I’m starting a new series called “Dumped & Found”. It features pieces that I have found at the dump, in a trash can, or on the side of the road. Things others (crazy people I call them) have “dumped” and I have “found”! The first piece I am sharing was picked up last weekend. Actually, the story began last summer. I bought a huge sectional from our local ReStore with the plan to reupholster it. After it sat in my garage for months my husband had had it with that “project”. When we recently purchased a new sofa I promised I’d take the old one to the dump (I had already started taking it apart so I was sure a thrift store would reject it). Well, last Saturday was the day. We packed the sofa in the car and drove out the the city dump. It was my first trip to our dump and I was surprised to see how clean it was. Ours is just a large building you drive into and push your junk out of the back of your car, then drive away. Inside our building there is a section where all metal is placed, presumably to be recycled.
As my husband was dumping the sectional, my eye immediately went to the metal section. I told him I’d be right back…yea, that didn’t go over well. He could see the gleam of a new project in my eye. I saw these great old drawers scattered on the ground. I imagined them as bins in my pantry, or under a childs bed. I knew there was something I could use them for. I asked my husband to bring the van around so I could start loading up. He rolled his eyes and kindly obliged. As I began loading up with his help I saw it. The chest that originally held the drawers was laying on it’s side on the ground. Glee overcame me! ”Contain yourself” I tried to tell myself, “what if someone else sees you this excited, they will come swipe it from you.” Really? Really. No one there cared or wanted anything to do with this thing, even my own husband! Ha ha. Sometimes when I realize how awesome something is I think everyone else gets it too, but the funny thing is…they don’t. Any who, we packed it up, paid the attendant a $5 fee and I spent the rest of the day cleaning that puppy up so it would be family room ready.
Here it is before any clean up. Notice the bottom drawer is stuck inside the chest. In old marker on the side someone had written Salt Lake City, UT.
The wood top had a lot of water stains but was still in tact.
There were dents here and there, a rock stuck under the sheet metal and a drawer stuck in the bottom. All of which were fixed with a little hammering.
Per my husband’s suggestion, I wiped the entire thing down with auto degreaser. This cleaned all of the metal and even the wood top. This baby stunk like a machine shop, dusty spiderwebs, and rust. After spraying it with my favorite glass spray Sprayaway I followed it up with thier Stainless Steel spray. It really pollished up great and all of the cleaners minimized all of the bad odors.
I happened to have four casters that fit perfect. This thing is really heavy, really really heavy. If I ever plan on moving it around (which I always do) it was going to have to be on wheels. I marked where the three holes needed to be drilled through the bottom of the chest. I tapped a nail on each mark so the drill bit would have a place to start. Then I drilled three holes on all four corners. I found a scrap of wood at Home Depot in their trash can, cut it and stuck it under the bottom lip. Then with wood screws, I secured the wheels to the wood and voila.
(If you are looking for casters, check out Harbor Freight. They usually have all kinds and sizes.)
Once it was all cleaned up, I really started to be able to see all of the amazing details. I even saw engraved on the side USA-DPG. I figured this must have been military. That’s when my mom figured DPG must stand for a local military site called Dugway Proving Ground. It appears to be a machinist chest that was made by Armstrong Products in 1961. I believe it was used overseas somewhere and shipped back to the US at some point. And then, on that fateful day in Feb 2012, taken to the dump! Yay for me!
Unfortunaly it was missing two drawers. No worries, I left the bottom space empty and filled it with brown paper wrapped books and twine balls.
A few labels printed and place on each drawer probably won’t last long with my 2 year old around, but looked great for the photos. Here you can see the side of the drawer. That is what caught my eye laying on the floor at the dump. Each drawer could be on casters and be amazing in and of themselves.
So the message here is…if someone else dumps it, don’t be afraid to find it! Even with, or sometimes especially because of, imperfections. This piece looks straight from a Restoration Hardware store but only cost me $5 and some elbow grease.
Do you have something “Dumped & Found”? Link it up at my first linky party!