Chests of Drawers

Chests can be reduced in size by cutting off legs, sanding and adding good castors. Large drawers can be partitioned with strips of hardboard fixed into slots made of beading stuck to the sides of the drawer – or strong cartons can be fitted in to provide smaller spaces. Height can be reduced even more if the chest is solid enough to remove one drawer completely. It is usually best to do this from the top. Remove the top of the chest as carefully as possible. Take out the top drawer but leave the cross piece which supported it. Mark the sides and back (in fact remove the back and work on it separately if possible) in line with where the new top level will be and saw off the unnecessary pieces. Replace the back after similarly reducing the height and then replace the top, screwing as well as glueing it to the four thick corner supports. Use counter-sunk screws so that the holes can be filled, smoothed and refinished.