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Friday, May 27, 2011

Modern Walnut Dresser (ca.1960)

I am currently working on a long Walnut dresser that was made around 1960. The dresser has a label on the back, but no mention on it of who manufactured the piece. I can say by looking it over that it was made in America because of the use of Walnut veneers and Poplar as a secondary wood. The piece has aluminum pulls and feet appliques which were painted to look like brass. the strips between the drawers are made of plastic. There are also indications that the dresser once had a mirror, Although I think it looks quite nice without it.

Overall, the piece is in good condition. The finish has deteriorated quite a bit and has some significant scratching on the top. Also, the joinery on the legs has loosened up considerably. The customer also requested a darker color for the piece and a transition from the brass hardware to a silver color. the handles and feet will be brought back to a polished aluminum and the plastic trim pieces will be replaced with ones that are silver colored. Below is a photo of the dresser as it came to me.
The next two photos show some of the scratches on the top.

This photo shows the dresser after the removal of the old finish.
As mentioned above, the joinery was quite loose. I removed the leg assembly from the case and knocked it apart to scrape the old glue. I found that one of the legs had a previous repair that was poorly done. I removed the previous repair to the leg and fitted it with new dowels where the old ones had been removed. I then glued the leg assembly and re-attached it to the case. Below are a few photos of this process.

A photo of some loose joinery.
More loose joinery including some missing dowels.( they had been replaced by a drywall screw and a couple of nails!)
A photo of some broken joinery.
After the screw and nails were replaced with proper dowels, the whole assembly was re-attached to the case.
The next post will deal with the application of the new finish.

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