Shaw Walker File Cabinet Restoration

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Project by Ryan Hieb posted 10-10-2009 08:18 AM 10429 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a restoration project that I acquired when I was helping one of the local elementary school teachers move out of her house she had this old filing cabinet in really poor condition, and I asked if I could take it off of her hands. Upon restoring it I found a patent date of 1902 stamped on one of the support boards under the top piece. I put new veneer on the top that resembled the original rift sawn oak and oiled the cabinet with provincial Danish oil, along with 5 coats of Bartley’s hand rubbed varnish and a coat of paste wax.

-- Ryan, Wyoming,

12 comments so far

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 3419 days

#1 posted 10-10-2009 01:08 PM

Nice restoration, and beautiful veneer nicely matched.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View hunter71's profile


3237 posts in 3308 days

#2 posted 10-10-2009 01:39 PM

Very unique with the side angled drawer. I have restored several “school” pieces and marvel at the workmanship in some. These were mass produced pieces yet, some have great workmanship. The desk I work at[ computer] is a 1920’s oak school teachers desk that was being trown out. Way too much time went in to the restoration, but like your fine piece, it was worth it. Doug

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View a1Jim's profile


117204 posts in 3698 days

#3 posted 10-10-2009 04:19 PM

looks good

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Griffindork's profile


44 posts in 3430 days

#4 posted 10-10-2009 05:01 PM

Very cool.

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3712 days

#5 posted 10-10-2009 06:14 PM

Great work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3794 days

#6 posted 10-10-2009 06:22 PM

Nice file cabinet.

View jamison00's profile


24 posts in 3661 days

#7 posted 10-11-2009 05:59 AM

Very nice man. I assume the small drawers are card files, but what is the vertical drawer for?

-- James

View Ryan Hieb's profile

Ryan Hieb

9 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 10-11-2009 06:39 AM

Yes, I believe that the smaller drawers are for card files. The verticcal piece is not a drawer however. The bottom cabinet must have been disposed of at one point, so these files used to stand 3 tall much like most other file cabinets. At that height you would pull the verticle drawer out and it folds down to provide a writing surface. I will post some photos of it in the future.

-- Ryan, Wyoming,

View shavins's profile


104 posts in 3280 days

#9 posted 10-16-2009 03:15 AM

great job looks like new!

-- shavins

View Kelly L. Sharples's profile

Kelly L. Sharples

17 posts in 2932 days

#10 posted 09-14-2010 09:01 PM

I am restoring a similar cabinet. How did you manage to save the “gold” logo on the front when removing the original finish?

-- Kelly Lynn Sharples, Sylvania, Ohio

View Ryan Hieb's profile

Ryan Hieb

9 posts in 3272 days

#11 posted 10-18-2010 01:20 AM

I started by masking the area with the gold writing off with blue painters masking tape (several layers). I then used Formby’s furniture re-finisher to take the old varnish off. When you go to restain the project you can remove the tape and stain over the gold writing. On the edges where the tape left a line lightly wet sand with 500 grit or softer sand paper with the stain until the lines are blended in.

-- Ryan, Wyoming,

View Lumberslumber's profile


5 posts in 2209 days

#12 posted 09-08-2012 12:12 PM


-- Adrienne, Ohio

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