Refinishing a roadside find

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Project by nobuckle posted 1042 days ago 2350 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This solid wood chest of drawers was sitting along side the road. It was in pretty rough shape when I rescued it. The whole thing, even the poorly assembled drawers, had to be sanded down to bare wood. Who ever put this thing together did not do a thorough job so it came apart pretty easily. I had to put new bottoms in four of the five drawers. I also had to make a new toe kick because the original suffered from what looked like mouse damage. My lovely wife helped me with refinishing the knobs. For the finish I used Minwax Natural and a couple coats of poly. The above picture shows the dresser without the knobs. I suppose it’s not really a finished project, but that’s okay. The dresser is now in use and the kids and their mother are ever so glad. It turned out okay for a freebie! As we all know, free is always good. Thanks for your time.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

15 comments so far

View shopsmithpoppi's profile


37 posts in 1149 days

#1 posted 1042 days ago

Nice Job! Oh is that a Mark VII I see there!

-- Think it, See it, Design it. Build it, Enjoy it!

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1370 days

#2 posted 1042 days ago

Another mans trash is your treasure! Very nicely done.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View BTKS's profile


1967 posts in 2063 days

#3 posted 1042 days ago

Good save!

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 1153 days

#4 posted 1042 days ago

well done….it’s awesome to have a vision of what something like this can turn out like and then carry it thru

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Chad's profile


30 posts in 1230 days

#5 posted 1042 days ago

Good Job!

-- Go Blue!

View amagineer's profile


1383 posts in 1195 days

#6 posted 1041 days ago

I love the knotty pine. You have done this drawer justice, by your beautiful tranformation.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View woodworm's profile


14124 posts in 2189 days

#7 posted 1041 days ago

Very nice work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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10850 posts in 1714 days

#8 posted 1041 days ago

good job on the upcycling :-)


View Roger's profile


14114 posts in 1402 days

#9 posted 1041 days ago

nicely re-done. probably looks better now than it did when new..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View bob62's profile


160 posts in 1216 days

#10 posted 1041 days ago

Great Job! I often find treasures like this and rework them. I think it is our responsibility as wood workers to recycle when possible.

-- Robert, Mississippi,

View Dallas's profile (online now)


2855 posts in 1086 days

#11 posted 1041 days ago

Wow Doug, I just knew some one would find my dresser that left home without permission! How soon can you send it back? Hee Hee Hee! It looks good!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View mafe's profile


9456 posts in 1688 days

#12 posted 1041 days ago

Great save, to bring smiles again is a gift.
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View MoshupTrail's profile


287 posts in 1079 days

#13 posted 1040 days ago

Note the key words in the first sentence: “solid wood chest”. If this had been particle board with plastic veneer would you have tried to salvage it? Maybe, but probably not. The point is, solid wood is good. You can FIX it when it gets old, or beat up, or just falls apart.

Nice work.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View TheDane's profile (online now)


3651 posts in 2261 days

#14 posted 1040 days ago

Nice save! You wound up with a useful piece of furniture and there is less in the landfill … that’s a win-win!

I have a friend who is pro (specializes in antique restorations). He finds some treasure every so often when he goes to the landfill … especially chair spindles that can be returned and refinished.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Earlextech's profile


903 posts in 1289 days

#15 posted 1040 days ago

Thirty years ago in Miami I saw a guy put a chest similar to that next to a dumpster, it was made of quartersawn oak. In ten minutes it was in my truck, I did just about the same refinish/rework job you did and it has served my family well all these years.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

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