My father-in-law's dresser

We have a dresser in our dining room storing linens and knicknacks. My wife's father built it in the mid 1930's when he was working in a sawmill in Connecticut. She remembers him telling the story. In the bunkhouse there was room between beds for a small footlocker or a dresser, but what furniture there was, was built there or brought in personally. Her dad kept his stuff in duffel. He saved slabs of bird's eye pine. That's what she calls it, and it's got bird's eyes in it. Then he built himself a dresser with two larger drawers on the bottom and two smaller ones side by side at the top, and a tiltable mirror. And he traveled with it around the country till he met my wife's mom and they kept it through the war and his retirement. There wasn't any mention of tools but I suspect he used the mill's woodshop during off hours. I don't know whether he shipped in the mirror or salvaged one.
It's assembled with small nails, looks like most of the joints are just butt joints but they're holding together so well I'm wondering if maybe assembling when the wood is still a little green might be a help. The drawers are rabbeted but the sides are slightly tilted like half of a sliding dovetail. I think sawing them at a slight angle and then nailing the sides on is a way to slightly deform the side so it's pressed into the dovetail.
I'm going to take some pictures and make a little website on its construction this winter. What I'm trying to do here is find out how many things like this are still around. From the way she describes it, it sounds like there was a lot of rustic furniture made this way and I've started to refer to it as "sawmill furniture" but I don't find much out there on the web talking about it.
I'm still googling on it with different search terms but I thought maybe someone out there might have some info that would take me in a different direction.
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You may want to search using "depression-era furniture" and I think you'll find more articles in line with history you're looking for.
Bob S.
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Pictures are worth a thousand words/guesses, so make sure that you post the url to your website when you get it running.
I've spent a good part of my existence examining things, particularly wooden things, to see how they were made/put together and it's a fascinating endeavor.
Occasionally, if the opportunity presents itself, it's been worthwhile to pay homage to these craftsman of yore. I tried to do that to a certain extent with the "Missions" style chairs on my website.
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www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 5/14/08
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