New Life to a Beaten Up Dresser

My wife, Anita, and I went to the Springfield Extravaganza Antique Show last weekend looking for some things to buy. Me, it’s always antique tools, and for her, it’s modern farmhouse decor items for her to sell. We bought this old beat up five panel oak dresser for $20. For some reason during its life, the legs were cut off to make it shorter. The problem with that is it made the bottom drawer completely useless.

So, once we got it home, I took a look at it and saw that the bottom drawer was trashed so I took it over to my fire pit to burn. I did take the wooden knobs off the drawer just in case we could use them someday.

I knew I wanted the dresser to have legs again, so I took my sawzall and cut out the panels on the sides and back and then removed all the wood in the grooves.

Since the panels I cut out were already the perfect thickness, I ripped them into thin strips and used them to fill the gaps. A few clamps and glue did the trick.

After the glue dried, I trimmed and sanded the legs and threw the dresser upright. Boom! Now the dresser had legs again and didn’t look so pathetic. I then worked on the drawers to make sure they opened and closed well. I even rubbed paraffin wax on the bottoms of the drawers to make them slide easier. After a little bit of work, this dresser was useable again.

Now the part you hate! Anita painted the dresser white with milk paint and turned into a piece of shabby chic furniture. You may hate it, but some farmhouse decor lady will love it.

Updating a China Cabinet

My wife bought this china cabinet at the Springfield Antique Show in Springfield, OH in September. It originally came with two glass paneled doors but she wanted to take them off and open up the top part of the cabinet for easy storage. We have a similar china cabinet in our dining room now and opening and closing the doors every time I want to unload my wallet and keys is kind of a pain in the ass, so taking the doors off permanently make sense to me.

You’ll see a lot of china cabinets with their doors removed in antique stores but most of them simply take the doors off and paint the piece leaving the sides of the case 3/4″ thin with the hinge mortises exposed and all. I knew I didn’t want to have that look, so I decided to add stiles to front to complete the case.

I started by milling two pieces of poplar 1″ x 1 3/4″ x 36″ and laid out where I wanted to rout fluting down each piece.

I then clamped the pieces in my modern Moxon vise and used a 1/4″ fluting bit to rout a flute about 1/4″ deep down the front of the stile. I opted to have three flutes 1/4″ apart down each stile.

The scrap portion of the stiles is key. Here I gauged where the fluting should go and then tested the layout. As you can tell, I had to move over the middle flute just a tad in order for it to line up evenly with the other two flutes on the side.

After the fluting was routed, I sanded the stiles and glued them onto the cabinet.

The reason I decided to use 1″ thick poplar 1 3/4″ wide is because I wanted to match the stiles to the top rail as it was 1″ x 1 3/4″. Had I used wood that was only 3/4″ thick it wouldn’t have looked as nice appearing like the stiles were an add on which I did not want.

The fluting on the china cabinet’s leg started up 2″ from the bottom so I mirrored the detail starting and stopping the fluting on the stiles 2″ from the top and bottom.

This is how the cabinet turned out. The fluted stiles gives the piece a nice added touch and finishes it off. It will be sold in my wife’s booth at a vintage designer’s market called “Over the Moon” in Lawrenceburg, IN near the end of the month. I think my wife secretly doesn’t want it to sell because she wants to keep it. I can’t blame her.

Anyone need a saw?

What do you call it when you have twelve hand saws, a circular saw blade, a clock movement, and an old pallet? Answer; a $350.00 clock.

I saw this work of art  while I was at The Springfield Antique Show Extravaganza in Springfield, OH today. Before you laugh, a young lady walked into the booth while I was taking the picture and told the vendor, “I love it, it’s such a cool idea.” The vendor selling it had two of them available for $350.00 each. I’m not sure if she has ever sold them in the past, but she claimed she gets a lot of compliments on them.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with using old saws that just sit around collecting dust. It just makes my stomach churn when I see nice tools used as decoration when they could be used as what they were intented to do. I checked the saws she used and most of them weren’t of any real value although she did use some old Disstons. Most of the Disstons had handles that were chipped or the saw nuts were missing.

I guess the joke’s on me. Maybe buying old saws, cleaning them up and selling them on eBay for $20.00 – $30.00 is a waste of time. I should just make these kind of clocks instead, but don’t count on it.