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:
Now zoom in to the left of the center nail:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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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