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Antique Furniture/Chifforobe missing key, strip paint & fix leg


chifforobe front
chifforobe front  

Back right leg
Back right leg  
I recently purchased a mission style chifforobe from an antique store in Indiana. Aside from its flaws, it's in good shape. They told me it was from about the 20's or 30's. The paint is chipping off and I am looking to strip it once the weather is warmer. The small door lock is missing a barrel key. I don't want to remove the lock or whole door for fear of stripping the holes; there are a couple nails and a screw holding it in place. It's about an inch deep inside the lock. The lock says "N.L. Co. Rockford" but no number for the key is listed. Finally, the back right leg looks like it's partially taped and glued on. Can you tell me if there is a peg in the legs and how I'd fix this? Can you tell me where I'd locate the barrel key? And, what year was this furniture actually made and by whom? Thanks.

where the small chip is it appears to be oak which is good.  the leg is actually supposed to be one piece of wood from the top of the chiffrobe to the floor.  I would have to see it to advise on the best way to repair it.  a dowel will not be strong enough.  a scarf joint would probably be best.  

in order to strip this you will need to remove the doors and the panels in the doors and the drawer pulls.  if a screw hole strips out dont worry, glue some wooden toothpicks in the holes.

barrel keys can be purchased from any locksmith and online but the new ones are blanks and must be filed to fit your lock.  there will be no number for the key you must have one made and in order for you to have a key made you must take the door or the lock only to a locksmith.  you may get lucky and find a key that fits but probably not.

this is not mission style because of the scroll front legs but is empire style oak.
since this is a manufactured piece and there is no label it is not possible for anyone to determine which of about 5000 companies manufactured this piece.

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robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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They deserve privacy, sorry.

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