|Army nurse monument in Kolobrzeg, Poland. Taken from Wikipedia Commons|
. . .
Ok, a little dramatic maybe, but a few nights ago the scene crossed my mind after I heard my wife's voice, colored with an annoyed tone, call from our bedroom. We have an antique dresser that belonged to my wife's grandmother, and she was trying to shift it out to reach the plugin the dresser was strategically placed infront. A pull and a chift and the glue in the joints gave up the goose and failed. The mortise and tenon joints of the dividers seperated all the way up, the drawers fell out, and my work started.
|The dresser after transporting it to the shop. It doesn't look so bad now because I held it together with several ratchet straps to make the journey. You can still see it has led a long hard life.|
|All the tenons of the front divider rails were loose all the way up on both sides.|
|My wife squawked when she went to pull it out from the wall and the dividers all popped loose and a couple of drawers dropped.|
|Event the top rail was separating though it was being held in place by the top.|
|On both sides of the drawer, the sides had disintegrated or broke at the grove that would hold the bottom. I wasn't sure how I was going to fix that yet.|
|Even the back was separating from the corner on one side.|
|Can you see the giraffe? There were five stickers on the top at one point.|
As the dresser sat in my home I couldn't have told you for sure what wood it was made from. One, I hadn't paid that much attention before but two, it also had a thick stain and shellaced finish on it. If pressed I would have guessed a cherry or other fruit wood. As it turns out the whole damn thing is poplar, so if I had to guess I would say that this was a fairly cheep piece of furniture at the time it was made, but there is not a glued panel in the piece. the wide top and the solid wood bottoms of the drawers are all single piece solid wood.
The joinery is all machine cut, but there is evidence of hand planing and I'm pretty sure hand assembly by someone who knew what they were doing. It's funny to think of this as being a cheeper piece of furniture. Recently I picked up an order of poplar from my hardwood dealer and I specifically asked for the widest stock they could find and the best I got was a board 11 1/2"wide. It's a sad thing that wide stock has become such a rare thing in this day and age.
Ratione et Passionis