Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Another Re-purposed Dresser Found on Curb

Almost 2 weeks prior to this entry I found this nice tall dresser on the curb.


I did very little to fix it up, and added some casters to the bottom, making it a tool cart for my workshop.


Today I found another dresser on the curb.  Not wasting much time I grabbed my dolly and walked over to the house where this thing was, and brought it back to my workshop.


This dresser is definitely not as nice as the first one, but aside from the back that fell off, this thing is made entirely of wood.


I can't discern if this dresser was factory-made or hand-made:  Most of the wood is 1x lumber...


...but all the joints are those wacky-looking staples that only mass-producing factories use.


I removed the drawers and was flipping it onto it's top.  The frame is rather weak.


So I clamped scrap wood I had laying around to parts of the face frame.


Simply clamping it together made the whole thing noticeably more rigid.


So I screwed those scrap pieces to every part of the frame.  Now this thing needs a better bottom.


Like the other dresser I found and fixed up, I don't need this in my house.  But I can use it as another tool cart to replace the 2 temporary carts I made for my Drill Press and Belt/Disc Sander.


So I removed those tools and took off the plywood tops from each cart.  This plywood will be the bottom of the dresser.


I measured the bottom of the dresser and cut the plywood accordingly.


Then I attached the plywood to the bottom and sides of the dresser.


While the dresser was still upside-down, I added some casters.


Then I flipped it over again.  The dresser is quite strong now, and is mobile.


The drawers need some work.  Only 2 of the 6 drawers had their tracks intact. 


2 other drawers had tracks as well, but were broken off and needed to be repaired.  And 2 drawers had absolutely no tracks.


On the day I found this dresser and started working on it I had limited time to work on anything.  So I put all the drawers back as-is and put the drill press and sander on top.


It actually doesn't look too bad, but I have a lot of work in store for this thing.  It will unfortunately have to wait for a little bit.


I also need to break down those other carts.


So when I had time, I went back to work.  I first wanted to cover up the plywood bottom I attached.


To do this I'll use one of my leftover wall cleats.


I trimmed it to length and then glued and nailed it in place.  Later on I'll add some stain to it to make it better match the rest of the dresser.


Now it's time for me to make some of those missing tracks.


To make these tracks I'll use some of my leftover 2x4s from one of those carts that I disassembled.


I used one of the original tracks to set the width on the table saw...


...then cut it out of the 2x4.


Next I'll use the original track again to set the height...


...and cut it out from that 2x4 again.


Now it was time to make the actual track.  Using the original track once more I was able to set the blade height and the distance to cut from each edge.


Then I cut one side, flipped the board and cut the other side.


Each time I cut from the board I would move my saw's fence over slightly until the whole track was cut out.  I then used a chisel to smooth it out.


And lastly I cut each track to length on the miter saw.


Then I glued and nailed each of the new and broken tracks in place under each drawer.


I also need to make 3 of these 'guides' for each track.


These guides - for lack of a better name - keep the drawer attached to the track on the inside of the dresser. 


I figured a 1/4" thick piece of plywood would be sufficient for these guides.  I traced the shape using one of the original guides...


...and cut it out on the band saw.


The fit works nicely on the dresser's track...


...so I made 2 more...


...and glued/screwed them in place.


After that I let everything dry.  And again I had many other things I had to do, so finishing this off will have to wait until a later time.


The next day I had some free time to work, so I first started on the back.  Looking at the existing wood between the top and the back frame, there were a few gaps that could be filled.


A few 2.5" screws took care of that.


Next I reattached the back panel with screws.  I used screws in the event that I need to take it off again to fix something inside.


At this point I no longer needed to do anything structurally to this dresser.  Now it's nice and strong and should hold up to the abuse I give it.


So I decided to start filling the drawers.  I had originally placed all the drill bits I used on the drill press in my other dresser tool cart, so I decided to move them in the drawer underneath the drill press.


In the other top drawer I placed my die & tap set and also my dremmel tool and bits.


Underneath that drawer I placed my dremmel plunger router and router table attachments.


Next to that drawer I put all my sharpening stones and sanding blocks.


In the 2 bottom drawers I placed temporary things - things that will need to find a better home in my workshop - like my dovetail jig...


...and other random stuff.


The next steps will involve sanding and making this dresser look a little nicer.


A few days later the new dresser was being put to work.  I hadn't gotten around to sanding the surfaces yet, but I did work on a new Drill Press platform I've been meaning to do for some time.


This cool platform uses 45-degree angled sides to hold sacrificial boards that easily slide in and out.


Then the new drill press platform aided me in building a new fence for my router table.



This fence has sliding parts which changes the size of the opening to better fit whatever bit is being used in the router table.



I also added a hook on the wall shelf behind this dresser so that I could hang an extension cord from it to better use the tools on top.


Before I knew it I was working on many other projects and never finished this one.  A few weeks later I decided I needed to finish the dresser before starting any more projects.  I removed the power tools and cleaned it up a little.


Then I used my buffer/sander to begin working on the top.



Since sanding is not my favorite thing to do, I decided that every day I'd take a little time to sand here and there...


...until the whole thing was sanded.


This took me 2 days of on-and-off sanding...


...but once it was done it looked pretty decent.


I put my tools back on and put it to work once more.


I still need to fill all the holes and stain it.


For now it will do nicely.


A couple of weeks later my wife and I were going to have a garage sale.  So I figured now would be a good time to finish up the dresser in case we can get some money for it.  So I filled in all the holes, sanded the whole thing and added Mahogany stain.


It turned out pretty nice.




Then I added polyurethane the following day.



I was able to get all this done a few days before the garage sale, which is good since it won't stink like stain and polyurethane do when fresh.

And here's the last picture of it.  I was able to sell it for $80 - which is good since I spent zero dollars to fix it all up.


I also wound up selling a lot of other stuff from my house and workshop, so new tools and carts and furniture will be coming on the horizon!