bedroom suite

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Project by cathyb posted 10-30-2010 06:48 AM 2359 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The dresser and bedside stands where made of mahogany with domestic cherry drawers. The beveled edge presented a bit of a challenge, especially with an inset drawer configuration. I cut a groove in the beveled piece using a dado blade and the saw tilted to 45 degrees and a matching groove in the side panel to add a spline for stability- that made the assembly less scary. The toughest issue was the final gluing of the case, because it was hard to get a good position to add the clamps. In fact, there was a case where a helper would of been a blessing from God-but alas that didn’t happen. Somehow out of sheer anger, I pulled that thing together and got my clamps positioned and square. Honestly that was the biggest issue of the entire piece, from that point on it was make the drawers, add the drawers, clean up the feet, add the top and get a finish on. You know the drill…...

The finish is amber shellac with red mahogany Transtint dye to seal the wood followed by several coats of Minwax polyurethane sprayed with my LexAire HVLP gun.

The headboard is Hondurus mahogany with sapele. Gluing the slats in place was NOT fun. Since they only wanted a headboard, it was tricky to get the finish on it. After all it is rather large with small feet-sort of like a horse, come to think of it.

Tomorrow is delivery day and I am thrilled to finally escape from this bear with all my limbs intact….....

-- cathyb, Hawaii

19 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4252 days

#1 posted 10-30-2010 06:51 AM

What more can I say Cathy, You do nice work. Congrats, Beautiful.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4570 days

#2 posted 10-30-2010 07:00 AM

congrat´s with the build Cathy
realy the waiting time worthy :-)
have a great relaxing weekend on top of it

take care

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

340 posts in 4533 days

#3 posted 10-30-2010 07:14 AM

Great build Cathy! I love the play of wood tones on your cherry drawers. It really takes half the fun in designing and building just a headboard than doing a full bed. Maybe the client will realize later on that their old bed frame does not match your beautiful work and will have a new frame made. Have a safe Happy Halloween Cathy!

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, Instagram benji reyes

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4796 days

#4 posted 10-30-2010 07:39 AM

well that’s done

and very well too

congratulations !

now about those multi-wood doors …....

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dez's profile


1176 posts in 5532 days

#5 posted 10-30-2010 08:05 AM

Very nicely done!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4789 days

#6 posted 10-30-2010 10:44 AM

Outstanding work Cathy. The wood, color and craftswomanship are superb. Another happy customer and woodworker.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View degoose's profile


7287 posts in 4809 days

#7 posted 10-30-2010 12:01 PM

I too like the way the grain is orientated… as you might realise… I like orientation of grain… but I also like the pulls being near the edge of the drawers allowing the timber to be the main focus..

-- Be safe.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5547 days

#8 posted 10-30-2010 02:48 PM

Is this the bedroom set you were commissioned to do (and so worried about) four weeks ago? If so, it really turned out wonderfully Cathy. Great work!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4505 days

#9 posted 10-30-2010 02:57 PM

Cathy, what a great set of furniture here!

I agree with Larry that setting the drawer pulls at the edge shows off the wood.

With that being said, how far apart are the pulls on the larger piece? I’m just wondering because we have an older, inherited set of drawers in our bedroom and in our case, you certainly have to use both pulls to get the drawer open. They are also set fairly wide apart. Your drawer guide/runner layout appears to be a better configuration than what we have, so I’m sure that really helps.

I ask that question because I may eventually build us a new bedroom set, but want to design around a couple of issues I’d rather not deal with in a new set. Thanks for your feedback (and anybody else’s feedback as well) regarding my question.

Hope you’re able to get a few days rest after this completion; you’ve earned it!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4699 days

#10 posted 10-30-2010 06:08 PM

Hi Jonathan,
For the large dresser, I really would not use wooden slides again. It’s just too much extra work to get the grooves in the drawer slides perfectly aligned with the wooden runners in the sides. Because of their size, the large drawers are more challenging to do well. I do like the action and feel of wooden slides for the bedside stands. The drawers on the bedside stands are 24 inches wide and the pulls are centered 2 inches from the edge. The drawers for the dresser are 34 inches wide and the pulls are 2 and 1/2 inches from the edge. I wanted to get as close to the wooden slides position as possible to avoid any potential wracking and that worked out well. Also the stopped grooves in the side act to stop the drawer from going in too far. You can rout that dado and then chisel out a little extra if necessary, but of course if you go to far you’ll have to add a wooden stop on the web frame in the back. I also used drawer tape from Rockler to keep the drawer bottom from sticking due to friction. It’s easy to install and works well. If you use the tape, remember to rout your groove in the drawer side slightly lower so it mates on the wooden runner in the cabinet side.

I did a few extra things to keep my boxes square. If the box, moves your in a heap of trouble with wood on wood. The inside of the boxes are made of 3/4 plywood. I added 3/4 solid mahogany (which was actually two pieces of 3/8 laminated together) to the ply to make a laminate- I needed that much to get the bevel on the corner. I did the same thing on the top of my boxes, in that case the laminate was 3/8 inch mahogany, plus 3/16 inch of wenge, and then another 3/8 of mahogany glued together with epoxy. I can assure you my boxes are not moving at all. The downside of the all the laminate work is they are heavy.

The inside was a web, which had it’s own issues especially when you want to glue the entire thing together. I considered using plywood dividers between all the drawers which might have saved me some time. With the web frame, you have to do all those mortise and tenon joints and keep them square. On the positive side, the web made it easy to see what was happening with the alignment of the drawers for fitting.

If you need any other details, let me know. Good luck with your pieces…....

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5127 days

#11 posted 10-30-2010 06:10 PM

Nice work, on the bedroom suite.

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5479 days

#12 posted 10-30-2010 10:05 PM

That kind of glue-up is when a slow-set glue is worth its weight in gold. Nice pieces, glad it worked out!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5228 days

#13 posted 10-30-2010 11:21 PM

Good looking pieces. Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Broglea's profile


695 posts in 4545 days

#14 posted 10-31-2010 02:33 AM

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work Cathy. Thank you for sharing this with us.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5701 days

#15 posted 10-31-2010 11:01 AM


-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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