Chest with four drawers

  • Advertise with us
Project by Wintergreen78 posted 01-31-2020 02:08 AM 752 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend wanted a small chest to put in the back of her minivan when she travels. The idea was to make it so you could keep camping/biking stuff organized. She wanted to be able to open the drawers from either side, so she could get into it from inside the van, or from outside. I made it mostly out of Home Depot pine, with a little poplar and plywood for the drawer bottoms.

This was a fun exercise of cutting dovetails without fussing over them. I tried to cut everything directly to the line and most of the joints went together with almost no fine tuning. I know pine is pretty forgiving, but it was still satisfying. The pull-out cutting board/work surface was originally just a glued-up panel. I didn’t like the way it felt when it was pulled half-way out, so I added breadboard ends made of poplar to stiffen it up. I went back and forth over how to hold the drawers, eventually I decided to just use little oak retainers held in place with screws.

I was really happy with how my sliding dovetails for the dividers came out, then I goofed up and glued the top ones in upside down. They still went in ok, but the fit wasn’t as good since the tails didn’t go into the groove I had fit them to. Still, it was nice to see that I was consistent enough that it all still went together. Since I didn’t get the center divider perfectly centered, that also meant the drawers aren’t interchangeable. Each drawer is first to its corresponding opening and I put small marks on the inside so they can all go back in the right orientation if they all get pulled out.

I finished it off with boiled linseed oil and shellac.

3 comments so far

View Rich1955's profile


393 posts in 723 days

#1 posted 01-31-2020 01:51 PM

Nice piece. Great project to practice your joinery. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but is the top fastened with wedged tendon’s?

-- Rich

View swirt's profile


7092 posts in 4305 days

#2 posted 01-31-2020 01:51 PM

Looks very useful and great work on the joinery.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Wintergreen78's profile


96 posts in 1072 days

#3 posted 01-31-2020 03:30 PM

Yes, I cut a dado about 1/3 the thickness of the top to receive the sides, and used three wedged through tenons on each side as well. The top overhangs the sides just a bit all the way around so you can use it like a handle when you move the chest. So, I wanted to make sure they were joined very securely.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics