Internet Horology Club 185
Query on cabinet bench restoration

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December 04, 2012, 11:36
Sunny Wallace
Query on cabinet bench restoration
Thanks for the space to post info and request knowledge.

[URL=Taken by AsunnyoneAsunnywallace ]Taken by AsunnyoneAsunnywallace [/URL]

We salvaged an old cabinet from a historical block where houses were headed for county demolition. The cabinet was a beast to remove...almost buried in an old barn infested with varmints, spiders, skeeters...whomever once owned the cabinet decided to roost pigeons in it and it may be the cedar bedding and straw that preserved the quartersawn tiger oak.

That said, the cabinet is now in the process of restoration. One drawer is missing but we have period wood to replace it.

My question pertains to seems like a Rosberg but the handles, which are wooden, oak and turned on a lathe are different than the usual, plus, the drawers and apron are all located on the left side

making me think it is not a watchmaker's bench or it was a custom order for a lefty....
note that the apron or slide is the same width as the drawers and is positioned as the uppermost left hand pullout
the back side is the same raise paneled design, finished to be seen and has an opening that I initially thought was to vent apothecaries but more likely was designed as a handhold for transporting or shifting.
The pulls, wooden, with nickel over brass backing risers and secured to the drawer face with wood screws, may indicate an 1880's date...was Rosberg manufacturing then?
Each if not all of the drawers are embossed on the side with the number 4' and the font is seemingly early Craftsmen style.

All that said, if I could determine origine it would be easier to fabricate or produce the missing components on the right side. Markings indicate a striker for a lock center in the right side section, tracks for something else and maybe a shelf.

Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated. While cleaning and hand sanding, I did find a tiny steel file wedged in the drawer back. There were also two odd pieces similar to windo latches in the cabinet but not affixed along with a glass door intact that is the same oak and vintage but I expect it wasn't part of this cabinet.

Other than that, one drawer seems to have the number 263 scrawled across the underside.

Thanks, Sunny who is going to try to get pix posted
December 04, 2012, 11:45
Sunny Wallace
December 04, 2012, 11:56
Dave Turner
Sunny, What is the height of the top? I haven't seen one like it.

Dave Turner
December 05, 2012, 00:22
Sunny Wallace
December 05, 2012, 00:24
Sunny Wallace
December 05, 2012, 00:26
Sunny Wallace

I'll post measures tomorrow...still, I think the depth is 17 or 18 inches.

Thank you.
December 05, 2012, 22:16
Sunny Wallace
Dave, the cabinet or workbench stands about 46 inches tall measured from foot to top...when the edge molding is added I expect the height will increase an inch or more....and there are no indicators for casters thos I spouse it could have stood on a rolling platform originally)

the bench top and cabinet width is 44 inches or so but the measure would not include finish molding so add 1 to 1.5" for that...

and the cabinet depth is 17 to 18 inches, contingent upon where the measure is taken.

Thank you.
December 05, 2012, 23:06
Dave Turner
Looks like you're going to have a very nice cabinet. But the height seems to be pretty tall to me. Most of the ones I looked at before I bought it, were about 36" to the working surface.
Then again, maybe it's designed for sitting on a tall stool. Be sure and post some finished pictures.

Dave Turner
April 10, 2015, 22:16
David E. Booth, Jr.
My grandfather was a pharmacist (graduated University of MAryland School of Pharmacy in 1924), and had a cabinet like that one in the back room of the drugstore. He kept pill moulds and capsule trays in the side drawers. The center opening had a door on it, and he had a shelf in that side. His encased balance scale used to sit on the shelf.

He kept large graduates in the lower portion of the cabinet, under the shelf. I don't know if it was specifically made for that, or if his father (who was also a pharmacist and who started their pharmacy business in the late 1890's) simply acquired it somewhere.