Restoring wooden drawer tracks?

Old 11-18-15, 10:56 PM
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Restoring wooden drawer tracks?

Hello there!

I'll have to admit I'm a novice, so I apologize if this is confusing. I have been very slowly restoring a dresser that I found several years ago. It does have problems, including some broken veneer on the face of the drawers, that I plan on replacing. It has one problem that I have no idea what to do with, though- the wooden drawer tracks.

The tracks on both of the bottom drawers are splintered and worn, both on the drawer and the inside of the dresser. Unfortunately, the "track" on the drawer is just the bottom of the side. It's not removable.

I initially thought I could attach some side mounted drawer slides, but there's no space between the frame and the drawer side. There's a gap between the bottom of the drawer and the frame, so I guess a center slide could work- except the drawer bottoms are extremely thin and there's very little inside the dresser to attach it to. Also the measurements on the whole piece aren't very precise, so I'm not sure if a traditional slide would even fit.

Picture of the whole dresser:

Picture of the drawer (part closest to camera is the bottom/track):

Picture of the inner track:

I know it will be a lot of work, and I may end up spending more time/money than it's worth- but I've gotten pretty attached to it and I'm willing to put in the work. I just have no idea what to do! Any advice is appreciated.
Old 11-19-15, 05:28 AM
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If I were doing this I would glue the cracked drawer side back together and splice in a piece of hardwood to restore it to original dimensions, same with the runner on the frame. Not knowing your woodworking capabilities or tools at hand, I'll offer another quick fix suggestion which may or may not work. Look at the two angles in the center of THIS PHOTO. You might be able to wrap this around the bottom of the drawer side, glued in place. On the dresser side, I think you will have to glue a piece of wood over the runner lip or better yet, in place of it if you can remove it entirely. Any wooden sliding surfaces should get a heavy coat of paste wax or candle wax.
Old 11-19-15, 06:36 AM
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There are glides available that reduce wear and make drawers slide easier. They are small plastic pads that attach to the rails the drawer sides sit on. Rockler, Woodcraft, and many online sources carry them. The worn bottom edges of the drawers normally are cut back and new hardwood strips glued in place but if there's room for a cover like toolmon suggests, it's worth trying.
Old 11-19-15, 07:19 AM
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You could clamp a guide to the side of the door then take a skilsaw and make a straight cut along the bottom edge of the drawer to cut off the crooked and cracked splintered part. Clean up the corners with a jigsaw where you dont want to cut into the drawer front or back. Then cut a piece of oak the size you need to replace what is missing. Glue and clamp it. IMO that is probably all that's needed there.

If the drawer guide needs some help, i'd probably add a strip of wood along the right side that would be flush with the top of the original guide. This would leave a large void where the splinter is gone. Then fill that void with some wood filler resin. It would be the simplest fix. I only suggest this because it might be difficult for a newbie with few tools to cut out and repair or completely replace the guides.

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