We snagged a curved front dresser from my Grandmother's house last weekend.
It was probably my Great-Grandmother's, but there's no way to know at this
point. My soon-to-graduate daughter wants it for wherever she ends up
living next year. Hopefully not with us! ;-)
I'm pretty sure it's at least 100 years old, maybe 150. I say that because
of the Burrow's Brothers label denoting the Roller Guide Line. A Google
search seems to indicate that this system was used between the late 1800's
and early 1900's.
There's a pair of rollers on the back of each drawer box and rollers on the
side rails of the dresser's frame. Two of the internal rollers are missing
so I'll have to make new ones. I found one of the domed head nails used
for the missing rollers in a drawer, but the other one is long gone.
The drawer knobs were a little loose, so I removed the "screws" (nope!)
planning to add some glue and toothpicks to tighten them back up. It
turns out that the "screws" are actually bolts that thread into metal
inserts in the knobs. The inserts have a pair of points that dig into
the drawer front to prevent them from turning. Well, that's the theory
The problem is that once the knobs get loose, they spin and the points
carve a circular groove in the drawer front leaving nothing for the
points to hold onto. Some of the inserts are also stripped, so I have a
some work to do on the knobs.
The biggest problem with the dresser is that the bottoms of the long
drawers sag a bit (actually, a lot) so I may need to add some "beams"
to flatten them out. (suggestions welcome)
I think that they are solid wood (?) because I don't see any plies.
Did they use plywood for drawer bottoms back then?
In any case, the insides of the drawers are finished and I don't want
to replace the bottoms. Again, suggestions for flattening them would
be most welcome.