Antique Chest of Drawers

in Furniture

The Chest of Drawers is one of the most popular pieces of furniture, being able to store all manner of things.

If you own an Antique Chest of Drawers you will notice a vast difference between these and modern day produced furniture. The Antique Chest of Drawers will be made either of Mahogany, Oak, Walnut, Pine or some other good quality wood. Even if it is not one of the higher quality woods it will at least be made of real wood.

A modern day Chest of Drawers will quite likely be made of something like Chipboard or MDF. Chipboard or particle board (called by different names in different countries), is made up of tiny chips of wood all glued together and pressed by machine into flat boards, usually 12mm or 18mm thick. These wood chips come from unused or unusable sized pieces of wood at the timber mill and also from recycling old wooden furniture. These boards can be veneered and are used in flat pack furniture, where the purchaser buys the furniture and has to assemble it by their self. Even buying ready made furniture from a store, there is a possibility that it has been delivered to the shop as flatpack and has been assembled by the staff.

MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is something the same again, only the particles are smaller. This allows more detail to be machined into the finished product and quite ornate pieces can be produced which are then painted or veneered.

Reasonably well made and expensive pieces have been produced over the years by top name manufacturers using these two types of material. However, when the purchaser tries to resell them, they find they have little resale value, if they can sell them at all.

Many people believe that when it comes to quality you can't beat an Antique Chest of Drawers. These will usually be hand made, using traditional woodworking joints such as dovetails and using a good quality wood. These woods are very expensive these days, or in some cases are a protected species and banned from being imported.

The amount of labour required is also very costly, and modern hand made pieces reflect this in their price. The whole way an antique or hand made piece is constructed is totally different from the modern particle board unit with their plastic and metal fixings that keep the thing together. In an antique unit, the joints are accurately hand cut and glued or pegged together which results in a much stronger joint. The whole unit is much stronger, longer lasting and more visually pleasing.

Many people prefer to buy antiques for their own use, in order to get a good standard of manufacture for a reasonable price. Even furniture from the first half of the 20th century, before the use of particle board became widespread, can be of good quality and good value.

I remember having problems with a modern made chest of drawers of the particle board construction. The drawers kept sticking and jumping out of the runners, and when I eventually managed to open them they would not close, then the flimsy bottoms fell out of the drawers as well. After that annoying experience I decided to only buy good quality chests of drawers.

I myself now buy online or from the local auction house in order to get a well made piece of furniture at a good price.

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David R Hall has 1 articles online

David Hall is an Internet marketer with a variety of other skills and interests acquired over a period of nearly 60 years. Antiques and antique restoration, especially wood, being one of those interests.

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Antique Chest of Drawers

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This article was published on 2010/03/27