Hoosier restoration #1: A Hoosier Cabinet from the 1920' or 1930's needs some restoration.

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Blog entry by makeBrooklyn posted 01-10-2017 03:55 PM 1881 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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In our kitchen is an antique hoosier cabinet in need of some serious restoration. I know the antique purists will say don’t touch it, it’s worth much more with the original everything even if it is falling apart but the cabinet is not an investment so much as a place to keep our corn flakes and bread. The Front of the cabinet and drawers seem to be mostly ok. There is a bit of cracking near the end grain on the top of a couple of the face boards but they seem to be stable now so at most, a bit of epoxy may be needed to be sure they don’t continue. I was under the impression that these cabinets were made of oak but (I am no expert at identifying wood species btw) the front of the cabinet looks like cherry to me. If anyone knows better, please let me know.

I’m starting with the top part of the cabinet as it seems in the most dire need of help.

The sides and frame of the cabinet are in pretty rough shape. The sides are made of plywood and the veneers seem to be de-laminating. The frame parts are mostly something like 3/4” by 3/8” or something in that neighborhood. Also they seem to have been nailed and glued to the plywood sides and top and then the whole thing was nailed//glued together. The frame elements don’t seem to be attached to each other at all so it looks like I’ll need to rebuild the entire box behind the front of the cabinet. If anybody is interested in the history of the hoosier cabinet and the hoosier kitchen equipemnt company, this is it in a nutshell:

My plan is to use some 1×1 (3/4×3/4 dressed) pine that I have lying around for the frame and I picked up some very nice baltic birch plywood for the exterior. I will create two mitered frames for the sides and two for the top and middle shelf which will be joined to the side frames via half lap joints. and I will try to preserve the original hardwood base to frame the bottom.

-- makeBrooklyn - Jim, Brooklyn, NY #handtools

2 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4282 days

#1 posted 01-10-2017 04:45 PM

If your using it repair it.
An old cabinet deserves to be brought back to original.
Antique purists are only concerned on “MONEY”
A cabinet with 3 legs worth more than one with all the legs ????
Im not sure what your wood is. If the sides are plywood that cabinet is not all that old !
Enjoy your project… us how it turns out.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View makeBrooklyn's profile


40 posts in 1929 days

#2 posted 01-10-2017 05:17 PM

It’s definitely 20’s or 30’s at the latest (plywood has been around since the 1860’s and in commercial production since the 1930’s) but it’s possible the plywood may be someone else’s attempt at a previous restoration, though having now removed one of the panels, I would say that the plywood it’self is quite old so who knows. In any case, we’ll definitely make it beautiful and useful again!!


-- makeBrooklyn - Jim, Brooklyn, NY #handtools

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