Repairing crappy furniture

I was given a bedroom set that's beautiful but made like junk; like the bottom or drawers almost seems like reinforced cardboard put together with an office stapler or something. It needs some repairs and it's like it's so junky you can't really fix it with what's already there. There was a little warping and the bottom wouldn't stay in the groove; I managed to fix it with a strip of real wood across the bottom with wood glue, and some small nails from the back .
Anyway, a foot came off the dresser; it's attached to a triangle of wood(one side attached to foot and other to bottom of dresser. The food is sort of like a block of wood with ridges for decoration; also had some sort of long narrow staples and a couple of dowels going from the dresser into the foot. There was some slight water damage. Anyway I'm trying to nail this triangle of wood to the foot with finishing nails, and the nails keep bending before they get into the foot. So I'm constantly hammering and rebending the nails and getting nowhere. What is it I might be doing wrong or what could I do better with this. The other 2 feet seem to be secure and ok. At the moment, I glued everything back into place with wood glue but it would need reinforcement. Should I drill holes? Is it unusual to have to drill a hole to put a nail in something, or is a finishing nail the wrong thing? ares
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ares wrote:

the
with
it's so

little
it with

nails
wood(one
sort of

of long

foot.
triangle
before
the nails

I do

would need

a hole

Not unusual at all. Depends on the wood. Screws probably would be a better choice. Drill either way.
R
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ares wrote:

the
with
it's so

little
it with

nails
I hope you haven't fallen in love with the furniture. It sounds like and ongoing source of problems and expense. Things like that can suck down your time and give you little in return.
Since the furniture was given to you (not a gift from in-laws I hope!), maybe you should cut your losses before said losses really start adding up. If chairs came with this set, they too will break and someone will take a spill...
R
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A screw will hold far better than any nail and predrilling will prevent the possibility of that screw splitting the wood and causing more damage.
For tricky repairs of wood that was just too weak I have often used Wood Epoxy or a filler compound to build up new material or replace large broken out areas. When hard, the filler can be sanded, drilled, cut and painted like regular wood, it just dosen't stain very well. When soft, it can be molded like putty. Sometimes I need to add additioanl reinforcement of a screw or threaded rod across the grain of the wood to prevent futurre splitting.

so
little
with
nails
wood(one
long
foot.
triangle
before
nails
need
hole
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Get yourself a variable speed reversible drill and some steel screws (brass is weaker) and go at it. To make screwing easier, wipe the threads with some cake hand soap. The best trick I learned in woodshop. Makes the screws go in much easier.

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Thanks guys; I have a reversible cordless drill and there's probably some wood filler in the shed I could use to build up one corner around the dowel. The stuff I don't think is stained; the small edges seem to be veneered with something like, uh, contac paper. Whadya know I tried drilling and the bit broke; gotta try a new one. Sorry if my original story is confusing. Someone repaired the other drawer bottom that wouldn't stay in the groove by drilling in some drywall screws from the back to support it from underneath; it's hidden but it sure looks bad when I take the drawer out. Oh, and I did bust the triangle of wood but cut another piece with the table saw from a 2X4 from the shed. I'll be probably having more questions coming up as there's a big to do list and hubby started a job working 12 hours a day with little time off; I might have to hire a handyman. (gotta cut a top off a metal barrel to make a burn barrel and not sure what blade to put in the circular saw; and hang a large mirror, maybe it's around 4'X6'; I won't attempt replacing the valves on the aerator tanks!). ares

so
little
with
nails
wood(one
long
foot.
triangle
before
nails
need
hole
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in
(Big snip) Ares- no disrespect, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Rather than waste time with this crap, you'd be better off taking a side job, even at low pay, and buying real furniture at garage sales and thrift stores. I've been there, and tried to do that, and the chipboard crap is just unrepairable, realistically.
aem sends....
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ares wrote:

the
which was

is
nursing home.

Italian,
quality
It's a business world and there are all sorts of manufacturers along that bell curve of quality.
Many of the bicycles made in the world come from factories in Taiwan. Everything from the crap you'd see at a Toys-R-Us to the high-end bikes sold with Italian names. The factories take their specs and produce the quality they're paid to produce.
R
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Well, most of the set is OK, it's just this one piece with most of the problems and the other piece needing support on the drawer bottoms which was fixed fairly easily, probably due to water damage in one corner that is fairly superficial. It's actually from sis' mil who went to a nursing home. I think it's from Rooms to Go, and says Made in Italy. If I were Italian, I'd probably spray paint over that! I thought Italy was known for quality goods. But I know what you all mean; I would never buy something that I knew would be that bad! My furniture is mostly handmedowns from grandparents; older than me and I'm pushing 50 ares

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ares wrote:

A tip which is almost lost to history is that for predrilling wood for a nail you can get by using the same size nail for a drill. just clip the head off and chuck it in the drill.
Try it, it woiks. Just stop drilling at about half to three quarters the length of the nail you'll be using so there's some undrilled wood left for it to drive into.
HTH,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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If you don't want to take the time, or can't for some other reason pre-drill, I've always had pretty good luck preventing splitting blunting the tip of the nail. (By snipping it off with my trusty Knipex CoBolt cutter, which is the best F'ing hand-powered wire-cutter on the face of the planet, even if it does cost $35.) The absence of the chisle-point keeps the nail from wedging. Be warned that this doesn't work well with bright-finish nails, or on materials other than wood.
--Goedjn
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