Boy's Cherry and Walnut Dresser #5: Drawers

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Blog entry by Patrick Jaromin posted 09-06-2008 05:32 AM 2673 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Face Frame Installed Part 5 of Boy's Cherry and Walnut Dresser series Part 6: Dead Flat »

Labor Day weekend my wife took the kids up to the family cabin for a couple days. I spent most of this time in the shop working on the drawers. For this dresser I had designed the drawers with large through dovetails. Since I don’t own a decent dovetailing jig that allows for custom size and spacing, I was going to have to do these by hand. Since I haven’t done many projects with hand-cut visible dovetails, I figured I’d better take my time with these. To make things a bit faster and more accurate, I used the bandsaw with the table tilted to 10 degrees to start the pins and the router table to hog out the majority of the waste. I’m not sure how much faster it is vs. a hammer and chisel, but it was certainly more accurate than I would be solely by hand and saves a bit of wear and tear on the chisel blades—I wasn’t keen on spending my rather limited shop time sharpening chisels!

That said, I do truly enjoy working with sharp chisels as I am here cleaning up the pins:

The pins completed on one drawer front:

Marking out the tails with an X-acto knife:

I’m very pleased with the end result. This is a dry fit of one of the drawers…

I used a simple dado to attach the drawer backs.

I had originally planned to use sliding dovetail drawer slides, but they fit so well, I decided to simply add guides on either side and a block at the top to keep it from dipping. Here’s the chest with the completed drawers:

Next up is the top. After that, sanding, sanding and more sanding.

(originally posted at

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

7 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4218 days

#1 posted 09-06-2008 06:11 AM

Beautiful dovetails. I’ve promised myself to practice, practice, practice this winter so I can actually make useable dovetails. Thanks for showing it is possible!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4279 days

#2 posted 09-06-2008 06:54 AM

Beautiful work my friend as always! Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4666 days

#3 posted 09-06-2008 12:36 PM

great job
great blog!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Belle City Woodworking's profile

Belle City Woodworking

356 posts in 4522 days

#4 posted 09-06-2008 03:49 PM

Excellent work!!!!


-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4356 days

#5 posted 09-08-2008 11:26 AM

Neat dovetails Patrick, very neat.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View NICUTO's profile


27 posts in 4122 days

#6 posted 09-08-2008 02:12 PM

looks great! how did you cut the tails? same method; bandsaw/router/chisel?

Keep the posts coming!

-- Nick, Maine;

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

412 posts in 4338 days

#7 posted 09-08-2008 03:00 PM

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Nick—I cut the tails on the band saw and cleaned them up/fit them with chisels. After the first couple I found I was able to get a near perfect fit with the band saw alone—though I still needed to use the chisels to smooth out the blade marks.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

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