Assembling antique dresser. Use screws??

Discussion in 'Joinery, Woodwork and Carpentry' started by Andrea, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Andrea

    Andrea

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    Hello

    I have acquired a dresser with a pivot mirror, however it is not assembled and there are no screws or instructions as it is an old (and very lovely) piece. I'd like some advice on how to attach the various pieces together. I think I've worked out how to piece it all together, and there are holes which line up, but I'd like to know whether I ought to just use plain metal screws to screw the pieces in place. (I am a complete noob at DIY and normally do flat pack which comes with instructions!)

    There is:

    • A base (set of drawers)
    • A back panel which needs to be attached to the base
    • Two wooden supports which need to be attached to the back panel I think. There are three holes, so three screws?
    • The mirror itself, which appears to just rest on the two bracket bits which are on the wooden supports.

    I've attached some photos including how I think it should look when assemebled and a diagram!

    Where I've drawn a screw on the diagram (to attach the back panel and the base - there is a hole going straight through the lip at the back of the base and a corresponding hole on the base panel) do I just use a plain metal screw here? Would three screws along the back panel be strong enough to hold the whole thing together (since that is going to bear the weight of the mirror and the two supports)?
    Does my assessment of how to assemble the thing make sense?
     

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    Andrea, Mar 24, 2018
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  2. Andrea

    Andrea

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    Also how long would the screws need to be? They'll obviously need to be at least the thickness of the lip at the back of the dresser, but then a fair bit of the screw would I think, need to end up in the back panel. I tried putting a screw in the hole in the back panel but it only goes in about 3mm. Is that far enough in? It doesn't seem that far to me. I guess I could always get slightly longer screws and screw in further, but how much further should I go?

    Note that DSC_0282.JPG shows the hole in the bottom of the back panel.
     
    Andrea, Mar 24, 2018
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  3. Andrea

    Blair Ritchie

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    Your assessment of how it goes together looks ok, use countersunk screws with slotted heads for a more genuine look, the screw needs more than 3mm to be effective, measure the total thickness of the two pieces of wood and buy screws a few mm SHORTER than this so you get maximum grip but do not break through the other side. If you are concerned the screws will not hold rigid enough you can lightly coat the surfaces to be joined with PVA wood glue, this will hold it together extremely fast, but be aware it is PERMANENT, you will not separate them once glued.
    Hope this helps.
     
    Blair Ritchie, Apr 3, 2018
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  4. Andrea

    Andrea

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    Thank you. I found some more holes which attach the wooden supports to the base as well as the back panel so I managed to screw it all together and it seems pretty solid. (I was worried about the supports only attaching to the back panel.) I didn't need to use any glue. The screws went in quite far in the end. I used some dark wood screws which looked great, and some metal ones which look a bit naff but they are at the back so it doesn't really matter. Hopefully the whole thing won't fall apart!
     
    Andrea, Apr 8, 2018
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