Chester Drawers build #1: A plan is made

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Blog entry by bandit571 posted 02-18-2019 03:15 PM 477 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Chester Drawers build series Part 2: Corner posts milled »

Long time ago, back about Norm Abram’s second season…..Had a 2-1/2 car garage shop…doing all the usual projects for sale….came a request for a chest of drawers…..had never done one, before. Took a few days to figure things out, but delivered a 3 drawer unit. More orders came in, word of mouth sales. Needed a system to make chest of drawers quickly….

So, what this blog will be about, will be how those chest of drawers were made back then. Back then, IF all the lumber for the project was on hand, I could start about 8 am…..and have a completed chest of drawers by 8 pm.

Won’t be quite that fast this time….and a few items have been changed. Back then, it was five 2×4 x 8’s, a 1×8 for each drawer, and a sheet and a half of plywood. System worked well enough…..this will be number 146.

Then, the 2×4s made 4 corner posts, for the frame and panel sides. I also ran two others through the rip blade, to make all the parts for webframes. Other parts were the rails between the cornerposts. Rails at the top and bottom were made a bit wider. First item was to draw up a small plan, to figure out the drawer spacings, and how long the corner posts needed to be…

Something like this. Over time, the corner post got a bit thinner, to remove the rounded corners. Then figure out the side construction..

So, instead of the 1-3/8” thick corner posts…they will be 1” thick. Both the rails and the plywood panels sit in a 1/4” deep by 3/4” rebate. Goal is to have a smooth inside, to guide the drawers.

Webframes: were usually done first….to allow the glue to dry…

Rails have a 1/2” tenon on each end. Stiles have a groove milled. Two passes on a tablesaw to make the grooves. Picture shows the fitting of the tenons, also down at the tablesaw. After all these were made

6 frames, for 5 drawers….5 for the drawers to slide on, the 6th is at the top of the case. All get a kicker..

To keep the drawer from tipping down. Bottom webframe get 2 “kickers”, more for attaching and backing up the bottom of the face frame. Have all six frames glued and kickered….glue joints have two nails “to hold until the glue dries” Norm would say..

while the kicker get glued and screwed roughly in the center….

Used a counter sink drill….

So…this is where I am at, right now. I don’t have the room like I did way back then….so, it will be a couple boards at a time, to do each step along the way. later today, MAYBE..I can cut the two 2×4s down into four corner posts….and layout the cuts for the rails….plenty more to do….

Stay tuned…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

6 comments so far

View rpete's profile


54 posts in 3313 days

#1 posted 02-18-2019 05:22 PM

I’ll be following this one. I’ve got 4 kids, all needing new dresses. Looking forward to the next post!

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

689 posts in 686 days

#2 posted 02-18-2019 05:32 PM

Thanks – this is a great tutorial. Looking forward to the rest of the build

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View rpete's profile


54 posts in 3313 days

#3 posted 02-18-2019 11:48 PM

Quick question: What’s the thicknes of your web frames? Are you using 2×4 stock for those?

View bandit571's profile


22392 posts in 2981 days

#4 posted 02-19-2019 12:26 AM

Webframes are made with 3/4” thick by 1-1/2 wide 1×2s.

Olden days, I would take a 2×4 or two, and set the fence on the saw to give me a few 1×2s….4th piece was a tad too skinny, so they became the kickers.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


292 posts in 77 days

#5 posted 02-19-2019 02:36 AM

Excellent. I am working on a dresser of sorts at the moment as well and am probably just a bit ahead of you. Working on the drawers now. It is in my blogs if you want to compare methods, but very similar!

View bandit571's profile


22392 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 02-19-2019 05:48 AM

Way too many Doctor’s visits, lately….lost a couple weekends.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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