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I am looking for some direction about some love I can give to a barrister bookcase I found for dirt cheap.

It has some loss at a corner and bottom and I'm thinking it may be best to buy new (real) wood sides and use a router to make the shelves and door hardware line up to new sides. It has real wood on top, shelves and doors but the sides are found to be a composite when you peel back the edge piece (see photos).

The finish and most everything else about it is fine (it needs to be cleaned) so I'd like to keep it as close to original as possible. I don't think it's an antique considering the composite sides and plastic hardware on the doors but still don't want it to die if I can fix it up.

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More pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/U2AMhQuKbLn6j22h6

  • Honestly, I'm not sure this piece is worth the many hours you will have to put into it. This is just factory made plastic, MDF, with wood facing construction -- probably from an big box office supply place. It probably arrived to the store as a flatpack and was assembled there, so this is basically Ikea build. Do you have a shop to work in? If not, then you will need one. What is your skillset? Have you ever repaired carcase furniture before? What tools do you have? Edit the question and tell us so we can set reasonable expectations. – jdv May 2 at 12:13
  • I was concerned that might be true. I have done quite a bit of home improvement stuff but not much carpentry. I have access to a shop with pretty much every tool imaginable but the time it may take, as you said, might not be worth it. Thank you for the feedback! – Shannon May 3 at 15:20

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