Drawer Repairs

Wear is inevitable in all moving parts, and drawers and drawer runners may require extensive renovation, especially if the drawer sides and runners are of soft pine. Figure 542:2 shows a typical old drawer with missing cock beads, dovetails loose, drawer sides worn and solid bottom split and shrunk out of its groove. The sides will have to be cut back (542:3, 4) and fresh pieces glued on. Solid bottoms which have split can be shot and reglued, with the joint toped with glued coarse canvas if necessary, and the width extended with a new piece to take the slotted screws. Loose dovetails will have to be knocked apart and reglued. If the drawer rail and runner are badly worn (542:5) and the existing runner cannot be removed and replaced, then it may be necessary to work a trench in the old runner and glue in a fresh slip of hardwood, covering it with a neat patch on the rail. The trench will have to be chiselled out or worked with a bullnose rabbet-plane, and as a preliminary step a small spur-cutter from a metal plough-plane or a piece of scraper steel can be screwed to a suitable block (542:6) and worked backwards and forwards to cut the side of the trench. In all old work strict watch should be kept for nails and rusty screws from previous repairs which will wreck a cutting edge. Carcass backs which have shrunk may require glued canvas over the splits, and side pieces glued on to make up the width.

Drawer Runners
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