Refinishing a roadside find

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Project by nobuckle posted 09-17-2011 10:11 PM 2852 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 2513 days

#1 posted 09-17-2011 10:37 PM

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

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

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2734 days

#2 posted 09-17-2011 10:58 PM

Another mans trash is your treasure! Very nicely done.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3426 days

#3 posted 09-17-2011 10:59 PM

Good save!

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

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 2517 days

#4 posted 09-17-2011 11:19 PM

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 2594 days

#5 posted 09-18-2011 12:14 AM

Good Job!

-- Go Blue!

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2559 days

#6 posted 09-18-2011 01:39 AM

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


14462 posts in 3552 days

#7 posted 09-18-2011 07:05 AM

Very nice work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3077 days

#8 posted 09-18-2011 07:30 AM

good job on the upcycling :-)


View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2766 days

#9 posted 09-18-2011 03:20 PM

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

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View bob62's profile


160 posts in 2579 days

#10 posted 09-18-2011 07:40 PM

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


3599 posts in 2449 days

#11 posted 09-18-2011 09:33 PM

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


11643 posts in 3051 days

#12 posted 09-18-2011 11:02 PM

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

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

View MoshupTrail's profile


304 posts in 2442 days

#13 posted 09-19-2011 04:05 AM

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


5399 posts in 3625 days

#14 posted 09-19-2011 05:16 PM

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


1160 posts in 2652 days

#15 posted 09-19-2011 10:37 PM

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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