Need Help Replacing Drawer Bottom

cbarkstonMarch 28, 2007

I have a double wide filing chest that I overloaded by storing hobby equipment instead of using it as a file cabinet. The bottom of the drawer is very, very thin particle board that wasn't intended to hold anything at all and has broken out. I'm not a carpenter but need to figure out how to put a sturdier bottom on this drawer. How can I make this conversion relatively inexpensively. I have no carpentry skills and don't own more than a hammer and a few nails. Could I have Home Depot cut me a piece of plywood to measure and just hammer the bottom onto the drawer myself? What should I use for the bottom of the drawer and who can I get to help me do it other than an expensive finish carpenter? Could Thanks in advance!!

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This drawer bottom is(was) setting in a dado(groove) that is on all sides of the drawer?
If you can get a piece of plywood cut that is the same thickness as the particle board, you should be able to put it back in the groove if you can separate the sides a little. Put a little wood glue in the groove on all sides. Put the board in the grooves and close up the sides. Put glue into the open areas between the sides before you close it up. Use a few small finish nails(3 or 4 penny) to hold the sides together. Measure diagonally accross both sides to make sure the lengths are the same. If they're the same, the drawer is square. Let it sit for 24 hours before use.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 2:38PM
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If you have no skills and no tools maybe you could take the drawer to a local hardware store and ask if they could fix it for you or if they know a handyman that can do it.

Plywood will win you some capacity but if it's the same "very, very thin" thickness to fit into the dado cuts it probably won't work for your storage needs.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 10:41PM
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I also suggest hiring some one to do this repair. Further damage may make repair much more expensive and difficult. I worked for a couple of years as a cabinet maker and have repaired many. Even built a bedroom suite for our house 40 years ago, the wife still likes it. The most recent drawer repair was in the first chest of drawers my deceased parents ever owned. Low cost and cheaply made. Every drawer needed attention. I designed and installed hidden reinforcements for the drawer bottoms. Very usable now, still not fancy furniture.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Thank you everyone for your response. Not sure yet what I'll do but I appreciate all of you for giving me some options that make good sense...since I didn't have any when I overloaded the drawer!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:08PM
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You are not able to replace the bottom in its original groove without disassemballing the drawer box if it is captured on all four sides as most modern drawers are manufactured. One fix, if you can afford to lose 1/2" of depth is to have a piece of birch plywood (Much flatter than normal stuff)cut to 1/16" smaller than the inside dimensions of the drawer, squeeze a generous bead of glue around the perimeter of the bottom and drop the new piece inside the drawer, put a few bricks in side for weight, then send four or five 4 d finish nails through each side of the drawer and into the edge of the plywood. The other option is to remove the 1/4" of wood that is beneath the drawer bottom (Under the dado) on the back of the drawer only. This can even be done with just a hand saw, by laying the drawer unside down, and using the bottom as a guide for the saw. This will allow you to remove the old bottom and slip a new piece of the same thickness in( no Stronger though). The bottom is then nailed with a few headed brads into the edge of the drawer back. This is how drawer bottoms were installed years ago, before plywood or hardboard, when the were made of real wood slats and needed provision for expansion and contraction due to humidity.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 7:45PM
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