Hander Woodworking received this original Federal Period chest of drawers as a result of smoke and water damage it suffered during a moving van fire while on a trip over the Cascade Mountains to Seattle. The maple veneer was very thick, approaching 3/32nds of an inch. The first thing that was noticed was the buckled veneer on three of the drawer fronts, making them look like old wash boards. The only way to solve the problem was to soak the veneer until the flitches could be lifted completely off of the drawers and then pressed until they dried flat. After drying for a week, they were glued back onto the drawers using sheet metal calls and paper.
The greatest damage to the chest, however, was suffered at some other time in its past. At one time this beautiful chest of drawers had been a highboy. Somebody shortened it by crudely cutting it in half, including through the maple side panels, and then removing a drawer before plunking it back together. Needless to say, this left two grotesque scars on each side of the chest. Though the folks at Hander Woodworking are not stringent minimalists with antiques, they definitely would have dissuaded the owners from taking that course of action and they would have refused to shorten such an antique, ourselves.