Matching Dresser

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Project by Dinger posted 09-01-2016 05:51 PM 1503 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this dresser to match the crib for my son’s bedroom set. I intend to also build a nightstand to complete the set. The dresser is made from highly figured maple, and maple plywood. Not only does it have crazy figure, but a few pieces were also stupid-wide. One was 18” and a few were just over 16”. Awesome. The top is made from only two pieces (not sure why the second picture flipped).

As with the crib (i finished the crib and dresser all at once) I neglected to raise the grain before using the TransTint dye and didn’t realize it until after beginning to apply the Arm R Seal topcoat. My plan is to have my son live out of front-less drawer boxes while I address this someday. My plan is to knock back the Arm-R-Seal and build enough coats to render the raised grain unnoticeable.

The design is loosely based on the complimentary plan to the crib, but if you look at those plans you can see I made some modifications. I wasn’t feeling open shelves, and I don’t like the looks of non-graduated drawers. So the guts are all my own design. You could park a truck on this thing. The box and vertical dividers are made of 3/4” maple plywood, with 3/4” solid maple webbing, which is dado’ed and glued into the sides of the carcase. The vertical dividers were given the same treatment, and also reinforced with glue and screws.

The drawer boxes were also made from the maple. Yes some of it was curly, but the maple was cheaper than poplar from the lumberyard and I was on a deadline! I picked up this maple for $1/bf. I know. Insane. In retrospect, I wish I would’ve resawed the maple from the 4/4 boards to whatever thickness that ended up being. Instead I used twice as much and made 3/4”-ish drawer boxes. As a result this thing is HEAVY. I’d guess it’s around 180+ lbs. More with the boxes.

I was initially going to make a matching changing station to go on top, then my wife found a pretty nice one on clearance for $20. And I had another crib to finish, so….

Hope you’ve enjoyed this!

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

14 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9322 posts in 3505 days

#1 posted 09-01-2016 07:03 PM

That’s nice. I really like that curved top. A great stain color as well.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4106 days

#2 posted 09-01-2016 07:40 PM

This is a wonderful piece and so nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4387 days

#3 posted 09-02-2016 12:46 AM

That’s a great looking dresser—I’m sure your son will really enjoy having it in his room, and getting to use it every day!

By the way, finishing guru, Bob Flexner, recommends the dying method that you accidentally did. His recommendation is to, after finishing sanding, apply the dye—let it raise the grain—then begin your finishing process. He recommends that you apply the first coat of finish, then knock it back with 320 paper, apply another coat, knock it back, repeating until you’ve got the depth and smoothness of finish that you want. His reasoning is that it’s faster and easier this way.

I tried it on my last project, and I think I agree with him. Before, I’d raise the grain with a damp rag, knock it back with 220 paper, raise it again, knock it back with 220, then apply the dye. It’s true that when doing this process, the dye will barely raise the grain. But it’s a lot of extra work, and extra time waiting for the wood to dry.

So what you stumbled across by accident is what the finishing guru is now recommending!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Nostradamit's profile


41 posts in 2077 days

#4 posted 09-02-2016 12:53 AM

Very nice design.Great looking piece

View harum's profile


426 posts in 2883 days

#5 posted 09-02-2016 01:07 AM

Great looking dresser! Well done.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View socrbent's profile


1048 posts in 3509 days

#6 posted 09-02-2016 01:33 AM

Simply beautiful. Take a look at Charles Neal’s recent post on trace coating.

-- socrbent Ohio

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3583 days

#7 posted 09-02-2016 01:37 PM

nice build

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 3502 days

#8 posted 09-02-2016 02:26 PM

Thanks everyone! Mean_Dean – I really respect Bob Flexner – who knew I stumbled onto an actual recommendation!? I read article of his describing how to “fix” this issue as I’ve described, but it’s interesting to note that that is now an official method and not a fix. After rushing the end of the process (I’ll never do that again) I’m a little unhappy some inconsistencies in sheen with the topcoat. It could’ve probably used another coat or two anyway. Then the figure will REALLY pop. Thanks again!

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View Ottacat's profile


556 posts in 3091 days

#9 posted 09-02-2016 02:46 PM

Beautifully done, very nice design and beautiful looking wood.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5458 days

#10 posted 09-02-2016 04:47 PM

Very, very nice!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3353 days

#11 posted 09-02-2016 11:17 PM

awesome work

-- Greg Simon

View dshute's profile


221 posts in 3926 days

#12 posted 09-04-2016 12:02 AM

Nice work.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

View oldrivers's profile


2725 posts in 2806 days

#13 posted 09-04-2016 08:34 PM

Great work, very Nice build.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View JPJ's profile


821 posts in 3860 days

#14 posted 09-07-2016 03:13 AM

Nice job!

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