Fixing the Stamp Supply Drawers (A Sticky Experience)

Supplies Storage

Remember these drawers? I showed them to you in my “My Stamp Supplies Storage” post. While I mostly liked these two IKEA units with their two big shallow drawers each, I did have some issues with them, so once I got the newest eArticle (“Sponge and Brush Techniques For Stampers”) posted, I went back to my reorganization project. The changes I’ve made have VASTLY improved things. Yes!

(Note: I’m going to split this into two posts, one about fixing the drawers and another about how I reorganized their contents once I put everything back in them.)

You may remember that, while I really like the two big shallow drawers on each IKEA unit, the drawers had the sagging problem that sometimes happens with IKEA drawers. (Note: These pieces  are over ten years old and are no longer available; I’ve gotten other IKEA drawers since that don’t do this.)

If you put these drawers together as the directions tell you, there is no gluing. You put together three sides, slide a flexible drawer bottom into the groove that runs inside the three sides and then screw on the fourth side. The problem is that the bottoms are flexible and don’t fit very deeply into the grooves. if you put any kind of weight into the drawers, the bottom will eventually start to sag and slip out of the grooves at the front and back. What is in the top drawer sags into the drawer below and when you go to open the top drawer, they both open. And trying to get the bottom drawer open without the top drawer coming with it is a challenge. Grrrr. . . .

So I Googled the problem on the internet and there seemed to be two solutions. One is to add  brackets/flanges underneath the drawer at the front and the back and string a strap between them to keep the drawer bottom in place. The other is to glue the drawer bottom into the grooves, either with E6000 glue or something similar or with wood glue. The first method lets you still take the drawers apart should you need to in the future; the second doesn’t. But my drawers are so shallow, I doubt I’d bother taking them apart if I had to move them anyway.

I talked to my husband who is good at fixing things and he thought wood glue would be the best method. So we picked some up at the local hardware store and the next day I set off to glue my drawers . . . .

I have to say that this experience did not make me a big fan of wood glue. This type of glue is runny — much like white paper glue. The glue I got, Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue, has a tip with a thin line opening. So I figured that I could use that to squeeze a line of glue into the grooves. But this really gave you no control and it glopped out unevenly.  I got too much glue and had to wipe a lot off. Then when I put the drawer bottom back in, I had to wipe off lots more as it was pushed out of the groove. So when I did the first drawer, I spent more time wiping away the excess wood glue that was running out of the groove than anything else. Yuck. Lesson learned.

Elmers Carpenters Wood Glue and Craft Syringe

Being crafty, I looked at my supplies and tried to decide how to get the right amount of glue in the grooves. First I tried a foam brush, but that turned out to be too flexible. I then settled on this plastic art syringe. I filled the barrel with wood glue and then could squeeze a nice even bead of glue all along the inside of the grooves. So the second drawer went much better, although I still was wiping off some excess runny glue. (Note: I told my husband about my solution and he alternatively suggested that a wood craft stick is also a good way to get wood glue into tight spots.)

I hit my stride on the third and fourth drawers. On the first two, I had taken the drawers apart, added the glue to the grooves and then put the drawers back together. On the third and fourth, I didn’t take them apart. Instead, I just used my syringe to add a fine line of glue along the grooves on the inside of the drawer. The wood glue is so runny, it just ran right into the grooves where I wanted it. Then I flipped the drawer over and did another fine line along the same grooves on the bottom of the drawer. Nice and neat and much less runny glue to wipe up. (Just a few drips.)

Weighing the Drawers

This type of glue does not fill in spaces. To work effectively, the two surfaces need to stay in contact with each other until the glue sets up, so you need to clamp it or weigh it down for at least the first half hour or so. I weighed down the drawers with heavy books and packs of paper and left them alone for a while. Then I moved them back to my craft room and let them dry overnight.

Today I filled the drawers back up and no more sagging! Yes!

I’ll show you how I reorganized the inkpads and embossing powder supplies inside these drawers in the next post.

Nancie, VSN

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