Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #22: Upcycling Old Furniture for the Dungeon

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Blog entry by retired_guru posted 12-03-2014 12:21 AM 1913 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Dungeon Gets A Lumber Rack Part 22 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 23: Finished Bureau-Turned-Bench And Organizing »

I have been making one heck of a mess in the dungeon, lately. Seriously. But it’s a necessary mess, because I am slowly upcycling two pieces of old, beat-up furniture that had been in the dungeon for well over a decade into workbenches that will never win a beauty contest, but will surely be stout workhorses until their final day. I can only show you the one I am working on right now. The other one needs a new top. That will have to wait until this one is finished and I can store all the clutter into the many drawers.

This first picture is of the space the upcycled bureau will go into. It used to be in front of the old oil tank:

After a couple of hours of chiseling off the cracked and peeling veneer from its top, this is what it looks like:

Some of the veneer was still tight to the top and needed to be chiseled and pried with some damage to the underlying wood inevitable. You can see the glue was tenacious enough in some spots that all I could do was sand it smooth and let it be:

Another view of the top after being sanded with 120 grit with the belt sander:

I applied Vinyl Wood Patch to the damaged areas. The stuff I had on hand was old. By the time I got to the end closest to the camera is was drying and difficult to spread:

A couple of hours later I took the belt sander to the top, starting with 40 grit and ending with 120 grit. After a thorough wipe down with denatured alcohol I liberally applied a lemon oil for furniture restorative to the top. I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to add a lip around the back and sides. Inevitably things get shoved over the back and side edge and are forever lost. I took two long 3-1/2” wide pallet slats that I have milled down to 5/8” with the thickness planer and formed a 1” high border around the two sides and back. I applied the lemon oil to these as well. The new bench fits perfectly in the space I made for it:

Tomorrow I will work on the drawers, cleaning each one up and making sure the drawer runners are working. I’m pretty sure I am missing the bottom drawer and one of the top smaller ones. I can make replacements later on. The goal is to get the shop placed and organized in as soon as possible to make the Christmas gifts I have in mind.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

2 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


3065 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 12-03-2014 06:33 PM

You are demonstrating a trait most Lumberjocks that I know have and that is frugality. Nice save on the dresser.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2129 days

#2 posted 12-03-2014 10:54 PM

You are demonstrating a trait most Lumberjocks that I know have and that is frugality. Nice save on the dresser.

- luv2learn

Thanks you, sir. Frugality is a must if I am going to make something of this workshop. Check out my latest post (if you haven’t as yet) and see what the dresser looks like now. :)

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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