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Mid - Late 1800s dresser ($20 yard sale find)

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Furniture8430 of 10565Vintage Cast Iron Swivel Stool    a weeks work
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Posted 5 years ago


(10 items)

I picked up this pine dresser at a yard sale in Warwick, NY for $20. I couldn't really tell how old it was, but the price was right. It had at least 3 coats of paint (pink, greenish and white) along with a crappy antiquing finish. As I disassembled it, I noticed the cut nails and the wooden knobs that had wooded threaded shafts. The drawers are dowel construction. From what I've read, this (and the circular saw marks internal) date it to the mid 1800s. I am refinishing it with a fruitwood stain instead of painting it.

Trying to add more pics now :)

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  1. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    That is going to look spectacular. If you look up the history of nails you will find an exact example of the ones you have discovered and you can get a pretty good handle on the date. Please post the finished example!
  2. stefdesign stefdesign, 5 years ago
    It's going to look awesome when you are done! I love those old nails. Be sure to post a photo of your finished project!
  3. trunkman trunkman, 5 years ago
    Looks like we are on the same page again Stefd....too funny.
  4. stefdesign stefdesign, 5 years ago
    I noticed that... I think we posted about 15 seconds apart! LOL!
  5. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 5 years ago
    Did the nails actually come out of the piece shown? If so where were they originally installed? The threaded knobs are nice but look pretty well refined. The frame is really nice and built to last. Can you show a picture of the drawer front side? I would like to see that. A sturdy frame and a drawer that is doweled!!! I would be interested in seeing the saw marks also, the ones you refer to as circular.

    The reason I ask is because the saw marks and nails could make this valuable well beyond your investment. The first circular saw used in a saw mill and an improved cut nail was designed by a shaker woman in Massachusetts. You purchased this in the region so may have found a mini treasure. You might be well served to STOP restoration until you are sure what you have.
  6. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 5 years ago
    I am sure someone will knit pick my above so let me add that this shaker woman is credited with the first circular saw in a mill in the USA. I can't recall her name etc. but when I lived and worked in NH we had occasion to work at the shaker village and learn a bit....or a bunch. The saw marks are like a scar but the shakers wouldn't have left them unfinished. A mill with the same technology of the day might not have had the same pride in craftsmanship and left the marks.
  7. gforce1108, 5 years ago
    I took additional pictures and will post them shortly. The nails were securing the top the base. There was gobs of paint in that joint and the easiest way to prep it was to remove the top. I will reuse the nails whn I reattach the top. All of the thin boards (the back and drawer bottoms) have circular cut marks. I was very surprised to see doweled drawers as well.
  8. gforce1108, 5 years ago
    I uploaded a bunch more pics to my photobucket account. Couldn't figure out how to import them here...
  9. gforce1108, 5 years ago
    It is complete! Wish I could add a picture here to show. All are uploaded to the album listed in the post above.
  10. stefdesign stefdesign, 5 years ago
    Wow, you did a fantastic job! It looks so beautiful!

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