Tuning Up A Century Old Dresser - With Roller Guides

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We snagged a curved front dresser from my Grandmother's house last weekend. It was probably my Great-Grandmother's, but there's no way to know at this point. My soon-to-graduate daughter wants it for wherever she ends up living next year. Hopefully not with us! ;-)
http://imgur.com/E9kYOcJ
I'm pretty sure it's at least 100 years old, maybe 150. I say that because of the Burrow's Brothers label denoting the Roller Guide Line. A Google search seems to indicate that this system was used between the late 1800's and early 1900's.
http://imgur.com/wOABR4V
There's a pair of rollers on the back of each drawer box and rollers on the side rails of the dresser's frame. Two of the internal rollers are missing so I'll have to make new ones. I found one of the domed head nails used for the missing rollers in a drawer, but the other one is long gone.
http://imgur.com/JEUOS25
The drawer knobs were a little loose, so I removed the "screws" (nope!) planning to add some glue and toothpicks to tighten them back up. It turns out that the "screws" are actually bolts that thread into metal inserts in the knobs. The inserts have a pair of points that dig into the drawer front to prevent them from turning. Well, that's the theory anyway.
http://imgur.com/0nhHOKd
The problem is that once the knobs get loose, they spin and the points carve a circular groove in the drawer front leaving nothing for the points to hold onto. Some of the inserts are also stripped, so I have a some work to do on the knobs.
The biggest problem with the dresser is that the bottoms of the long drawers sag a bit (actually, a lot) so I may need to add some "beams" to flatten them out. (suggestions welcome)
http://imgur.com/Y7aKfPU
I think that they are solid wood (?) because I don't see any plies. Did they use plywood for drawer bottoms back then?
http://imgur.com/pRNq7Ab
In any case, the insides of the drawers are finished and I don't want to replace the bottoms. Again, suggestions for flattening them would be most welcome.
http://imgur.com/DlOn3QB
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Is this picture of the front of the drawer? If so, it appears to have a molded edge that extends slightly beyond the front; is that correct? Is the bottom flush to the bottom of the drawer front; i.e., nor set into a groove?
Is the bottom nailed to the borrom edge of the back?
Groove or on top of a batten? How is it attached to the sides? In either case, how much do the sides extend below the bottom?
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This picture: http://imgur.com/Y7aKfPU appears to show the bottom nailed in 3 places at the back.
Plywood was invented before 1900, but I don't think it came into common use until after WW1.
You may be able to take care of the sag by screwing (rather than nailing) the bottom to the back in several places.
John
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Plywood is simply veneer over another surface. The technique is old. The wood core is likely thick, e.g. 1/8" and veneers half that or less. It was a matter of putting 'exotic' wood display with a stable core.
Martin
On 4/10/2016 9:28 AM, John McCoy wrote:

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Well, no, not really. To be plywood the layers have to have the grain going crosswise (or, rarely, at 45 degree angles). That is what gives plywood it's dimensional stability.
Granted there are modern day composites used for "plywood" cores that don't have grain, but those didn't exist when the first manufacturers started making plywood.
John
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When you have solid board core and a layer on both side that is pretty it is PLY. Takes 2 to Ply.
Your requirements of this or that or orientation doesn't hold water.
Apple ply is not the same as a fur or pine ply.
Having a solid core is strong. The ply's on the outside is dressing.
You are making commercial product and saying PLY has requirements to be ply.
I've used Plywood since 51 or 52. They made it in the back shop of the hardware store. They bought vernier sheets and made their own using their waterproof glue for all uses.
Martin
On 4/11/2016 7:50 AM, John McCoy wrote:

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On 4/12/2016 10:46 PM, Martin Eastburn wrote:

That is very often lumber core, not plywood.

Actually I think it does.

Apple ply is an American version of Baltic birch plywood. Hard wood veneers through out and each is running 90 degrees to the next.

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Yes, lumber core plywood. All sorts of plywood, lumber core, MDF core, Particle board core, veneer core, combination core etc. etc.

It might based on some old patents for making plywood, but the term plywood today seems just a generic term for laminated wood, which has been around forever, (3000 BC?)and the requirements pretty much seems to be 2 or more pieces of wood glued together. You can fight all day over definitions, but ply and wood used together indicates laminated wood, thus Martin got it right, "takes two to ply"... I'm thinking like tissue paper vs kleenx
I bought some oak veneer "plywood" once at Allegheny Plywood that had a core of some unrecognizable stuff that looked like plaster. Still, it was 2 sheets of wood glued to some non-wood product, and they called it, and sold it, as "plywood".
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Jack
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I know Leon. Baltic Burch is from the Soviet Union / aka Russia. It is a high quality board.
Martin
On 4/13/2016 9:05 AM, Leon wrote:

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On Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:46:45 -0500, Martin Eastburn

I'd call that "veneer", not "plywood".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plywood#History
"In 1797 Samuel Bentham applied for patents covering several machines to produce veneers. In his patent applications, he described the concept of laminating several layers of veneer with glue to form a thicker piece – the first description of what we now call plywood.[1] Samuel Bentham was a British naval engineer with many shipbuilding inventions to his credit. Veneers at the time of Bentham were flat sawn, rift sawn or quarter sawn; i.e. cut along or across the log manually in different angles to the grain and thus limited in width and length."

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You'd be wrong, veneer is not plywood. Veneer becomes plywood when two or more sheets of it are glued together, then it is called plywood, and if 3 or more sheets of veneer are glued together, it is called veneer core plywood, as opposed to lumber core plywood, for example.
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No. It becomes plywood if the veneers are glued cross-grain. That's fundamental to the definition of plywood. If you don't beleive that, go ask the APA.
John
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Agreed and IIRC. Plywood always has an odd number of ply's.
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On 04/14/2016 7:20 AM, Leon wrote:

So what is lumber-core, then? :)
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On 4/14/2016 8:57 AM, dpb wrote:

It is a solid plank, made up of many edge glued pieces of solid wood with typically a cross grained outer layer on both sides and then an exterior veneer on both sides with grains running parallel to the inner core.
Typically common plywood is made up of thin alternating grain direction ply's/veneer sheets.
A common plywood trait is alternating plies which adds strength and stability and why plywood is often a better material for large areas where dimension stability is important. You do not see plywood with grain running in different directions on opposite sides therefore it always has an odd number of ply's.
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On 04/14/2016 10:33 AM, Leon wrote:

Snipped for brevity...Gee, no way one can put in _any_ levity, can ya'...
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On 4/14/2016 8:57 AM, dpb wrote:

BTY stay safe in the next few days! Looks like rain and wind is in your forecast.
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On 04/14/2016 10:34 AM, Leon wrote: ...

We're hopin'...wind is always with us; rain, "not so much".
Just heard on the AgrTalk weather segment this morning they've officially announced a La Nina watch which means likely end of the El Nino cycle and typically puts us back into the dry slot again...we just emerged this last year from five years of extreme drought so if that comes come to pass it ain't lookin' good again for a while...so a real soaking wet event would be a godsend first...
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On 04/14/2016 11:33 AM, dpb wrote:

Well, we got home yesterday evening after being in SE KS for a family funeral...rained on us in varying intensity from not far west of Iola until nearly home where a shower had just passed. Many areas had from 4" to nearly 7"; there was a total of only 0.45" in the gauge at the house only. But, guess we have to be thankful for that, 20 miles on S was even less. The heavy rains "trained" over the same narrow bands for two days and we were, as seems so often the case, in the are the inflow setup and were thus "dryslotted" with heavier rains on both sides of us as near as ten miles or perhaps less...radio in town said they had around an inch which isn't 10 mi away to airport which is the measurement location I presume they were using...
But, it is at least something altho won't last long....was a little severe weather around, but not much other than some localized flooding in the really local areas that got it. I'd not mind takin' my chances, frankly given as dry as we've been for the previous five...a few waterholes in low spots would be a novel occurrence.
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