Furniture Before and After: 70's Dresser to Armoire

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Project by cjones posted 1702 days ago 5069 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first woodworking project. I made it in Spring and early Summer ‘09.
The first two pics are after, and the third is before.

I had this crappy old ‘70s pine dresser with some heavy dark finish on it that I “inherited” from my dad when I moved to college. I thought it would be a good first project since if I completely futzed it up, I’m just out a crappy dresser.

My goal for this was to use only wood from the dresser in the project and to make mistakes so I can learn. I succeeded in both. The only thing I added was hinges, glue, stain, and finish.

  • Four drawers went to 3 shelves and 1 drawer.
  • The thicker drawer fronts became the rails and stiles of the doors.
  • The drawer sides and backs became the floating panels in the doors. Notice the creative clamping (read: use of gravity) involved when you have no tools.
  • The drawer bottoms became the shelves. Because they were slightly smaller than the frame, I ended up making them floating, too.
  • The handles became the handles.

Luckily, Moms love what you make no matter what :), so now it’s at her house.

-- Living well is the best revenge.

7 comments so far

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 1743 days

#1 posted 1702 days ago

Really nice job, it looks very useful. I used to have one like it (from my dad) so I know what you had to work with.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View a1Jim's profile


112028 posts in 2214 days

#2 posted 1702 days ago

Wow what a difference good job.

-- Custom furniture

View dmoore's profile


177 posts in 1951 days

#3 posted 1702 days ago

Job well done!

-- Duane, Ohio

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


273 posts in 2056 days

#4 posted 1701 days ago

Real nice! I did a similar thing with 2 bureaus. They (like yours) were all wood; not like much of the junk that is sold these days from China.
Keep up the good craftsmanship!

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

#5 posted 1701 days ago

Great job! Perfect piece to learn on. Love the idea of repurposing an old piece rather than throwing it out.

-- Create with Confidence

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 1832 days

#6 posted 1701 days ago

great outcome

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Oldtool's profile


1787 posts in 827 days

#7 posted 814 days ago

Excellent work in reusing the existing materials to completely change the piece. I like the finish too, natural wood.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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