My wife's mother died last month and her "new" furniture (as in only
40 years old) and her "old" furniture (as in having belonged to her
parents) is going to her granddaughters. The pieces are all "real"
wood (no MDF, etc).
The new owners do not want the pieces refinished (they want to retain
the character of the pieces), they just want the minimum repairs
needed to put the pieces into daily service.
The newer pieces (dresser, chest of drawers) have damaged wooden
drawer guides from being
2) forced past the stops when removed (instead of being tilted up over
The drawers in the chest have a "T" style guide mounted to the frame
with a shallow upside down wooden "U" runner on the bottom of the
drawer; a plastic guide that fits the "T" is attached to the back of
the drawer. The wooden "T" seems easy enough to reporduce with a
table saw and a table-mounted router.
The dresser has a metal guide on the bottom of the drawers and a
matching wood runner mounted to the frame - an upside down "U" that's
notched on both sides. This piece also looks relatively easy to
duplicate, with a roundover on the top edges and shallow blade-width
groves in the sides.
Now to the meat of the matter:
What's the preferred wood for this type of guide? The local BORG has
red oak, but would ash or hard maple be a better choice? The
original pieces are attached with a screw at the front and staples or
brads at the back (to allow for differences in the wood or just for
The oldest pieces (vanity, chest of drawers) have no drawer guide
mechanism or stops, just wood-on-wood at the edges.
I want to stay reasonably close to the original design in these older
pieces, but would like to add a bearing surface to reduce the wear
from wood-on-wood contact. Nylon tape and plastic guides (plus some
internal flip-down drawer stops for safety) appear to be the easiest
solutions that make minimum change to the structure and are not
visible in normal use.
The furniture is 2 1/2 hours away from my shop tools, so I prefer
"on-site" and/or portable solutions (I have one each of the original
drawer guides to work from).