Featured Early 20th Century Quarter Sawn Oak Chest of Drawers

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by Kim C, Dec 5, 2020.

  1. Kim C

    Kim C New Member

    Hi everyone, first time poster although I've been reading. I have a question about a chest that I am in the process of refurbishing. Some of the hardware was missing or damaged and I am not able to find the exact replacements. I'm going to use some hardware that I already have until I can find the pieces I need. First, where do you go to find "authentic" hardware? The second question I have is about the screws holding the hardware. All of the screws are slotted, is it okay to change them to phillips or do I need to leave them slotted (in the hopes I never have to remove it again!)? Regardless of what I do, I'll keep all of the original hardware with the chest.

    I live in a 1908 bungalow in northern Alabama. This particular chest took forever to find, I had one and could not for the life of me find a second one. Almost all of my furniture is qs oak, as I feel that is probably what the original owners of the home would have had in it. Middle class, not poor or rich. I've added a before and after....not done yet, still working on letting the tung oil dry before putting the hardware back on. Photo is a little dark, but you get the idea.

    High Boy refinish 1 small.jpg High Boy 3.jpg
  2. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    Mass produced factory furniture but far better quality that today. These arent rare in the least ,so Id just order some matching hardware on line and and change it all. Its a nice piece,but not so rare you pretty much have carte blanche to do what you will.
    judy, Bronwen, sabre123 and 1 other person like this.
  3. Rayo56

    Rayo56 Well-Known Member

    Looks alot better than it did - how is the mirror coming along? When I would refurbish old dressers that really weren't very valuable I'd just go to Home Depot for hardware - they actually have a very big selection including older looking reproduction pulls and knobs.
    judy, Bronwen and Kim C like this.
  4. Kim C

    Kim C New Member

    Thank you, guys. I am thinking the same thing about the hardware. I realize that it is a pedestrian piece, but I've spent over 2 1/2 years looking for one (believe it or not). Either they were in horrible shape or they were way too many $$$. I think some folks think that these pieces are extremely valuable. Mirror is coming along just fine. I'll post pics tomorrow after I get everything put back together. Surprising that the mirror was in excellent condition.
    judy and Bronwen like this.
  5. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I think some folks think that these pieces are extremely valuable.

    Only the sellers........not the buyers.......;)
    judy and Bronwen like this.
  6. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Ebay is the best place for old hardware. Might take you awhile to find what you want. There are reproductions available that are authentic. If you patinate the brass, no one would know the difference.

    I guess I would prefer slotted screws for the hardware. However, I don't think it is a big deal either way. I would say go with your preference.
    Kim C, judy and Bronwen like this.
  7. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

  8. patd8643

    patd8643 Well-Known Member

  9. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    Some of us (me), have an unhealthy infatuation with antique hardware pieces. Please post a couple good close up shots in this thread so we can see what you’re looking for. I have a box of one offs, true antique pieces.
    Darkwing Manor, judy, komokwa and 2 others like this.
  10. James Conrad

    James Conrad Old Wood Collector

    If you have at least one of the original pulls, it can be "cloned" exactly using the "lost wax casting" method. Naturally, this will cost you more than the piece you have is worth.
    If it was me, I'd just replace the pulls altogether with reproductions as suggested above.
    KikoBlueEyes, judy and komokwa like this.
  11. James Conrad

    James Conrad Old Wood Collector

  12. James Conrad

    James Conrad Old Wood Collector

    Lost wax casting has been going on for thousands of years, pretty complicated and very labor-intensive.
    Quicky video above gives the highlights in 2 mins!
    KikoBlueEyes likes this.
  13. Kim C

    Kim C New Member

    Here are some photos with a ruler. Very plain. I'm missing one bail, 3 washers and one screw....although I know I had the screw so I'm searching the floor to figure out where it went. If not, I'll dig through my box of goodies for it. No, I won't put the money into it to get a custom bail made. This piece is for my own use and I can live with whatever I come up with.

    20201206_074746_resized.jpg 20201206_074758_resized.jpg
    KikoBlueEyes likes this.
  14. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    I had no idea it was so complicated. I just thought they made a wax impression from the original and then poured metal into it. Thanks for this most interesting video.
    James Conrad likes this.
  15. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Fascinating stuff.
    James Conrad likes this.
  16. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Yes. I see this is a common type. Hopefully @sabre123 has one for you.
    James Conrad likes this.
  17. James Conrad

    James Conrad Old Wood Collector

    Yeah is, when you absolutely positively need to make an exact copy, lost wax casting is the way to go.
    KikoBlueEyes likes this.
  18. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes Well-Known Member

    Like in the restoration of a very valuable piece?
    James Conrad likes this.
  19. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the pic. I have a few swan neck pulls, but they are more ornate and a bit narrower.

    If all you need is one, I'd just check eBay first for a single (that is close) before you buy a set. Worth a shot.
    James Conrad and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  20. James Conrad

    James Conrad Old Wood Collector

    Yes, Most early american furniture collectors buy from Optimum in the UK, they have thousands of early brass handles from the 17th century thru the 19th century, all cast from originals.
    Now lets say you have an early piece that is very valuable and has most of it's handles but missing a few and they don't have it, send them a handle from your piece and BAM! They will clone/cast the handle for you.
    sabre123, FishLure and KikoBlueEyes like this.
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