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This is the Fifth installment in the Trash to Treasure contest and we here at Woodcraft are really pleased with the participation and response to the contest. We're looking forward to the next winning entry.
This month's winning project comes from Tommie Hansen.
The project is a dresser made in 1922, at some point late 60's or early 70's the dresser had been repaired and an antique finish was put on it. The dresser was used in a ski cabin by Tommie's family and then given to her 30 years ago when she got married. At first glance the dresser looks to be good shape but like with so many old pieces as it starts to fall apart you nail or screw it back together and if one doesn't fix it add another.
After we selected this piece we had only one design idea and that was to turn this dresser into a wine rack. The design is simple and can fit into many different rooms. The transformation of this dresser was a simple one but did take some time.
The first step was to strip off the parts that we were not going to be used the top, drawer, knobs, mirror mounts, and the top. Then we stripped off all the old paint using Soy-Gel stripper and discovered all the old repairs and the different types of wood used in the repairs along with all the nails and screws. Next we removed the dividers for the two big drawers and this was our starting pallet.
Time for construction to begin, a box was made out of ¾ inch plywood and screwed together. The inside was painted with a General Finishes milk paint the color is Lamp Black. The size of the box was set to the size of the opening. After the box was built we moved on with the wine rack. There was a lot of discussion on the layout of the wine racks, squares or X's, the squares would have been easier but we felt in the end that the X's would look better. So we started building the X's the process that we choose was to build a series of small boxes flatten the corners and then stack them in the pattern that fit the opening. We also added small pieces to fill out the space. The boxes were made from plywood and painted Lamp Black and a hardwood edge was applied with glue and pin nails. We left the edge natural this helps the give the appearance that the bottles are floating against the black background. The wood that we choose for this edge was Sassafras.
The bottom of the dresser soon to be wine cabinet had several different types of wood and had been painted and stripped. This could be a problem because we had to remove nails and screws fill holes and blend the different types of wood we overcome this challenge by using a dark gel stain made by General Finishes the color is Java. We choose a dark stain because it can hide a lot of imperfections and by using a gel stain we can blend the colors better. We stained the whole bottom of the cabinet. After this was done we installed the box with wine bottle rack and screwed it in place and trimmed the opening with Sassafras. Next we moved on to the two small drawers these drawers were falling apart from age and use so we took them apart sanded the pieces replaced the pieces that need replacing glued back together and stained.
We moved on to the top half the cabinet. The original top was too far gone cracks and peeling veneer for us to use so we made a solid wood top out of Sassafras. We still wanted to use the original mirror from 1922 so we made that our focal point. We built a new frame for the mirror out of Purpleheart to set the mirror in. Then we built another frame made from Sassafras that we stained to match the bottom of the cabinet. We added a shelf made of Sassafras and left it natural. We did this so we could show the beauty in this wood plus it will help to tie the bottom of the cabinet, the top and upper cabinet with the mirror.
The choice for woods that we selected for this project was simple. We choose Sassafras because as it ages it will turn a very nice brown tan color that is very warm and inviting. The Purpleheart to add color and contrast to the overall piece this wood can be overpowering if over used. The placement around the mirror and the dark stained Sassafras is a nice accent and helps to draw you in the center of the piece.
This project is simple but will take some time and can be completed with just a basic level of woodworking experience. All the pieces are basic box construction and put together with screws and glue.
You can see step by step photos on our facebook page www.Facebook/Woodcraftchandler.
Woodcraft is located in Chandler on the N.W. corner of Arizona Ave & Elliot.
3002 N. Arizona Ave #12
Chandler, AZ 85225
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