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Antique Furniture/Refnishing a dresser we were given


General Furniture dresser
General Furniture dres  
QUESTION: A relative that knows I am into woodworking asked my wife if we wanted this dresser and she loved it.  This dresser has been in the family for some time and as you will be able to see in the dresser someone tried to strip it and sand it.  The veneer has not been sanded through but on the bottom drawer it is damaged and will need to be replaced. The dresser was made by General Furniture of Seattle, Washington.  On the back it is stamped 182 Walnut.  

Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  I am interested in things such as: is a antique, its value, when would it have been made, and what kind of wood am I dealing with.  From the stamp I assume it is a walnut veneer but I am not sure.  

I have attached a picture of the furniture.

ANSWER: bottom drawer just needs to have the missing veneer patched in.  looks like mahogany ribbon striped or could be walnut cut on the quarter.  Usually the wal stamp on the rear is color not wood although there may be walnut wood-veneer on the sides tops or drawer faces.

you will have to use the follow function and send a clear close picture of the wood grain for me.  the top drawer and case looks to be tulip poplar and/or sweet gum which would be appropriate for the style of this chest from the 1920s.

as it sits there is little value in money due to the efforts of the previous owner however if redone properly, it would have a store value retail of 350.


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Top of cabinet #1
Top of cabinet #1  

inside dresser
inside dresser  
QUESTION: I have attached an additional picture of the top and inside.  The side panels and rear are 3/16" plywood.  The bottom is 1/8".  The top seems to have three panels of veneers glued to it horizontally.

it is walnut veneer on the top

veneer is done like this for tops.  from top down.  show face, cross banding, core, cross banding, bottom layer.  on yours probably 3/4 inch thick.  sides will be either 3 ply or 5 ply but 3/16 to 3/8 thick.  i have seen some outside of these norms.

core can be lumber like yours or could be plywood, or fiberboard.  new junk has veneer then particle board or fiberboard then a secondary veneer on the bottom.

the frame looks to be either tulip poplar or sweet gum in the second picture.


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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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