Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Awesome Freebie!

My dad has recently been doing a major clean-up in the basement at the house (where I grew up), and he's thrown out all kinds of old junk, donated some items, and among some of the stuff he was getting rid of was this wonderful old gramophone cabinet. He was going to just put it at the road! But at least he thought of asking me before, or I would have been pissed.

This poor cabinet has been sitting in the basement in a corner (buried in piles of junk) for as long as I can remember. Dad says it used to be a gramophone cabinet, but the label inside says "Standard Radio Mfg. Co. (Toronto Canada) Type R-200-A" with patent dates from 1916-24, so I'm not sure. I searched Google, but I can't find ANY pictures or info on any other cabinets, radio cabinets, gramophone cabinets, or record players by this company. The only thing I DID find was that it was indeed a company in Toronto, but that's about it. The "Type R-200-A" doesn't turn up any results either, and there's no patent number (it only says 'patented', and has dates listed).

Either way, I love it, and it was FREE. Another perk is that it fits in PERFECTLY with the time period that my house was built. It does, however, have several small problems (most of which are not visible in the 3 photos). One is that the fretwork door is completely delaminated (that's cabinetmaker-speak for unglued) everywhere, and it's all cupped and warped. The second issue is that the bottom right bun foot is missing 1/4 of it (there's a large chunk broken off and now missing). The last problem, and this one is kind of a blessing, is that the cabinet is completely stripped. So I'll need to stain it (lightly on the main body, and more heavily on the lighter woods to blend everything nicely).

The top portion opens two ways, but more than likely I'll have stuff on top (like a clock, lamp, photos, etc) so it's nice that the front drops down. The bottom space with the fretwork door has spots for 2 removable shelves (which of course are missing). I love the burled walnut panel, and the Gothic inspired moulding.

As of this evening, the door has been repaired. I scraped off all the old glue (and re-repair glue) and reglued the frame to the front panel. I also puttied some holes and chips in the case, and glued a new chunk of wood onto the bun foot to fix it (I'll need to either try to turn it on the lathe or hand carve it to shape).


  1. A great piece to hide stereo equipment or turn into a mini bar.
    I can't wait to see what you are going to do with this piece!

    Miss Dolly

  2. The finished piece will end up looking similar to this one, which I refinished a while back: