Lingerie Chest

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Project by Derek Cohen posted 08-19-2016 11:51 AM 1978 views 12 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently completed a chest of drawers for my wife, which we jokingly referred to as the Lingerie Chest.

The chest is built from solid woods with handtools, with the carcase in Makore and the drawer fronts in Jarrah. The secondary wood for the drawers is Tasmanian Oak.

This is an original design influenced by Bombe chests of the 17th and 18th century. The sides of the chest taper in a curve, while the drawer fronts are bowed. All the drawers fit the carcase, and required compound dovetails. The drawer blades are fitted via sliding dovetails. All joinery was hand cut. This project took a little over 12 months working weekends.

Facing the chest (48” high), my wife is tall enough to look down into the top drawer.

Since this drawer is to hold jewellery, it needed to be locked. I did not wish to add more hardware than necessary and so, instead of a lock-and-key, added a Quaker Lock.

A Quaker lock is simply a spring-loaded wedge under the drawer. It is made of the following parts: thin, flexible (straight-grained) strip of wood, a thin wedge, and screws.

These are put together to create a spring wedge, which extends to the rear of the drawer blade ..

To release the Quaker lock, first open the second drawer, then reach underneath and push up the spring while simultaneously pulling out the drawer.

The top drawer opens to reveal the upper jewellery tray (spaces for ear rings) …

Sliding it back reveals the lower jewellery tray (spaces for necklaces and rings) ..

The drawer bottoms were covered in 1.2mm thick leather.

The mirror recess is also covered in leather …

Here is one example of the coved beading around the mirror (so difficult to photograph owing to the reflections) ..

The complete build-along can be found on this Index page. Scan down to Lingerie Chest:

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

27 comments so far

View ScottM's profile


711 posts in 2446 days

#1 posted 08-19-2016 11:54 AM

The two best words ever... Lingerie and chest…

View Eugd's profile


65 posts in 1411 days

#2 posted 08-19-2016 12:13 PM

Really really nice, great work

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2643 days

#3 posted 08-19-2016 01:29 PM

beautiful piece

View PPK's profile


1316 posts in 1109 days

#4 posted 08-19-2016 02:05 PM

Wow! you deserve top 3! I think I may have to view this post another couple hundred time to get it for you ;-)
I truly admire those of you that can make such a great work of art with only hand tools.

-- Pete

View CL810's profile


3912 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 08-19-2016 02:09 PM

Beautiful work Derek.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View ShaneA's profile


7072 posts in 2898 days

#6 posted 08-19-2016 02:35 PM

Oh yes, that is nice. It was cool seeing some of the build photos as it was coming together too. Very well done piece.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3398 posts in 3409 days

#7 posted 08-19-2016 02:45 PM

Beautiful wood, great grain match, great shape. Love it!

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

422 posts in 4268 days

#8 posted 08-19-2016 02:55 PM

It is worth looking at this section of the build for details of the drawers:

Drawers are half-blind dovetails at the front and through dovetails at the rear. They are made more complex as the front curves and the sides angle. This requires cutting dovetails on compound angles.

The drawer bottoms are attached with slips.

The slips are beaded to transition into the drawer bottom, which is a tongue-and-groove joint.

A progress shot …

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2261 days

#9 posted 08-19-2016 04:19 PM

Wow, very impressive.

View theoldfart's profile


10528 posts in 2751 days

#10 posted 08-19-2016 04:52 PM

Beautiful work Derek and I really like the progress pics as you went along.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View JayT's profile


6108 posts in 2511 days

#11 posted 08-19-2016 04:58 PM

Simply gorgeous, Derek! The clean lines and subtle curves mask the difficulty to the unknowing, but that just speaks even more to the great design. Thanks for sharing the final product and your progress along the way.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3166 days

#12 posted 08-19-2016 05:57 PM

It’s a beautiful piece, Derek, and you have shown some lovely craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bondogaposis's profile


5257 posts in 2651 days

#13 posted 08-19-2016 06:39 PM

Really nice, love the wood and the London pins.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View DocSavage45's profile


8755 posts in 3142 days

#14 posted 08-19-2016 07:43 PM

Nice work.

what did you use for your finish?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Hammerthumb's profile


2921 posts in 2275 days

#15 posted 08-19-2016 07:59 PM

Beautiful work Derek. Glad to see it is completed. The beading on the slips is a great detail.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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