The Usedtabe Dresser

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Project by kshipp posted 02-22-2008 04:15 PM 2869 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This started as a dresser that I saw for free on Craigslist this summer. I had been looking for something to house all of my electronic equipment and keep it organized. Ever since I got married it’s no longer cool to have as many wires and blinking lights showing as possible. So I went to pick it up and he was as happy to get it out of his second floor bedroom as I was to get it. I did some research online and it appears to be a mass-produced dresser from the 30’s or 40’s.

Original Dresser

I started with the “woodworking.” I took the three drawers on each side and converted them to shelves with a single door made of the previous drawer fronts. Finding and placing the hinges was tricky because I wanted to make sure the doors still looked like drawers. The top-middle drawer is also no longer a drawer, but instead opens down. The other two drawers are still drawers. I installed 1/4” hardboard over the dust frames for support.

Then I stripped the whole thing which took a lot longer than I thought. I stained the light parts with a stain and then finished the whole thing with tung oil.

This is when the real work started that admittedly doesn’t have much to do with this site. Here is a list of what I was trying to stuff inside and on top of this thing: Cable Amplifier, Cable Modem, Vonage Phone Adapter, Wireless Router (non-woodworking type), Computer TV Tuner, Computer, DVD Burner, Media Card Reader, Scanner, Keyboard, Mouse, Amplifier, Printer, Battery Back-up, Charging Station, Phone, Television, and DVD Storage.

Here is an in progress picture:
Work in Progress

Clearly it was a trick to fit all that stuff but I just took my time and made sure the wires were neat. I put some picture of the insides below.

Right Side Equipment

Center Equipment

Left Side Equipment

Like I said, it’s not strictly a woodworking project but I appreciate comments and suggestions.

-- Kyle Shipp,

13 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4228 days

#1 posted 02-22-2008 04:35 PM

Boy, you sure can pack things in there. It looks great! The problem I would have is that I would forget
something and have to re-wire everything.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Karson's profile


35154 posts in 4641 days

#2 posted 02-22-2008 04:56 PM

Great salvage computer setup. A nice restoration. I assume the Yellow was not original and it was someone’s idea of making it look better.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4062 days

#3 posted 02-22-2008 07:55 PM

This is a great re-direction of a perfectly usable piece of furniture and you made it into something gorgeous.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View KDL's profile


36 posts in 4007 days

#4 posted 02-22-2008 09:36 PM

Extra cables and blinking lights aren’t good? Man, I blew it again… Nice work, the cabinet really cleans up the room. Ever notice how electronics advertisemens never show the cables? Well you’ve fixed that.

View clieb91's profile


3545 posts in 4175 days

#5 posted 02-22-2008 10:50 PM

Kyle, Great way to recycle. It turned out looking great, I was just recently reading an article about people re-purposing TV armroirs to hold linens. clothes and such do to the fact that flat screen tvs don’t fit in them. I love that you went backwards from that.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4164 days

#6 posted 03-04-2008 06:42 AM

Wow so thats what organized looks like! Very nice job on draws er I mean doors.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3913 days

#7 posted 06-10-2008 06:55 PM

Nice idea.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4540 days

#8 posted 07-13-2008 06:34 PM

A Beautiful creation!

That’s like turning a “sows ear into a silk purse”.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4567 days

#9 posted 07-15-2008 02:11 AM

totally does not scream “media center” which I think makes it a total success functionally. esthetically, it looks great. Sometimes (most of the time) stripping paint just doesn’t seem worth it – at least not until you’re done. So much work. – nice hardware to, certainly not any standard “off the shelf” stuff.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4327 days

#10 posted 07-17-2008 11:44 PM

Very creative, I like it.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3943 days

#11 posted 07-17-2008 11:47 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Grumpy's profile


24827 posts in 4091 days

#12 posted 08-05-2008 12:16 AM

kshipp, very impressive work. Good luck in the contest.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4546 days

#13 posted 08-06-2008 06:11 AM

Very cool and a great save.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

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