Monthly Archives: October 2015

Fun with Fixing Furniture

In the last couple days I’ve had to try my hand at repairing a couple pieces of furniture.  Last night’s chair repair was pretty successful, but tonight’s dresser is going to require further effort.

Somehow, some way, someone managed to break one of the chair legs in the addition right at where the leg mounts to the chair base itself.  The top of the chair leg had split, leaving a portion screwed to the seat and the rest of the leg.  I sized up everything, went to the shop and picked my electric screwgun & drill, clamps, wood glue and screws and some odds & ends.

This repair job wasn’t so bad; it involved:

  • Taking the remaining chair leg off the stretcher
  • Removing the mounted part that had split away from the seat’s angle bracket
  • Removing the mounting hardware from that piece
  • Gluing and screwing the split wood back onto the leg again
  • Remounting the whole shebang

Fortunately I had every tool I needed except for socket mounted allen bits for the electric driver, but home depot was still open.

Tonight’s repair experience didn’t go so well.

My bedroom dresser was purchased back when I lived in Florida; it was one of those “finish it yourself” raw wood deals that I honestly should replace but have never gotten around to actually tossing.  When KJ was a toddler, he decided to climb up it repeatedly, causing the center mounted draw slides to break, spilling ball bearings everywhere.  Naturally, the manufacturer of the drawer slide hardware has gone out of business, so ordering replacements wasn’t an option.  So, I went to Rockler and eyeballed what they had, ordered what I thought was right, and tried to effect the repairs this evening.

Naturally things didn’t go according to my wishes.

To start with, the drawers have horizontal stringers in the rear.  Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, except that the slides themselves are designed to either perpendicularly attach to a rear mounted vertical stringer, or have another 1″ of wood underneath for top down attachment.  Since the rear of the dresser looks like luan or veneered hardboard, screwing down the draw slide seems like the best option, so I’ll need to cut a thick piece of wood and attach that to the existing horizontal stringers.

But, the fun doesn’t stop there.  The previous draw slides attached to the draws themselves using a vertical tab in the back and an angled screw in the front that went into the drawer face.  I can probably rig the new slide to screw into the front face, but the new drawer slide is set up for mounting into the bottom of the drawer, which is not thick enough.  So, clearly I’m going to have to cut some sort of cleat or tab, mount it to the inside of the drawer, then attach the drawer slide to it to prevent tear out.

Honestly I’d be better of just buying a new dresser, but I don’t have a spare $1500 right now to throw at a decent piece of furniture.  I wish I had the time and skill to make my own, but I’m sure at the end of it, it’d cost as much as buying something new.