Tuning Up A Century Old Dresser - With Roller Guides

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Have you ever worked on a Desk top ? You have several layers of Veneers. The whole thickness might be 1/16".
Martin
On 4/13/2016 9:16 AM, krw wrote:

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On Sat, 16 Apr 2016 22:52:47 -0500, Martin Eastburn

OK, and your point is?

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On Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 7:30:20 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

It's a close up of the previous picture, which is the back of the drawer showing the gap and (barely) the 3 nails "holding" the back of the bottom into the back panel of the drawer box.
Here's the full back:
http://imgur.com/Y7aKfPU
Now zoom in to the left of the center nail:
http://imgur.com/pRNq7Ab

Yes, with 3 nails as seen in the picture if the full back.

Grooves in the sides and front. The groves extend about 1/2" below the bottom panel. The bottom panel is now kind of bowl shaped, sagging left to right as well as front to back.
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On Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 12:29:09 PM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:


I suppose your last option may be to remove the panel, moisten the raw (bot tom) side for a day or so, then allow to dry in a "clamped" reverse curved position (over correct the curve, a bit), to correct the bowing... and hope that does the trick. I would suspect the wood is air dried, but sometimes old "cured" air dried wood acts as if it's kiln dried and is not always as bendable/reshapeable as new/newer air dried wood. I don't think you would damage the panel if you gave this a try.
Sonny
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On Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 1:28:44 PM UTC-5, Sonny wrote:

ottom) side for a day or so, then allow to dry in a "clamped" reverse curve d position (over correct the curve, a bit), to correct the bowing... and ho pe that does the trick. I would suspect the wood is air dried, but sometim es old "cured" air dried wood acts as if it's kiln dried and is not always as bendable/reshapeable as new/newer air dried wood. I don't think you wou ld damage the panel if you gave this a try.
If you do give this a try, then, as you're clamping the panel, listen close ly for any small, minute sounds of cracking. Tiny cracking sounds indicate it's not bending properly, i.e., not bending as typical, as readily as, ai r dried lumber does.... or as steam bent lumber does. Even trying to steam bend old cured air dried lumber doesn't always work.... you can hear small cracking sounds, when trying to steam bend old cured air dried lumber. It doesn't steam bend properly, similarly as when trying to steam bend kiln d ried lumber.
The bow in your panel doesn't appear to be too significant. You shouldn't have to recurve, over correct, the bowing too much, so a wet-bending optio n may work.
Sonny
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Simplest fix is 3 screws through the bottom into the back. Put one in the center first, then one more on each side halfway between center and side. That should fix the sag in both directions; if not, slack off the last two, add another one (two more total) between them and center, then tighten the loosened one.
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dadiOH wrote:

Addendum: That will remove the belly in both directions as long as you assure that the bottom is fully inserted into the front groove while you do the screws.
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On Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 7:17:01 PM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

Ah, if it were only that simple. To repeat what I just posted in response to dpb's post...
I clamped the bottom of the drawers to the back of box in three spots, completely closing the gap along the back. The front and sides of the bottoms are fully seated in the grooves of the box. I placed a 36" straight edge across the bottom of the interior of the drawers and measured the gap between the straight edge and the bottom of the drawer at the center of the bottom.
3/8" on one drawer, 1/2" on the other.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

And what happens if you push up on the bottom while it is clamped? Sag disappear? If so, then either the bottom isn't fully seated in the grooves or the grooves are too big. If not, try loosening the clamps THEN pushing.
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On Monday, April 11, 2016 at 7:06:55 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

OK, when I say fully seated in the grooves, I mean that as much wood as can be seated with a *bowed* bottom is in the grooves.
Of course if the bottom is bowed the wood has to pull out of the grooves and can no longer be fully, 100%, in the grooves.
Bottom line is that the bottom is bowed into a shallow bowl shape and simply securely the bottom to the back of the box is not going to eliminate the sag in the middle of the bottom. There is no way that your "simplest fix" of 3 screws across the bottom into the back is going to flatten the 1/2" sag in the center of the bottom. Yes, it will flatten the *back* of the bottom but not the center of the bottom.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Which means that you have to get the bottom fully into the grooves. Or, at least, far enough to remove the "belly". Once there, a couple of screws through the bottom into the sides should take care of it.
The question is, why did it bow in the first place? I can only think of two reasons...
1. The grooves are wider than the bottom is thick. If that is the case, pushing the bottom flat and gluing in a few small wedges into the too wide groove should fix it.
2. If the grooves are not wider than the bottom is thick then the drawer sides have moved out of vertical and possibly parallel. Is the distance between the sides exactly the same at both top and bottom all along their length?
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On 04/11/2016 9:07 AM, dadiOH wrote: ...

The length of the arc for a 1/2" sag in the center for a chord length of 36" is 36.0185" -- thus the movement on either end of the bottom is only about 0.01". Not significant. There's no chance you can prevent that kind of movement in wood w/ a mechanical fastener from the side (besides the damage done to the piece in trying to do that).

...
The most probable reason it bowed was that it had too much weight stored in the drawer for 100+/- year and it's simple relaxation over the unsupported span. No different than setting the set of encyclopedias or a 100-lb bust of Beethoven on a long, unsupported bookshelf and leaving them there--over time the shelf _will_ sag unless it's far more than just a 3/4" ordinary shelf. In this case, we don't know what was in the dresser, but whatever it was was too much for a minimal initial design. 1/4" is not enough material for a 36" drawer for anything but the lightest of loads.
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dpb wrote:

No, not from the side, through the side and bottom from the bottom of the side; i,e, vertically, not horizontally.
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On 04/11/2016 1:34 PM, dadiOH wrote:

Never work, DD's perfectly correct in that; it's the side of the fastener that you're expecting to constrain less than 10-thou movement with--ain't a'gonna' happen, wood simply isn't that rigid, plus, as he says, it'll cobble up the drawer itself somethin' awful in the attempt.
--



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dpb wrote:

Wait! You mean that all those jillions of frame and panel doors are useless??? :)
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On 04/11/2016 6:09 PM, dadiOH wrote: ...

Huh?
--



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Is the drawer 36 inches deep or just 36 inches wide? If it's not 36 inches deep then the chord you have to work with is the front to back, not the side to side.

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On 04/14/2016 9:56 PM, J. Clarke wrote: ...

...
It's bowed _both_ directions, the long-ways is the longest unsupported length which is the 36" dimension. The one edge (front) is supported, yes, but the remainder is poorly supported by the failed nails along the rear. Look at the pictures to see the geometry.
--


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On 04/14/2016 11:33 PM, dpb wrote:

Oh, if you're bothered treated it as a beam instead of plate, the point is how little it takes to get what seems a big bow in the center in relative movement of the ends. The plate solution is significantly more complicated to show the same thing; not worth the bother for the purpose here...
--


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On Monday, April 11, 2016 at 10:07:29 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

I understand that you are trying to help, but it appears that you aren't quite grasping the situation. That is completely understandable, because you haven't actually seen/touched the drawers.
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but let me try it this way:
No amount of edge related reattachment is going to force the bottom of drawers to flatten out. There is far to much "tension" in the bow for that to work. Even if I push down in the center to remove most of the bow, there is still some waviness out towards the sides.
Maybe, just maybe, if I flattened the bottom by sandwiching it between flat pieces of stock and then added a *substantial* number of screws around the perimeter, that might hold it, but I'm not going to try that for 2 reasons:
1 - I still think the wood will win 2 - I'm not going to butcher the drawers by adding a multitude of screws.
If I'm going to have to alter the drawers, I'll just replace the bottoms and try to finish them as close to matching as possible.

There are at least 2 more possibilities, probably a combination of both. I list these in no particular order:
- Obviously, years of weight on a 36" x 18" piece of 1/4" wood (or even plywood) could cause considerable warpage. I can't speak to the contents of the drawers over the years, but anything other more substantial than linens could certainly have warped the bottoms.
- The bottom side of the drawer bottoms are unfinished, the tops are finished with what I assume is varnish. I can only assume (I'm no expert by any means) that the raw bottom would have absorbed more moisture over the years, resulting in swelling/uneven movement.
Add weight to a "wet" board and you're exacerbating the problem
Bottom line, and I know you'd agree if you saw the drawers, the bottoms are bowed beyond the point where edge attachments are going to flatten them.
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