Century Old Map Cabinet

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Project by Mike001 posted 676 days ago 1582 views 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Guy at work said I have a project for you… He found this old map cabinet up in the third floor of an old victorian house near the Wright Brother’s house and down the street from the Girstner Toolbox factory in old Dayton. He took it apart and had it for years in his garage. It had been repeatedly taken apart, nailed (with a thousand finish nails) and moved many times and water damaged pretty bad. Corners were knocked off and veneer was coming off or missing. I started with a pile and pieced it back together and covered all of the damage with Qtr Swn White Oak. Sanded and used alcohol to remove most of the old Shellac so it would blend with the new wood. I screwed and glued and squared as much as I could then did the 4” x 1/2” resawn trim on the edges to cover the years of damage. The drawers were huge and I mostly just filled holes and restored them gently to leave the character. The high flake in the panels is still beautiful. I covered it all in amber shellac to blend it all in. It didn’t have a top so I made one out of a solid 1 3/4” oak door and trimed it in oak. It’s not original, but it was saved. Weighs about 400 lbs when all put together, but comes apart in three sections. I also hid 5” wheels under the bottom to roll it around. Took about three whole weekends and some evenings. Glad it’s done…it was like having a small car in the shop.

-- "Always with Honor"

15 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


6915 posts in 1519 days

#1 posted 676 days ago

Nice job! Great job on bringing this beauty back to life.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Oldtool's profile


1751 posts in 796 days

#2 posted 676 days ago

Great job on saving this beauty.

-- "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

View Rev_John's profile


93 posts in 2494 days

#3 posted 675 days ago

You did a really great job.

-- John from Jackson, Michigan

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14623 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 675 days ago

Looks great from here. What are you going to put in it? Little big for modern maps; ie, GPS ;-)) (sorry, I couldn’t resist. the devil made me do it!)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gshepherd's profile


1440 posts in 807 days

#5 posted 675 days ago

Nice Save, Be a killer small tool cab….. Work work surface….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 738 days

#6 posted 675 days ago

Mike … thank you brother for saving a piece of history. Props to you!!! Its just beautiful! Just beautiful!

View Ralph's profile


158 posts in 739 days

#7 posted 675 days ago

Nice work. Nice finish.
Yes, a small tool cabinet…

-- The greatest risk is not taking one...

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1299 days

#8 posted 675 days ago

Wonderful save! Imagine pulling out a map and laying it across that new top. That’s a wonderful image to imagine.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MolokMot's profile


122 posts in 933 days

#9 posted 675 days ago

Wow, that turned out really nice. I would not even begin to imagine how to take it from a pile to the refinishing. Very nice job.

-- MolokMot, Rocker, Woodworker, Geek

View PeteMoss's profile


203 posts in 2076 days

#10 posted 675 days ago


-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View oldnovice's profile


3638 posts in 1973 days

#11 posted 675 days ago

Beautiful resurrection! Just go to love the overall look of this cabinet!

You did a good job!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Grumpymike's profile


1023 posts in 921 days

#12 posted 675 days ago

Wondreful save!! what a beauty it is.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View mcoyfrog's profile


2923 posts in 2200 days

#13 posted 675 days ago

When I was in my 20’s the company I worked for had a few of these sitting around, soooooo cool. You did a great restore job.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View cutworm's profile


1064 posts in 1399 days

#14 posted 675 days ago

Well done! Really nice.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


868 posts in 239 days

#15 posted 171 days ago

Really nice restore.

-- Jeff NJ

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