer.

Run the drawer through the saw with the bottom of the drawer against the fence. This will free the top third of the drawer side. Then trim off the dovetails as needed to liberate that offending third.

Mill a new piece, oversize, just make sure the dado is correct width and depth.

Trim this piece to fit. Glue it to the remaining drawer side and through dowel it to the front and back of the door.

I usually talk with my hands a lot so if this isn’t yet clear, I’m willing to try again!

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2846 posts in 1908 days


#6 posted 04-08-2013 02:45 PM

I agree with Lee. What he is saying is, to remove the entire top 1/3 of the drawer side front-to-back, eliminating all of the top dovetail. As Lee says, this will give good surface area for glue. Follow his suggestion and it will be as good as new in a short time.

View Michigander's profile

Michigander

145 posts in 1084 days


#7 posted 04-08-2013 05:25 PM

Ah yes I finally get it. Sorry I am a bit slow guys. Good suggestion and should work well. Will post pictures when I’m done.
Thanks for all your input!
Best Regards,
Michigander

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