OK, I need advise, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm building a chest of drawers for my new granddaughter and the
carcase came out great. The drawers are the problem. Most of the
drawers are rectangles made of 1/2" birch plywood, with a 1/2" (nom)
thick cherry front panel (grain running side to side). The front
panels overlap the carcase all around by 1/4", so when you shut the
drawer, the back edge of the cherry panel sets flush with the front of
the carcase (or SHOULD). Does that make any sense??
NOW, the problem. Brainfade time! I decided to put a stripe of glue
about 2" wide across the center of each cherry panel to glue it fast
to the plywood drawer front, and put screws around the periphery of
the drawer to further fasten the cherry panel to the drawer, yet allow
for seasonal movement of the panel against the plywood. Well, when I
glued it fast, the glue spread to about 3 to 3-1/2" wide. Not great,
but I don't thing that's wide enough for expansion/contraction
problems later on.
NOW, here's the rub! ALL 6 OF THE DRAWER FRONTS CUPPED!!! That is,
the center of the cherry panels is in good contact with the drawers,
but the top and bottoms cup away from the drawer by 1/16" (approx.) on
both the top & bottom!! I suspect what happened is the moisture in
the glue (Titebond II) caused the wood to expand in that local area,
causing the warp AND when the glue dried, it was permanent. I tried
tightening the screws on the periphery, but that really isn't working.
Does ANYBODY have any ideas how I can get the panels off without
destroying either the panels or the plywood drawer fronts? I thought
about using the bandsaw to cut them loose and then replaning
everything, but that's nor really the best because I have no way of
reflattening the drawer fronts since some of the drawers are 8" high
and I only have a 6" jointer!
Ideally, it would be great if somebody has some idea how I can soften
the glue and pry the panels off.
Thanks in advance for ANY ideas, I'm about willing to try anything -
I've got about $75 tied up in just the cherry panels and would HATE to
have to redo them!!!
ALL 6 OF THE DRAWER FRONTS CUPPED!!! [...]
How frustrating. I don't think the glue will have caused the cupping. It
sounds like the timber is drying and shrinking and unevenly eg more rapidly
on the exposed outside face than the glued inside face.
My best advise is to remove the screws, put the piece somewhere indoors, not
a cold garage but similar to where it will end up and just wait and see what
happens. The solid fronts will hopefully either fall off or straighten
themselves out because they are unlikely to stay as they are. It may take a
The wood has air dried for approx 7 years. After roughing the panels
out, I let them stabilize for about 2 weeks before final planing and
gluing. However, I'm willing to try anything, so I'll yank the screws
out & see what happens. The drawers are in my shop, which has a
dehumidifier set to approx. 40% humidity. That's the environment
these panels have been in for the past month - even before I started
working the wood.
Thanks for the tip - I'm doubtful, but I really hope it works!
Not being able to see what they look like, it is almost impossible to advise
you on ALL your options.
That said, and from just reading your post, your best bet appears, as you
seem to be inclined, is to somehow remove the drawer fronts, then evaluate
the situation and go from there.
If efforts to soften the glue fail (and that will most likely happen because
of the time elapsed and thickness of the material) removing the drawer
fronts _with a good "resaw" bandsaw_ is doable.
Remove the screws, set the boxes on a 1/4" spacer, with the drawer front
against a bandsaw fence, and 'resaw' the fronts off the drawer boxes.
I've done similar separations using the bandsaw, so I know that it can be
done with a good bandsaw and an experienced operator.
You will lose a bit more than 1/2 the bandsaw blade kerf thickness from
each piece, but that is a small price to pay.
This is not a difficult task to accomplish.
In the future, NEVER, EVER glue an overlay drawer to a drawer box ...
"screws only" for obvious reasons ... wood movement and alignment issues
that WILL arise there from in the future.
I think I'd try taking the screws out and letting the drawers sit for a
couple weeks to see what happens... then, failing a "self correction" I'd
flatten the faces with hand planes and flatten the proud back edges of the
front panel with either a shoulder plane or chisel.
I had a brain fart once and my wife rescued me on this.
Get a pillowcase and put about 5-10 lbs of rice (not cooked just right out
of the bag) in the pillowcase and tie it off so the rice won't fall out.
Heat up the bag in the microwave until its almost too hot to hold. Then put
the rice bag around the glue joint. I'd put the drawer cherry face down and
put the bag in behind the front. Leave it for about 15-20 minutes. The
titebond will soften enough to get it apart. This will work, I've done
it...you'll be able to rework ater that and no glue this time....
< firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
That's cool, err, hot ... hope the lets us know if it works on the drawers.
Come to think of it, SWMBO once had a pillow that you could microwave and
put on sore muscles, back, etc, and it had something the consistency of rice
in it ... hmmm.
Good idea, Rich!!! I had gone to the Titebond website's FAQ and they
mentioned that heat would soften Titebond II, but I couldn't think of
a way to get the drawers in my wife's oven!!! They're too big. I
NEVE thought about using rice! I'll let you know how it works out.
I'm trying the heated rice trick and it's working to some extent. I
might need to heat it longer/leave it on the drawer fronts longer,
etc. I got the first one off, but tore off much of the first plywood
lamination (not a big deal). The damage will be hidden by the cherry
front panel when it's reworked.
I'm gonna try more heat for a longer period of time to try to remove
the second panel (of five!) today.
Keep you posted!
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