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New acquisition -- Score! Oh wait, what do I do about THIS? Help a novice, please.

- 03 Dec 2014 -
23 posts / 0 new

So I finally score on CL! (pic 1)

But then -- oops!  (pics 2 & 3)

Guess someone in the 70s decided to cut off the legs and update with this lovely mirror effect (plywood underneath.) Yay!

What should I do? I'm keeping these, this is the only way I'll ever get an Arne Vodder into my house. Should I: 1)  take it off and put them on the ground, 2) make a new, less noticeable plinth thing and paint it, or 3)  try to get someone to make legs -- anyone got a set of Arne Vodder legs lying around? Wait, make that two sets! Or 4) something else?  I am confused.

Also, there are multiple scapes, nicks, etc. Is this solid or just a really really good veneer? Can I sand it and re-finish with teak oil like I would with Moller chairs? Or bad idea?

Finally, the drawers were all out of order. Does the V shape on the double one go so that, were you hypothetically to be able to look at it through the back, it would make a V? Or the other way around? (pics 4 & 5)

Thanks for bearing with all my noob questions!



- 03 Dec 2014

Vodder pieces are on a framed base with legs, so nobody would have literally cut the legs off.  The screws would have been taken out and the base removed.  The plinth base could be someone's solution for a missing base that got lost during shipping, etc.  Or, the base got broken, and the owner did not have the skills to fix it, and the plinth was their solution.  Or, they just thought a plinth would look better back in the 70's, and removed the base and threw it away.

Finding a Vodder base for the piece would take a lot of luck.  It is possible to fabricate one, but it would be quite expensive. 

- 03 Dec 2014

Thank you.  Any ideas as to what would be the best thing to do?

- 03 Dec 2014

If you could get four teak legs or some cylindrical stainless steel legs of the appropriate size, you could use either blind nuts or mounting plates like these to mount the legs directly to the bottom of the cabinet.

- 03 Dec 2014

Arrange the drawers to that they make a V. That is why the craftsman put it there. 


The case is veneer. Don't sand through it. The drawer front _might_ be solid teak. Usually they would use a solid piece only on the top where the recessed handle needed to be cut away, and then put a secondary wood or plywood below. But this appears to be solid teak. Or it could be a secondary wood like afrormosia or mahogany that would look dark like it does in the photos you have posted. 

- 03 Dec 2014

Thanks, tchp, yes, I like the idea of legs, that is what I'm going to try to do. I discovered the salvaged furniture parts section of eBay and will hope for a decent match. Maybe once the plinths are removed I'll be able to see where the original base and legs were attached. 

Thanks too, Leif E. Yes, I was aware of the pencil V thing and used it to figure out the drawers on the smaller piece, just wasn't sure how the V on the big one was meant to go. But it's put back correctly now, thank you. 

In the daylight I can now see that the case is veneered just as you stated -- it's pretty thick veneer, compared to other things I've seen. So can I gently use fine steel wool and teak oil to clean this safely? Or another method?

I very much appreciate your advice.

- 03 Dec 2014

Whatever you do, please don't put hairpin legs on it.

- 03 Dec 2014

Well, the good news is nothing I'd do could look worse than they look now, so the bar's really low!

But seriously, I was thinking to try to get plain wood legs in a similar shape to the original ones, and hope they will more or less go away, and I'll only see the lovely drawers when I walk into the bedroom. 

What do you folks do when you see things like this, that are half lovely and amazing, and half depressing and ugly? Just curious.

- 03 Dec 2014



What do you folks do when you see things like this, that are half lovely and amazing, and half depressing and ugly?    


It would depend on which half (top or bottom) is depressing, and his credit card limit.




Aunt Mark

- 04 Dec 2014


You know I think I just described much of life itself.

- 04 Dec 2014

Wow, thank you both -- that's an interesting and tempting option!  I now am looking forward to seeing what the bottoms look like. Great -- I am feeling even better about this purchase thanks to you all.

- 04 Dec 2014

Can someone explain the V thing?

I don't get it.
I actually have this cabinet. Never knew about a V on the back do the drawers aligned. Please help with photos. Feeling dense.

- 04 Dec 2014

The cabinet maker puts the pencil V on the back during construction so that the drawers can be removed for other steps of construction and returned to the order they were first put in. It isn't really for the customer per se. 

This can be important for various reasons: the drawer slides are installed in just the right place for each drawer so that the alignment is perfect. (A different drawer will likely not align perfectly on those slides).  The veneer across the drawers may be in sequence. The drawers may be different heights. 

- 04 Dec 2014

My small one has a still-visible pencil V lining up the drawers, but the pencil on the large one is mostly faded. I could only discern it on two of the eight drawers. However, they also stamped each drawer with the number 8, as you can see in the last two photos, and I realized while looking for the pencil marks that these line up, too, in a V shape. This was extremely helpful as the drawers were all out of whack. 

- 04 Dec 2014

Does anyone know the width of those legs? I found a place ( table legs online) that sells many different legs, metal as well as some relatively decent-looking wood options, and they come in different widths. I know I need about 8" height but not sure how thick the legs are. Thanks!

- 04 Dec 2014

Maybe if you or someone can help you figure out a least intrusive way not to damage the cabinet and mount the piece on the wall and make it float above the floor that is if you own the walls of your house.

- 05 Dec 2014

Just go get legs made. Spend the money. It won't be more than a few hundred. The cabinets retail for around 4k and up. The credenzas seem more common than the bedroom sets. Just do it and have something nice in your house.

Thanks for explaining the V. The reason I ask is that I have these cabinets and the last drawer is just off by about an 1/16 of an inch and catches slightly at the last moment. You kind of have to give it a bit of a lift near the end of the push in. Thought I might have them in wrong. I checked and the drawers are in the right alignment. Oddly the end of the V in the last drawer only has one side to it and is barely visible. Somewhere in the world there is probably another Vodder cabinet with the end of the pencil v that matches mine, but for now...just living with it's otherwise flawless gorgeousness.

- 05 Dec 2014

For the record-I have the same cabinet with wood legs. The back of all of my drawers say No. 9, not 8. Wondering if that does indeed mean it was the cabinet with the other style of legs.

- 05 Dec 2014

I believe those numbers on the backs of the drawers are likely the craftsman's assigned factory number. 

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