Antique Sewing Machine Cabinet Salvage

930
28
I enjoy finding old pieces and either restoring them or salvaging them.  A friend of mine had an old treadle sewing machine that she had taken of the machine and put it in her sewing room as decoration.  The cabinet without the base had been in her garden shed for years and was probably found in someones barn so was pretty much falling apart.  It was basically just a pile of scraps (of course I forgot to take a picture before I started) but she asked me if I wanted to see if I could use any of the pieces.  The machine is a Bruce Automatic from The Free Sewing Machine company and dates to around 1900 give or take.  It had a unique rounded ends and drawers which I had never seen before so I decided it would be fun to try to see if I could make anything out of it.  I disassembled the pieces and then started playing with ideas.  The easiest was to simply join the drawers together, add a handle and make some decorative baskets

After repairing the drawer section of the the cabinet, another idea was to use the drawer sections and make a tall cabinet that could sit against or hang on a wall.


I finally settled on a table top cabinet you see in the project photos. 


One of the drawers had been crushed and warped somewhere along the way so I had to glue it back together. 

I wet the thin side wall to make it pliable enough to conform to the shape of the bottom.  Large rubber bands helped get a smooth curve andI had to support the joints with pegs to help keep them aligned.

It turned out pretty solid but I should have paid a little more attention to the how the broken veneer lined up on the outside during the glue up.  I was a little difficult to get clamped so that it was back in its original shape.  This was glued up with hide glue so I may try to fix this spot on the veneer at some point and make a new grip for the pull.   I saved part of the apron in case I want to use the veneer on it for the repair but this was difficult enough that for now at least, I don't want to risk making it worse.   


Here is what the pull used to look like. 

I made the top by cutting off the wings from the top of the cabinet and then glued them together using biscuits and bow cauls to help with clamping and alignment. 

I used a crest that was on the front apron of the cabinet to help hide the joint.