A quick fix for a loose drawer knob on a Gerstner Chest is to put a toothpick with a drop of glue into the hole for the drawer knob and then break the toothpick even with the face of the drawer. The added wood from the toothpick in the hole gives the screw something to grab when you twist in the knob into the hole. The toothpick is soft enough that it will compress against the side of the hole and get a good bond with the original wood from the drawer.
I use wood filler. When I start on a chest, I remove the corner protectors and knobs. I then plug the holes with wood filler (not putty) and sand them flat when dry, and then I sand the drawer or chest. When it’s time to re-install the knob or corner protectors, the screws bite in the dried wood filler for security. I found that the filler is soft enough to accept the screw without having to do a pilot hole.
I have found that regular toothpicks are a little small for the job. I found a stash of the thicker sandwich type toothpicks with the frilly decoration on the top in the back of the hutch. (Don’t tell my wife!) They have a thicker shaft and fill the hole better. I dip it in glue, put it in the hole, and then snip it off flush with the drawer front. A small pilot hole helps when reinstalling the knobs.
My dad always told me to use wooden matches. You don’t have to mess with the point of a toothpick and they fill the hole better. Now all you have to do is find restaurants that still have free wooden matches!
Excellent idea! Now to find wooden matches… I think Yankee candle used to have the smaller ones. Smaller than big Kitchen matches, anyway. As much as I hate Yankee Candle (I used to work about a mile away from their plant in South Deerfield, MA) it would be worth the trip.
I’ll be the guy with the breathing apparatus on. I could send my wife, but she’d come back with those darned stinky candles.