Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Chest of Drawers

All I’ve heard on the radio for the past two days has been an endless string of adverts for all the post-Christmas bargains to be had on the high street and online. I’m always sceptical but one thing I’m certain of is that I do not need a brand-new TV with all the latest add-ons and features! Yesterday, I braved the wind, rain and hailstones to pick up a bargain of my own, which I spotted through a local Gumtree ad.

After six-weeks of living out of black bags, I’m finally able to say that I have acquired a chest of drawers for my bedroom!

It was advertised with an asking price of only £25. I’m sure I saw mention of a Swedish retailer in the description so, I wasn’t expecting much. A couple of years ago, I entertained thoughts of making one but realised it was going to be a lot of work. If I was buying something that was mass-produced, then I felt I could redeem my conscience a little buy at least recycling and buying one that’s second-hand.

Lap dovetails – I wasn’t expecting that!

As I removed each drawer ready to load the carcase in to the back of my car (yes, I have a car now; not a van), I felt a sense of delight when I spotted the dovetail joints on all four corners.

And on the back as well!

It looks as if the drawers could be solid wood, apart from the plywood bottoms. They’ve used a ‘red hardwood’ for the sides and backs and I can’t spot a veneer patch; it does look like real wood. I think the drawer fronts are made of blockboard (narrow pine strips edge-jointed to make a wider board), stained on the end-grain and with a faux-oak veneer on the front face – oddly, they appear to have the grain running vertically on both sides and also, the inside face is covered with a sapele-like image.

Vertical grain-direction on the drawer fronts.

I’ve never quite understood why some people choose to cover the drawer bases with wallpaper…

It was interesting to find the manufacturer’s name (Meredew Furniture) on the back panel of the carcase, even though the date section was left blank.

At least it wasn’t a Friday afternoon job!

I suspect that the core of the main carcase is some kind of manufactured board, as it doesn’t bear enough wait on its own to be pine blockboard.

I doubt there’s a secret mitred dovetail joint hiding there!

There was a moment of near-panic as I stood the carcase beside my car while I organised the boot and folded the rear seats down… That wind I mentioned earlier, throw the unit to the floor, very narrowly missing the seller’s car! It made quite a noise when it hit the pavement but it survived a fall where something from a Swedish warehouse might’ve taken off with the wind!

I gave it a thorough clean (inside and out) before finally putting it in to position and loading it with clothes. I have just enough room for everything that’s not already hanging up but I’m concerned that I may have too many T-shirts.

It sits on four legs which are hand-screwed in to place. I was tempted to remove them after getting it home. Had I realised how simple they are, I might have removed them in the back of my car, which would’ve meant I didn’t have to tie the boot down after all (I also had a box in the back that was restricting my storage space). For now, I’m using this extra storage space for the board games I carted around for Christmas; the same games that didn’t once leave the boot of my car! 😉

That’s now by bedroom complete (with the exception of functional heating).

In all, I’m very happy with what I’ve found and for the little surprises that I wasn’t expecting. A very quick Google search tells me that this piece was made in the 1960s. But, you could almost guess that from the style.

Thanks for reading.

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