Introduction: Dresser Drawer Fix (modified Dovetail)

About: I am, most definitely older than 00010101 and to put it simply, still curious about nearly everything :-) I then tend to read and/or experiment in those areas - when I have the time.. . My two "specialty h…
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.