How to Fix a Broken Dresser Drawer

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In a jam? Dresser drawers take a lot of abuse. Humidity, slamming and over-stuffing can cause their runners to stick and bottoms to warp and fall out. The frustrating daily tugs and jimmying can make drawer pulling a hair-pulling experience. Wooden dresser drawers sometimes require maintenance, but simple fixes can take the aggravation out of opening your dresser drawers.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar
  • Nail puller
  • Nail punch and hammer
  • Nails
  • Lumber
  • Tape measure
  • Wooden mallet
  • Glue
  • Clamps
  • Paraffin wax

Repairing a Drawer Bottom

  • Remove the drawer from the dresser. Disassemble the drawer by sliding the bottom piece out with a pry bar. If the bottom piece sets into a groove, you will have to remove the back of the drawer to replace the bottom. Pull out nails with nail puller.

  • Take out the old bottom of the drawer. If the only problem with the bottom is warping, flip the bottom over and slide it back into place. Nail.

  • Use the old bottom as a template to cut a new bottom piece if the old piece is not salvageable. Slide new bottom into place.

  • Rack drawer, applying pressure at opposite corners, until the diagonal measurements are equal in length. Nail. Replace the back of the drawer if removal was required.

  • Lubricate runners with paraffin wax.

Repairing Unsquare Joints

  • Remove the drawer from the dresser. Disassemble the drawer by carefully knocking it apart with a hammer and block, or wooden mallet. Remove nails with a nail puller.

  • Remove old glue residue. Re-glue and reassemble the drawer.

  • Clamp pieces in place for a minimum of two hours.

  • Mid-way through clamping time, measure diagonal measurements from opposite corners to ensure drawer is square. Repeat after two hours. Adjust clamping if necessary. Nail.

  • Lubricate the runners with paraffin wax.

References

  • "Reader's Digest 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints & Tips;" Barbara J. Morgan, ed; 1998
  • Accurate Building (PDF)
  • "The Drawer Book: A Comprehensive Guide for Woodworkers;" Bill Hylton; 2009
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