Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 5, 2004 · Page 29
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 29

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, March 5, 2004
Page 29
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ON THE MARKET FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2004—13 Some sliding drawers pose sticky problems By GENE GARY Copley News Service Q. I am having a problem with stubborn drawers that stick and are very difficult to open. These drawers are situated in a customized, built-in wall unit that also houses our entertainment center. Do you have any advice that would make these drawers easier to open and close? A. If the problem is just with the tracks, one easy solution is to rub the drawer tracks with paraffin (available at your local supermarket). Rub both tracks and the bottom of the drawers, along the area where the tracks run. Even if the construction of the drawers is a single rather than a double track, this will help them slide easier. Another remedy,, suggested by a professional furniture dealer, is to spray the runners and any other area of contact with silicone spray lubricant, which is not subject to dust collection. Should this fail to cure the problem, check to make sure the drawer guide, rail or runner is not loose or out of position. Your inspection should include the guides, which fence in the sides of the drawer; the rails, which support the sides and weight of the drawer; the runner, which is the channel attached to the drawer bottom that mate with the center guide. All of these parts must run straight back with reference to the face of the drawer opening. Check positions and align with a square; reposition and attach. A major cause of sticking Local news, sports and weather in the Daily Journal can also be swelling of the wood caused by moisture. High humidity in summer months, a long rainy season, foggy condilions or ocean climates can be a culprit. Dry out the wood by placing a lighted bulb (not to exceed 100 watts) on a foil tray inside the sticking drawer and close for 15 to 20 minutes (seriously swollen wood may require a longer period). The heat from the light bulb will help shrink the wood and allow the drawer to slide out more easily. In some cases, the swelling will be severe enough that you will have to sand and plane the wood in order to make the drawer fit better. Place the drawer on a table top and sand the sides of the drawer, as well as the tops and bottoms of the drawer runners. If the drawer is still too tight, you might have to plane or sand further. As you plane material from the bottoms or the sides, be sure to take the same amount of material from both sides so the drawer doesn't tilt to one side in the opening, or from front to back, so the front doesn't lean in or out. Be very conservative in the process so you don't end up with a very loose drawer. Take just enough off to get the drawer sliding. After you plane or sand, it will be necessary to seal the freshly exposed wood with a wood sealer such as tung oil. This will prevent further absorption of moisture. If the drawers and frames are seriously warped and out-of-line, this can call for a complete dismantling and reconstruction. Q. I have a large vanity mirror in the master bathroom. The edges of the mirror are turning dark and flaking. This is an expensive mirror. Is there any method of restoration? A. This is a common problem. Humidity slowly oxidizes the silver backing on mirrors. Normally, even in a moisture-laden environment, such as a bathroom, the process takes 10 to 15 years. However, silver can oxidize in a flash if it gets glass cleaner on the surface. Vinegar and ammonia are major culprits that cause the damage. The high alkaline content in spray cleaners, which are often ammonia based, makes them the harshest. To avoid damage when using spray cleaners, you should spray in the middle of the mirror and wipe to edges, never allowing the cleaner to run around the edge of the mirror. Some mirrors are protected at the factory with a sealer over the silvering. Spraying the back of a new mirror with a clear varnish or shellac can also seal and help protect the silvering. Coating the silver surface by brushing on melted paraffin (heated to a liquid and brushed on when slightly cooled) is another method of protection. Frames, even the narrow meal ones, add further protection. On framed mirrors or a mirror mounted on a cabinet door, caulking the gap between the frame (or door) and the mirror can, help provide protection. Unfortunately, restoration of a mirror after the damage is done is usually not feasible. Mirrors can be resilvered, but this is not a do-it-yourself job. Resilvering involves hard-to-obtain toxic chemicals, and should be left to professionals. Usually replacement of damaged mirrors is the best solution and the least expensive option. There are a couple of methods than can help camouflage (but not repair) the damage. ELECTRONIC PROTECTION BY Need DEEP VALLEY SECURITY (707) 462-5200 Sec • Alarm systems & service • Surveillance cameras LICJAC03195 1-800-862-5200 CONT. LIC.#638502 Unsticking wood drawers During humid weather, wood drawers may swell and become difficult to open and close. Although the drawers are engineered to allow for normal expansion, extreme conditions may cause the wood to stick.* 1. Use a dehumidifier or dry the wood ay placing a lighted julb (not to exceed 100 watts) on a metal tray inside the sticking drawer and close for 15 to 20 minutes. an 2. After.clean! the runners drawer sides, rub them with candle wax or paraffin. "When the air becomes drier, drawers will usually stop sticking. 3. Gently sand and plane the wood to help the drawer fit better. For deterioration of silver along the edges of a large unframed mirror, a narrow wood or metal frame, one wide enough to cover the damage, can be added. For small blemishes, which may appear at the edges or anywhere on the mirror surface, it may be possible to disguise them with some spot repair work. This won't work for a mounted mirror, as you will need access to the silver backing. Use an abrasive side of a kitchen sponge to scrub off the deterioration. Try to avoid enlarging the affected area. Patch these spots with a piece of Mylar film (available at art supply stores) or use an ordinary piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Keep the foil or Mylar as smooth as possible. No adhesives are necessary if the patch can be held in place by a mirror backing. If the mirror does not have a backing, or if this isn't practical, position the foil in place and coat over the foil and surrounding surface of the mirror with one or two coats of shellac. Thoroughly dry prior to repositioning the mirror. Do not use glue or tape, which can further damage the silver backing. Tiny spots of discoloration can be carefully removed and the bare spots touched up with a silver artist's paint. If you invest in a new mirror, be sure to take the steps recommended to protect the original silver coating. Send e-mail to or write to Here's How, Copley News Service, P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112-0190. Only questions of general interest can be answered in the column. A ™ * 707-263-3729 AGM Anna Girod, Broker WOPBmflttNA6HIBI! 904SouthMainStreet Open Saturday Lakeport,CA 95453 COMMERCIAL WITH AIRPORT CONVENIENCE 9 Bay 5,000 sq. ft. building with office space waiting rooms and bathrooms. $2,000 OFFICE SPACE with waiting room, conference room & private office. $850 UPPER LAKE SfQBmHfeFFICE SPACE $250

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