Chest of Drawers for Baby

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Project by mkwwork posted 05-05-2014 08:49 PM 1059 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started building this when I found out we were expecting with our first baby. She joined us on April 23rd and the chest of drawers(I call it a dresser) was done on April 21st. It is solid cherry (except for the side panels and top) with poplar drawer sides and runners.
When I first put in the drawers I was terrified because they were sticking terribly. Now they fly in and out and all it took was some very fine sandpaper and a layer of Johnson’s paste wax on the drawer edges and web frames.

The design is mostly based on the contemporary chest of drawers from Bill Hylton’s Chests of Drawers book. He used false fronts for the drawers, I made the fronts a part of the drawer box. I wanted to dovetail the drawers, but ended up being short on time(baby was due on April 20th!). So I used a locking dado joint on the front and back. Easy and quick and super strong from what I can tell. He also used metal drawer runners and I just chose to use web frames instead. The web frames are dadoed into the side plywood panels.

The drawer fronts are cut from 2 boards and the grain is continuous for each pair of drawers. I really liked that look. Since I don’t have an 8 inch jointer, I used a router and sled to flatten the drawer fronts. The bottom drawers are 8 1/4 inches wide.

My wife wanted a really dark finish but I did not want to hide the grain so I sealed with 1 lb cut shellac before applying 2 coats General Finishes Java gel stain and then 6 coats of 60/40 wipe on Minwax Satin poly that I mixed myself. The shellac really helped it not get too dark. It is a lot darker in person than the pictures show. I’m pretty sure it will also continue to darken since the room gets a decent amount of sunlight.

This was my biggest project so far and I learned a lot. For example, I accidentally cut through the front of the panel when cutting my dadoes and ended up having to veneer the front of the legs. I then used a flush trim bit to flush up the veneer. When I was flushing the legs up I accidentally slid into the dado slot and cut some of the veneer off! (You gotta be kidding me you’re probably thinking) I carefully chose the same type of grain from another board and patched the new chunk I had taken out. I challenge anyone to find where that was! I can’t even find it! (seriously)

4 comments so far

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3635 days

#1 posted 05-06-2014 12:21 PM

Beautiful, well done!! And congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3434 days

#2 posted 05-06-2014 03:07 PM

It looks really nice. I’m sure Mom will appreciate it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mkwwork's profile


5 posts in 2727 days

#3 posted 05-06-2014 03:57 PM

Thanks! Now once the little one gets a little older I can make a nightstand from the same materials…had quite a bit leftover.

View Richard's profile


11307 posts in 3600 days

#4 posted 05-07-2014 03:46 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Posting.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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