Fixin’ Up a Buffet

If you follow my blog, then you know that my wife and I have a couple of booths in antique malls where we buy and sell antiques. Occasionally we’ll buy old furniture and fix it up. This is a buffet we found at a yard sale for dirt cheap. It had some issues, but the price was too good to pass up, plus I knew I could make it usable again.

20180827_180939.jpg

The first issue I had to take care of was the stretcher on the bottom looked like a dog gnawed on it.

20180827_180950.jpg

The easiest thing to do was simply cut it off. Since Anita was going to paint the piece, I wasn’t too concerned about the dowel cut offs showing. Removing the stretcher didn’t cause the buffet to lose any stability.

20180827_181429.jpg

The biggest issue the buffet had was the runner on the large drawer on top was  completely broken off. There was no way  to properly repair it so I decide to make a new one out of some scrap wood.

20180827_181907.jpg

I milled a new piece to size and then used my Stanley No 45 plane to plow a 1/4″ groove down the middle on both edges.

IMG_20180827_192515_937.jpg

I then cut a wide groove down the face of the piece with my table saw and cleaned it up with my router plane.

IMG_20180827_192515_930.jpg

With a tenon cut on the end of the piece and a rabbet cut on the other end, the new piece worked perfectly in the old drawer. I tacked down the runner to the back of the drawer with a couple of small nails.

20180827_190817.jpg

After the drawer was fixed, I shaved down the edges of the doors with a block plane so that they would close better. Once the buffet was functional again, Anita painted the piece with milk paint.

20180916_192155.jpg

You can see how the milk paint gives the buffet old world character. This piece should sell quick in the booth.

20180916_192201.jpg

Making an Apothecary Cabinet Drawer

My wife bought an apothecary cabinet that was missing one of its drawers. I took a look at how they were built and assured her that I could make another one. The drawer was about 6 1/2″ tall x 8″ wide x 7 1/2″ deep.

 photo 20160521_132458.jpg

The drawers are made of pine so I grabbed a scrap 2 x 8 and drew a couple of lines down the edges. The side of the drawers were about 3/8″ thick, while the drawer front was 3/4″ thick.

 photo 20160521_133253.jpg

I took each piece and cut kerfs down the lengths of their edges making it much easier to rip them off at the band saw. This saves the band saw’s blade and motor as it won’t have to strain as much.

 photo 20160521_133755.jpg

After they were ripped on the band saw, I took them over to the planer and sized them up to proper thickness.

 photo 20160521_134533.jpg

I made the drawer bottom out of mostly quarter sawn pine, so it wouldn’t expand and contract as much with changes in humidity. It too was about 3/8″ thick.

 photo 20160521_135708.jpg

Focusing on the front, I cut a 3/8″ x 3/8″ rabbet on each end the same thickness as the sides of the drawer.

 photo 20160521_140219.jpg

I then used my little Record plow plane and planed a 1/4″ groove down the sides and front boards that started about 7/16″ up from the bottom. This way the 3/8″ thick bottom will not rub as the drawer is being pulled in and out. You can do this step on the table saw, but I really enjoy using this little sucker.

 photo 20160521_140912.jpg

I cut a 3/8″ dado on each side of the drawer side so that the drawer back would fit nice and snug.

 photo 20160521_141719.jpg

Using my Stanley No 140 rabbet block plane, I chamfered three sides of the drawer bottom to fit inside the 1/4″ groove I plowed with my plow plane.

 photo 20160521_142406.jpg

Dry fitting the piece, I made sure everything fit properly and was square. The extra length of the drawer bottom and top of the back was quickly trimmed off at the table saw.

 photo 20160521_142850.jpg

Once everything fit well, I glued the sides and back and pinned the drawer with 18 gauge brad nails. I didn’t use any glue on the bottom as I want it to move with changes in humidity.

 photo 20160521_143848.jpg

After about an hour, I ended up with a nice little drawer for my wife’s apothecary cabinet. I’ll have to use vinegar and steel wool to age the pine. My wife will probably repaint the entire piece so the drawer front will match all the others.

 photo 20160521_145607.jpg

 

Repairing a Drawer Bottom

Earlier this week, my wife won a chest of drawers from an online auction. Sure enough when we get it home and examine the piece, we discovered there was significant water damage to the chest that the auction company failed to mention (what a surprise!). In fact, one of the drawers was so bad that the bottom plywood was peeling away. She asked me if I could fix it, so I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of 1/4″ X 24″ X 48″ underlayment plywood for about $5.00.

 photo drawer001.jpg

The first thing I did to the drawer was carefully pop off the glue blocks from the under side with a paring chisel as I was planning on reusing them.

 photo drawer002.jpg

I then carefully popped off the drawer runner being careful not to damage it. Fortunately, it wasn’t glued to the drawer bottom making it easy to clean up.

 photo drawer003.jpg

Then with a dead blow hammer, I gently popped off the sides of the drawers hoping not to damage the dovetail joints.

 photo drawer004.jpg

After cutting the new piece of plywood to size, I saw that the new drawer bottom was a little thicker than the original, so I widened all the grooves to the drawer with my table saw.

 photo drawer006.jpg

Once all the grooves were widened, I dry fitted the drawer back together making sure everything fitted properly.

 photo drawer012.jpg

I then glued the drawer back together including the support blocks back on the bottom.

 photo drawer013.jpg

After about a half an hours worth of work, the drawer was back in business and nicely fitted back in the piece.

 photo drawer014.jpg