Dresser Drawer Fix (modified Dovetail)





Introduction: Dresser Drawer Fix (modified Dovetail)

My Dresser drawers started to dismantle themselves recently, and I finally got around to pulling the pieces out of the dresser and looking to see if they were salvageable. 

They were very much so, SO I took them to a seperate room to see what I could do with them.

These are the steps I took to fix them and give them another good 10-20 service. 

Here are the pieces I had to work with.


Step 1: Materials and Supplies and Tools, Oh My

I had the 5 pieces of the drawer, shown in the last step.

I also needed some quality wood glue, which I happened to have on hand from a former project.

And one needs a clamp of some sort, since the wood glue works best when clamped during drying.

I happened to have a "strap" clamp.   It consists of a ratchet and a strap.  Once wrapped around the area to be clamped, one "ratchets it tight".  

These clamps are VERY handy, but are a bit of a pain for smaller jobs.  They are great for the monstrously large clamping needs, without going out and purchasing special corner clamps, etc.

Step 2: Make Sure Everything Fits...

To be sure, you want to make sure everything fits well together, before applying any glue to anything.   The thin piece of my dresser, used as the bottom, was very warped, but it would fit with a bit of coaxing, so I didn't replace it.  It wasn't weak or anything.


Step 3:

Once you have examined the pieces, fix anything that is cracked or split, first.

I had one corner that had the wooden guide split a bit at the outside end (towards the face or front of the drawer).  I could have done without the 2 inch portion but I wanted this to last a lot longer, so I glued it first.

I didn't have a clamp that would get inside and hold this however, so I improvised:  first, after adding the glue, I secured it with some masking tape, so it would stay put.  Then I took the smallest wire nail I had, and tapped it in. This worked as both a clamp and an extra bit of strengthening security.

Once dry,  I was able to proceed to the next step.

I DID try to find a way to glue only portions of this together and wait, but the more I tried, the more frustrated I became.  Portions would have to be "moved" if I let the glue dry, and so it all had to be completed in one final step.

Step 4: Final Steps

Finally, I am ready to "do the glue" on the major portion of the drawer.

First, if using a strap type clamp as I did, lay the strap down in a straight line.
I set the back down on a flat stool (a workbench is better),  on top of the strap, and placed a good portion of glue into the groove for the bottom section, and in the "groves" of the "modern" dovetails on the edges. Next, I fitted in the sides.  The tongue and groves helped the side stay in place, so I was able to slide the "bottom slab into place.  

The trickiest piece was going to be the front.  I had to "slide" it in from the side;  not a problem for the  one side, but for the other, since it is now butted up against the bottom, was a bit harder.   I had to carefully separate the one side about 3/4 of an inch (about 19 mm) away from the base, slide the front into place and bring the side back into place.....all the while, holding it all together (a partner would be VERY helpful here).  If the bottom had not been warped, this would have been fairly easy. 

With the bottom as it was, warped in two directions, I had some "pushing and tapping" to do to get it all to fit again.

Once it was all back in place, I wiped up the excess glue oozing out all over the hardwood floor (it might be a GOOD idea to lay paper or some cloth down before starting if you don't have a work bench with enough room on it).  A damp cloth is best for wiping up said drippings (droppings?). 

The bottle of glue says to wait at least 24 hours before full use....however, for this size a project, and the amount of glue needed, I had to wait a full 48 hours, just to be sure.

That's about it.   Once the glue was dry, I released the ratchet and put the drawers back into the dresser.  Hopefully not to have to fool with them for another 20+ years.



  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018
  • Gluten Free Challenge

    Gluten Free Challenge
  • Minecraft Challenge 2018

    Minecraft Challenge 2018

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




The secret is, there is a democratically elected government law in NZ stating that in 2011, all our land fills MUST close.

Everything must be recycled, home composting, commercial composting, worm farms, metal, plastic, even that ploystrereane packing material.

When buildings get pulled down, no longer do slabs of concrete go to the land fill, instead they get broken up into football size chunks and used for land protection, one company supplies home owners willing to pay, a wheelie bin for grass clippings, when house owners remove small trees, they get chipped and used as mulch on gardens.

Even the sludge left over from sewage treatment is being composted for flower gardens.

Gas is being taken from our tip, to heat the community hospital, and public indoor swimming pool

It was near impossible to open a new land fill, because of the NIMBY (Not in my backyard) syndrome quickly affecting its proposed neighbours, whenever a proposal is announced. (same for wind farms and small hydro power, so alls not cosy in NZ)

Recycling extended the life of the Porirua rubbish tip (Our old name for land fill) and charging by weight for deposits helped, commercial firms used to carry rubbish miles past the nearest tip, to a tip with the lowest fees, like ours. There was a Wellington City tip opened 10 minutes from here. and full 10 years later.

When ours is full, the nearest is on the opposite side of Wellington City, to get there, you drive thru the city, and that is congested, its just announced that the motorway is finally being extended to the Airport on the other side of Wellington, that was supposed to have been done in the '70s!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some hazardous waste will still go there after 2011. Our water supplies are not metered, but will be soon, as we (Wellington region) begin exceeding the water resorse, costs too much to build reservoirs and safeguard catchment areas.

We ratified that carbon reduction treaty, but the USA hasn't, your president decided it would harm companies doing business in the USA, but its the same for us, just like we all get harmed by ozone holes and greenhouse gases.

The USA, claiming to lead the world, as a peace maker, but is years backward about saving the planet from our destructive habits.

Just West of your location where I am, in sunny Australia, far too much waste is made each and every day and sent to land fills and buried away. The majority of these have at least one recycling habit though, which is good but still not enough. For example my local one chips all unusable wood and then sells it off, and good quality wood is sent away and turned into something useful.

At home is where I believe most waste can be reused, and it's good to see more and more of this in our neighbourhood. Where I am though a major factor that needs to be considered is water and power usage, our dams haven't been above 55% in over a decade! Cutting down on power consumption is sometimes hard but a big gas and heating company has released a part in their website about where you can make a difference, which has actually helped us considerably!

Because I live in two house holds I can see two completely different lifestyles though, at one place we reuse everything we can and save up every where else. We've tapped into the plumbing from our shower so that it goes out to the yard which has really made a difference, without having to increase our usage of H2O we've made our garden much more productive! And all it cost was $50 for all the gear to do it. At the other house the light's seem to be never turned off, nothing is powered down at the wall and the cooler runs until sometimes I need to grab a jacket to sit under it's icy blast.
With this two sided view I can really see that even a little bit of extra thought can do a lot, but convincing people to do it is the hardest thing.

It's just really good to see things like what Goodhart is doing here, salvaging and re-making. If every one did this then it would make a huge difference.

Correction, Goodhart was repairing.

Our NZ South Island Hydro Lakes are spilling water as we can not transfer power fast enough to the North Island.

The North Island is burning coal, oil and gas to produce power. Wellington is concerned about a shortage of drinking water in the next few years.

The last few months has been very windy, NZ got 3% of its electricity from wind farms.

Change the conditions, and there is not enough Hydro power in the South Island to transfer to the North Island, we began emergency power savings.

The Government believes its bad management on the part of the generating companies, while it talks about deregulation, its already made a knock out blow.

The next time the power generators declare an emergency and ask people to save power, they will be paying the consumers for saving power, $10 per household per week. As I pay $120 a month, next time we get asked to cut back, my bill will reduce, but I will also get a credit of $40 per month.

That is a very logical rewarding way of saving on Green House Gases.

However, dont think we will have shortages again, shortages in the past, meant the price of power went up, but not so much the cost of generation.

Power shortages are no longer profitable to the generating companies now that the consumers get to share in the profits from higher prices due to shortages.

Mmm yes sorry about that.

Simple strategies like that are brilliant but aren't employed enough. A year or two back I heard about a country up north (was it Greenland?) that ran out of coal and made the government a little paranoid, changed to renewable energy and making rebates and the sort actually improved the country's economy and everything. All from a little good thinking, it's proven that you don't need coal and oil to run a country!

Coal was convenient energy before you could transfer energy as electricity.

Before coal, factory's depended on water wheels, so factory's had to be located alongside rivers, but that was not always convenient for the labour force, so mill owners had to provide basic, but good housing. (That saved on the wage bill, and the workers liked the housing)

With coal, which cost more, the factory's could be build in the middle of cities, where the labour force lived, the mill owners no longer had to provide housing, and with such a larger pool of labour convenient to the factories, they drove down wages, and that resulted in what was called "Slum housing areas" or Slums.

London was the classic example; smoke everywhere from coal powered industry.

The price of coal went up, and the price of using it went up too, it required too much handling, and then came Demon OIL.

It could be piped everywhere, to use it, very little labour was needed to watch the burners and steam producing plant.

Initially oil was miles cheaper, and the world abandoned coal, but as demand increased, and the most convenient oil sources ran out, AND oil became a political weapon, the price of oil became uneconomical plus no country wanted to risk its economy on oil always being available.

Researchers now work out the true value of oil by working out how much energy input it takes to put one barrel of oil on the market. And we are fast approaching diminishing returns, we are past the point of half the energy in a barrel of oil has been used up, finding and extracting it to put that barrel of oil on the market.

Back to the 1920s when oil began taking over from coal, at the same time the UK for example began setting up power stations to serve small localised areas, small inefficient stations, all different voltages, some AC, others DC, some supplying both. But as electricity was so much more convenient than coal and oil, people were willing to pay the price of ineffective power stations. And electricity began going into homes.

WW2 was the first war run by oil, you could say Hitler lost, because he had few sources of oil (concentrated energy) and Japan's navy was always restricted in action, by its limited oil stocks. Its last outing of big battleships was a one way suicide mission in effect, as there was not enough oil left to fill their tanks for the return trip.

Anybody ever wonder what happened to all that oil spilt during WW2 when U-boats sunk tankers being convoyed to the UK? I read also, destroyers did not have much range, so in the middle of the Atlantic, when a destroyer needed a refill, it went looking for a convoy with a tanker, that's when under way refuelling was developed. Imagine doing that with coal. The final hunt for the Bismarck, when the British warships were closing in, they were running low on fuel, Churchill sent out orders that "stuff the oil supply, sink the Bismarck, they (UK warships) don't have to come back) (they were expendable, not the same as the Japanese suicide mission for a lost cause)

So oil enables war too. Anybody ever wonder how much oil was used in WW2? It ran the Texas oil fields dry. BTW Churchill was Bipolar and today some people say he had Aspergers Syndrome.

During WW2, the British began developing their national grid, to ensure reliable electricity supply for the war industry, afterwards they closed down the small power stations, built big stations, standardised the voltage, and went 100% AC, and today they have their super power stations and super power grid.

The rest of the world has too.

Because we can now transmit energy long distances over wire as electricity, we no longer need packets of concentrated power such as a sack of coal, or can of petrol, except to power shipping and air transport. Railways are being electrified.

There is one last hold out, the automobile with its IC engine. As the price of oil continues going up, those people insisting on having their own means of transport, have to pay for battery powered cars. (The price of the batteries did not drop so much as that the price of oil came up to meet it, and exceed the battery cost.)


We are returning to that old waterwheel factory on river bank idea, but rather than water wheels, its super efficient turbine electricity generators and large lakes. (With water wheel factories, when river levels were low, the mill owners laid off their staff, without pay)

And the factories can be anywhere, like close to their source of raw materiel, and/or labour force.

That is reflected in NZ, most hydro power comes from the South Island, and the central North Island, There is no fossil fuel power station that I can think of in the South Island, such stations begin a third of he way up the North Island, up to Auckland near the top of the North Island. (Our only oil refinery is just North of Auckland.)

Auckland is our largest city (collection of cities) most of the NZ population is there, Wellington at the bottom of the North Island is second, but still lots less than Auckland, (Wellington is the capital city, and with Auckland has a great natural harbour)

And Christchurch in the middle of the South Island comes a poor 3rd. There in winter it snows.

Auckland has a warm climate, which is why people live there. Wellington is the capital, and the politicians need heaps of people living in Wellington to help run NZ.. Christchurch attracts people, as it could be considered as the capital of the South Island.

The rest of NZ, small cities and towns are populated due to natural resources and farming, and service providing to local population and industry. (New Plymouth is where our best oil and gas wells are, albeit running dry)

This happen because we could transmit energy long distances, including underwater between the North and South Island.

Auckland is like London, New York, Tokyo etc, everybody is moving there, and that is only possible due to electricity.

And electricity transmission enables all the renewable resources in NZ to be developed, hydro where the water is, (few people chose to live there) wind farms where the wind is (lots of protesters live there, they don’t want factories there either) and Geothermal (where the tourists go)

And one day, there will be sun powered power stations in orbit beaming power down to the world's large cities.

Now the downside, as cities get bigger, there is more violence and cities get to be a dangerous place to live and bring up families.

I foresee that one day the population is going to shift again, and there the WWW and computers have already begun the process, factory's will become more automated, people can monitor them from home, office workers can work from home, people will chose to live in remote areas, high speed rail services will reduce distances, as renewable power sources come in, it will be cheaper to heat homes, so people will want to live way down South, for the snow skiing, or fishing. The availability of on-line-shopping and services such as banking will be a major in the shift away from large cities.
Even the politicians can work from home
That will be the end of cities, and back to the small villages of the olden days. Quiet, relaxing, fun and safe living once again.

End of my thoughts, time for me to do something else, my first instructable, a digital calculator is almost ready.


Most Summers over here cause Melbourne's power to go down sometimes a week and a half at a time because every one is using their coolers. It just makes one think; how are they allocating electricity so that a capital city goes dark once or twice a year on average?
Seems strange to me.

Last night Sydney opened up their desalination plant which will be supplying East Sydney, Central North Sydney and the Central Business District as of now. A lot of people say it's going to be a huge waste of energy and tax payers money there we're all going to sit here and whine about it. Sounds fun.

but is years backward about saving the planet from our destructive habits.

Just because we do things because we want to, not because we need the goverment to legislate that we must (we need less babysitting ;-) .  We aren't as behind as you might think though. 

Well at the moment I believe our number one problem is over population, which is why when ever something happens it's always a really big thing, lots of people have to be evacuated and other things like that. Looking back through time's temperature levels around the globe, we've actually been in a bit of a mini ice age over the last few thousand years, why do you think they called Greenland... Greenland? So even if the sea levels rise 10 meters, in terms of the globe it wouldn't be a big thing but for the animals and sea creatures it would make a difference. But, thinks must come and things must go, sadly, and I believe that humans will be one of those things, even if it is a couple thousand years until that time comes.

Have you watched the movie Water World?

Great story.

The one with Kevin Costner as "The Mariner"? No not personally. I liked The Day After Tomorrow, also a great movie. One must remember though; it's only a story.