Antique Octagon Nut & Bolt Hardware Cabinet

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Forum topic by TamWhit76 posted 08-05-2020 11:04 PM 1220 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 417 days

08-05-2020 11:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question restore restoration antique octagon nut and bolt

I have an old nut and bolt cabinet that was my grandfathers. It is an original from 1901. It has 72 triangle drawers, 8 columns of 9 drawers.

Upon transportation to my home, one of the legs that allows it to spin was damaged. And some of the drawers do not close all the way.

I’m looking to find any information on restoring this cabinet. It was still full of hardware so it was ridiculously heavy. I’m in the process of removing all hardware so I can work on it laying down.

The leg I get. But the drawers not closing i’m perplexed by. Especially since it doesn’t appear anything is actually blocking the drawers on the inside.

Thank you in advance for any help/guidance!

15 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


6136 posts in 4462 days

#1 posted 08-05-2020 11:13 PM

A picture would help.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1412 posts in 1129 days

#2 posted 08-06-2020 03:49 AM

Did the drawers open and close before moving it. It’s possible with all the weight in it, the cabinet twisted a little causing binding with the damaged leg. Check for squareness. Repair the leg and recheck for square. Is there a difference.. You may have to tweak it back to square with clamps if all the guts are where they should be. With out seeing it, This is just a uneducated guess.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17508 posts in 3837 days

#3 posted 08-06-2020 04:10 AM

Those are beautifful cabinets. You’re very fortunate!

I second the idea it may be out of square. Carefully pull all the drawers and check them for damage. The check the cabinet thoroughly. Something moved…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View TamWhit76's profile


4 posts in 417 days

#4 posted 08-06-2020 03:27 PM

Hi! Thank you so much for the responses. I will get a picture today to post.

Definitely a good call. They did close fine before the move and it spun fine before the move.

I’ve got drawers full of nuts, bolts, screws and random things I’m removing so I can lay it on its side to work on the bottom. Some of these I think are original too. I wish there was a way to know which are as old as the cabinet.

Pic coming soon!!!

View TamWhit76's profile


4 posts in 417 days

#5 posted 08-06-2020 03:45 PM

View pottz's profile


20237 posts in 2203 days

#6 posted 08-06-2020 04:33 PM

i sure hope you can fix it because that is one cool cabinet,good luck.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Robert's profile


4716 posts in 2699 days

#7 posted 08-06-2020 07:20 PM

Something may have been bumped out of alignment if it took a fall.

Pask Makes did a similar build. Pretty neat.

Interesting way to store parts.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View jacww's profile


85 posts in 2226 days

#8 posted 08-06-2020 09:50 PM


Very cool cabinet! Please take pictures as you take it apart and repair it.

Keep in mind the folks here on LumberJocks like to see cool restorations and are a great resource if you run into a problem.


View theoldfart's profile


12835 posts in 3670 days

#9 posted 08-06-2020 11:20 PM

Really cool cabinet, looking forward to the restore and refill.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Aj2's profile


4036 posts in 3016 days

#10 posted 08-06-2020 11:44 PM

Yep that’s pretty cool. Definitely a keeper

-- Aj

View Jeff's profile


231 posts in 604 days

#11 posted 08-07-2020 04:34 AM

Love the cabinet.
Besides the alignment issue. Verify that all drawers are actually identical. There may be a couple that were tweaked to have them all fit. Are the pulls different colors for each vertical
ie- Does the drawer in vert 1 row 5 fit in vert 3 row 5?

View therealSteveN's profile


8670 posts in 1793 days

#12 posted 08-07-2020 06:55 PM

It is a super nice storage unit, and I would love to see it restored to it’s original look.

As for the drawers, they are no doubt a causality of the broken leg, and loss of support, especially if it was filled, and weighted down. It’s simply racked, and getting the leg restored, and back level again I figure your drawers will start working well enough to open.

Note: wood swells, and never really quits growing (moving anyhow) You will have to wax the drawer bottoms, as they are probably dry, and likely will have to plane down the bottoms of most to get them gliding again like Grandpa had them moving back in the day.

Best of luck, take it one drawer at a time once you get it sitting level again. Summer for most of the country, is an awesome time to do that. If they are right now, they won’t get tight other times of the year.

-- Think safe, be safe

View horologist's profile


106 posts in 4958 days

#13 posted 08-08-2020 01:51 AM

Part of your problem may have come from moving it while full. Some of the glue joints may have failed and allowed the structure to rack.

To remove the drawers start at the top.
You need to remove the pin over the drawer that acts as a stop. It may help to open the drawer so you can push the pin up slightly and then carefully pull it up.

I’ve marked one of the pins in your photo.

Once the pin is out you can remove the drawer. This will expose the top of the pin that secures then next drawer down. Go through and remove all the drawers, be sure to keep track of which one came out of which opening.

This will make it much easier to move the case around and make any needed repairs. The case lifts off of the base and is supported by a single steel pole.

The base on your unit looks to be a replacement. The two cabinets I have seen have flat bases that make a lot more sense structurally that the one on your cabinet. You might want to make a new base.

Don’t forget to put a dab of grease on the bearing on the top of the pole.

These are great cabinets and well worth restoring.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17508 posts in 3837 days

#14 posted 08-08-2020 05:01 PM

^ Horo is ‘da man. He has one, and knows what he’s talking about. I would very much hesitate planing the bottoms of drawers; it’d definitely be a “Last Resort,” if it gets done at all…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View TamWhit76's profile


4 posts in 417 days

#15 posted 08-10-2020 06:08 PM

Hi friends! So I got the remaining drawers emptied. It was a process as I wanted to put everything into a labeled bag so the hardware go back into the drawers it came from. Now that is complete, I wrapped the cabinet so we could lay it down to investigate. Here are the photos I have to share.

I do like the base you shared Troy as opposed to the one that just broke. I will likely go with something like that.

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