Oriental Chest of Drawers

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Project by stinker posted 01-31-2011 06:49 AM 5554 views 20 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this Chest specifically for the winter awards but it proved to be pretty therapeutic. I spent quite a bit of time in my shop with chisels so I had a chance to “zone out” during a large portion of the build. The majority of the chest is African Mahogany while the pens and drawer sides are Curly Maple. The entire piece, with the exception of the drawers, can be broken down into about 60 pieces by pulling the Maple pins located throughout the piece. The curved top is actually composed of 14 Mahogany slats that “float” in a 1/4” grove running along the inside of the curved face. It includes some dovetail work, through mortises and your run of the mill mortise and tenon in a few spots. The finish is General Finishes Arm-R-Seal with some amber shellac on the curly maple to bring out the grain. I’m no photographer but I hope the pictures are telling enough.

Thanks for looking.

16 comments so far

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 4521 days

#1 posted 01-31-2011 07:29 AM

Great, I’ve had a similar idea for a project. I love the wedged through tenons.

-- Rogue

View Seeharlez's profile


83 posts in 4044 days

#2 posted 01-31-2011 08:23 AM

Looks great! How stable is it? Are the tenons wedged with a single wedge all down the front? If so, are they all fairly tight? Any way of tightening them individually?

Thanks! You’ve given me some insparation for an upcoming project.


-- Greg - Vancouver, BC

View B13's profile


463 posts in 3744 days

#3 posted 01-31-2011 09:16 AM

That’s a great little piece of art. also I like the melted piece.

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 5128 days

#4 posted 01-31-2011 10:32 AM

Very nice! Quite ingenious and I really like the look.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View 's profile

593 posts in 5023 days

#5 posted 01-31-2011 12:37 PM

Nice job.

It instantly reminded me of another old project posted here a while ago (

Was it inspired by it or perhaps by the Jeff Greef’s original (

In any case, you did a great job with yours, it is a very pleasant little chest.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3918 days

#6 posted 01-31-2011 02:45 PM

That’s unusual and very distinctive. You did a fine job on it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4170 days

#7 posted 01-31-2011 03:50 PM

Great job, your execution looks very precise, interesting design. Thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View stinker's profile


107 posts in 4011 days

#8 posted 01-31-2011 04:31 PM

Seeharlez, The wedges in the front are a single piece. It took a ton of sanding and little tweeks here and there to slide them all the way down without being too loose or so tight I couldn’t slide them through. Fortunately the maple was stout enough that they didn’t break pushing them through. With that said they are pretty dang tight.

The piece was created using Jeff Greef’s design. I have a link to his original on my blog. I eventually plan to post the process of the build there as well. He used Mahogany and Teak (teak was a little expensive for my taste). I also opted to make my own pulls. I hardly, if ever, use store bought hardware anymore.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3985 days

#9 posted 01-31-2011 10:06 PM

This is very neat project.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View tinnman65's profile


1414 posts in 4465 days

#10 posted 01-31-2011 11:51 PM

Nice work, I have Jeff Greef’s book as well and have always wanted to build this, but all that joinery is a little scary. I must say in my humble opinion the pulls you made seem far nicer then the brass ones on the original. If I ever get around to building it I just might have to steal your pull design on the drawers. Nice choice of woods. Good luck in the contest.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4646 days

#11 posted 02-01-2011 12:00 AM

Mann I really dig the design on this… great job

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 4107 days

#12 posted 02-01-2011 01:24 AM

Looks great ,love the design.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4412 days

#13 posted 02-01-2011 03:58 AM

Sweet design and finish…great job.

View Hayabusa's profile


173 posts in 3932 days

#14 posted 02-01-2011 05:01 PM

I think this will be at some museum some day, you have my vote

View Randolph Torres's profile

Randolph Torres

295 posts in 4580 days

#15 posted 02-02-2011 08:31 PM

fantastic on many levels. I really like exposed structures ?why hide the structural beauty. One quick tip if you would like to expose the true colors of a project in a photo use natural sun light.

-- another tip from cooperedpatterns

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