Box of Drawers

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Project by GaryK posted 01-28-2008 10:02 PM 190102 views 156 times favorited 197 comments Add to Favorites Watch


This project took 4 days of thinking and 4 weeks of work. My wife has been after me to make a box to
keep all her cross stitching supplies in. Then the “Not just any Box” contest came up. I figured that
I would kill two birds with one stone. The box is a cube 17” square with the feet height of 7/8” and
extending beyond the cube 3/8” on each side. It will fit into an 18” cube. I made it as compact as
I could and still hold all her supplies.

Case: mahogany
Front: Quilted maple, ebony and quilted sapel.
Drawer sides, bottoms and dividers: maple plywood.
Drawer front and back: Peruvian walnut
Drawer face: quilted maple, Peruvian walnut, poplar
Feet: Wenge

It’s kind a lot to take in, in just a few pictures so I have included these showing more angles.
For any of the pictures that don’t show up in full you can view them at

Here it shows all the drawers open displaying the pin joinery. All drawers have full extension wood
dovetailed slides. Like something that has 24 of anything it gets real boring after a while. After applying
336 pins in the drawers, I hope not to see any for a long time. The ends were dyed and dried before
inserting them into the drawers to avoid any bleeding into the maple sides.

Here is a closeup showing continuous quilted pattern across all drawer faces and the details
of the corners. The corners were cut 1/8” deep and inlayed with walnut. Then 3 holes were drilled
part way through and filled with poplar dowels. The endgrain on the dowels surprised me with how good
they looked once flushed.

The following two show the back with and without the doors open. Here I tried to made the
back copy the front as far as the drawer layout was concerned.


I have included some construction details that I felt might be of interest.

I don’t think I will ever make anything with so many drawers ever again. The full extension dovetailed
drawer slides seemed to take forever!

Here is one

A close up view

How the slide stop was done with a peg

Here is part of it installed in the box:

And the other part installed on the drawer bottoms

For the front and back of the drawers I also used walnut. For the fronts it allowed
me to drill through the maple to expose the darker walnut.


For the drawer handles I drilled through the maple surface into the walnut behind it for a great
contrast. The handles presented another problem. At first I was just going to put little knobs in
the holes, but my wife was going to keep hundreds if different colored thread in there and I wanted
to have it organized so that she could find it easily. The solution was name tags built into the
handles. The slot was the hard part. I started by putting a groove down the length of wood as
seen here:

Then after cutting it into handle sized pieces I glued a thin 1/16” piece of Laotian Boxwood
on it creating the slot for the label to slide into. The boxbood is great because it is strong
machines great, and is splinter free.

Here it is completed and the fixture I used to route the window.

The last thing is the finish on the quilted maple drawer fronts. To get the quilted figure to
really stand out I used a brown water based dye very diluted to about the color of a weak tea.
The dye really soaks into the wood especially the quilt pattern. Then I sanded off just enough
to leave the dye in the quilted pattern. Then applied a oil poly.

I didn’t want any handles on the box so to keep the doors closed I embeded small magnets in
the case and door. The lower drawer is opened using the notch above it.

The feet are made from wenge, and I tried to make it look like the box was floating.

I am leaving for California tomorrow so I will answer any questions when I can get online.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

197 comments so far

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5555 days

#1 posted 01-28-2008 10:07 PM

O my goodness man!

That’s just crazy beautiful and skillfully made!

Wow! Congratulations.

-- Paul, Kentucky

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5777 days

#2 posted 01-28-2008 10:08 PM

I’m floored. Beautiful…just breathtaking.

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 5791 days

#3 posted 01-28-2008 10:10 PM


Amazing, I’ve no doubt this will become a heirloom for generations to come! Well done.

Good Health
Tony Ward

View John's profile


341 posts in 5261 days

#4 posted 01-28-2008 10:12 PM

Man that is incredible – those full extension dovetail slides are genius!

-- John - Central PA -

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 5303 days

#5 posted 01-28-2008 10:18 PM

Daaang! Do you ever sleep? That is awesome!
I am overwhelmed by not only the detail involved here, but the AMOUNT of it…
I would have been burned out after making ONE drawer.

-- Jon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5526 days

#6 posted 01-28-2008 10:22 PM


-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 5402 days

#7 posted 01-28-2008 10:26 PM

That is fantastic. The detail, the wood, the engineering. A most impressive box, although calling it a box is like calling a Picaso a drawing.

-- Working at Woodworking

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 5317 days

#8 posted 01-28-2008 10:36 PM

Very beautiful box.

-- Still learning everything

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5314 days

#9 posted 01-28-2008 10:41 PM

That is one hell of a project Gary. Beautiful job.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Pete Santos's profile

Pete Santos

172 posts in 5471 days

#10 posted 01-28-2008 10:49 PM


-- Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and love.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5446 days

#11 posted 01-28-2008 11:18 PM

one heck of a box !

amazing work.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5681 days

#12 posted 01-28-2008 11:21 PM

That is just ridiculously amazing. ((((shaking head))))

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

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 5364 days

#13 posted 01-28-2008 11:24 PM

Beautifully fitted inside the size rule of the competition Gary, and exquisite in its design and execution. A stunning piece of work!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5425 days

#14 posted 01-28-2008 11:53 PM

My word! Gary, I think you are up for a two-fer on these contests. This is just incredible. I am flabergasted!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 5351 days

#15 posted 01-29-2008 12:05 AM


Your box project blows me away. It must have been a long four weeks of work. Great design, beautiful work and finish.

I can only dream of this kind of project.



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