On stubbornness and woodworking...
I was fed up. Staring at my sock drawer willing it to close while it stubbornly resisted. It's a strange moment in which to have an epiphany, but if life has taught me anything it's that the most powerful lessons can come from the most mundane experiences. I looked at all my neatly folded socks (yes I'm one of "those" people) and said there's got to be a better way. So I pulled out the drawer and looked at the guts of my dresser.
The issue was quite clear, this 100 year old dresser was a bit weathered and worn. Wouldn't we all be at that age? The drawers wooden guides had been slowly chipped, scratched and sanded away by a drawer that hadn't rested properly on them for who knows how long. It was a simple-ish fix. Remove the old guides, cut two new guides to the proper size, finish nail them in place and apply wax.
So, I fabricated a small piece from some scrap pine board in our basement and voila! Done right?
Nope! Not done just yet. After trying to insert the drawer a couple of times and feeling some of the same resistance, albeit not as bad as before I paused, emptied the drawer and looked at the bottom. When I did I realized the same damage had been done to the actual drawer guides.
Hmmm, that's not as easy a fix as I thought...
Nonetheless I wasn't going to half do the job, lest I desired to begin fighting the drawer again in a few years...maybe months. In any case, I realized what the drawer needed was simply a new wood support to help guide it along the newly installed guides. So I again visited my friend the table saw, taking a few pieces of wood and whittling them down to the proper L shape. Then some wood glue and a few finish nails to lock the bottome guides into place and voila again!
While the drawer took about an hour to fix and required I fabricate 3 new L shaped guides because I botched the first one by splitting it (pictured). In the end I learned that the only real stubbornness was coming from myself.
I let out a small giggle when I realized this halfway through the project. The drawer was never being stubborn, I was being stubborn. I was the one that was pushing, banging and occasionally swearing at it when it, to no fault of its own, clearly wasn't working properly and wouldn't close.
Stubbornness is funny like that, it makes you think you can blame the issue on something external from yourself. The reality is however, the stubbornness is likely coming from yourself. In the end I conquered this small bit of stubbornness, learned a few things about woodworking, and now have a properly functioning dresser.
Hopefully the lessons I learned during this experience will carry forward. And if not I still learned a little bit about how to fix a dresser. Most importantly I'm especially glad that I chose to love this old hand-me-down instead of giving in to my stubbornness and just wanting to buy a new one.
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Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.