Replacing a Side or Back

Usually aside or back needs to be replaced only when it is broken or the dovetail joints have become very worn. Use the old side or back as a template to cut a new one from a hardwood board of the proper thickness, probably '/4-inch. You will have to cut new dovetails in each end of the new part. Since these fit into existing dovetails, use the existing dovetails as templates; that is, use the dovetails 011 the front of the drawer as the pattern for culling matching dovetails in the new side.

Step 1: Cutting the Side If the part to be replaced is a drawer side, begin by making a "blank." This is a hardwood piece of the same thickness as the side it is replacing, and of the same overall dimensions.

Step 2: Drawing the Dovetails Place the front end of this blank against the dovetails in the drawer front, into which it will lock when finished, and carefully trace the pattern. Then do the same

Drawers are assembled with new side and back panels and new bottoms made of 'A inch hardwood plywood, ordinary plywood or Masonite

the other end of the blank for the back end, tracing the dovetail pattern from the drawer back. Step 3; Cutting the Dovetails Use the backsaw to cut the sides of each of the dovetails, making straight cuts in from each end to the depth indicated by your tracing. Then, using a sharp wood chisel, cut the bottoms of the dovetails. Sand the finished dovetails smooth. At the same time, sand the top edge of the side so that it is rounded. Test fit the new dovetails and, if necessary, use sandpaper or a small rasp for any additional trimming. The dovetail

Clamp [he job. Check the assembly wilh a big carpenter's square. For drawers, instating the bottom helps to square the work
Use a belt sander to smooth the new wood and to sand new |oints A smooth drawer, with all corners slightly rounded, operates easily.

should fit snugly, so don't cut away any more than absolutely necessary. (An emery board, incidentally, serves as a good sanding tool for finishing.)

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