How do I fix sticking drawers?
When I built the curvy-front jewelry box from issue 195 (Dec./Jan. 2009/10) as a Christmas gift for my daughter, I used box joints for the drawers rather than rabbets. But six months later the drawers bind and don't slide as easily. The binding seems to be more side-to-side than up-and-down. Is this a result of using box joints?
—D'Andre Thomas, Harrisonburg, Va.
You've run into a classic case of wood swelling due to seasonal humidity changes, D'Andre—not a problem with your choice of joinery. When you built the project in a cold-weather, low-humidity time of year, everything fit together nicely. As humidity increased in summer, that wood expanded and tightened up those drawers in their openings.
To correct this, simply remove some of the material from each drawer side, as shown above, then check the fit. If it still binds a little, repeat the process until you get an easy-gliding drawer.
Briwax Spray: product #151316, for 13.5 oz aerosol can, Woodcraft, 800-225-1153 or woodcraft.com.