Repairing an antique chest of drawers

I really love this antique, probably Victorian, chest of drawers, despite its sad state.

Victorian chest of drawers

Victorian chest of drawers in need of restoration

My hope is to one day being able to use it in my home – but before that, it will need at least a degree of TLC to make it functional, if not perfect. I might be in for a looong term plan…

Some time ago I made a start, by repairing one of the broken drawers: the back was partly broken and coming off, part of the sides were split and bits had come off.

The sides are being repaired – the clamps hold the parts in place while the glue sets. Note the back is still broken and the dove-tail joins are coming undone

To restore it, I used wood glue to reattach the parts that had broken off, while for the joins I opted for liquid hide glue because it’s reversible (this is what could be used for “proper’ restoration, as it can be later taken apart if needed).

This is the drawer after the repair

I’m quite pleased with the results!

Ideally, this work should be done in a garage or a workshop – that is, if you had one….

DIY mini blocking board

Reading knitters’ posts, now and again I came across talks about the blocking process and some reference to blocking boards (apparently expensive).

Yesterday I had done a small washing test on a Shetland swatch and wanted to “block” it in shape… hm… but had no board for it. The thought of braving the city centre to try and source one on a Sunday wasn’t really appealing, so I thought about how I could accomplish a similar result. My swatches (or other small accessories) wouldn’t need a large and sturdy board… hm.

Raw materials for the mini blocking board

Then my eyes fall on a bit of spongy-like protective packaging that was laying on the side (for future reuse). Could I make something out of it? I only needed a quality sturdy piece of fabric to go on its surface – by coincidence I just had such a thing, or at least something that could temporary fit the bill. Ta-da! With no expense, I had my very own mini blocking board.. love it.

A thick foam sheet and a fabric cloth are all that's needed

Image Image

Of course this mini board only suits smaller items, but that’s enough for my current needs. I’d be curious to hear your stories about blocking boards – do you use them, what type do you have, where did you source it?