Harvey Ellis 9-drawer dresser

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Project by hickeymad posted 12-29-2012 07:07 PM 5666 views 24 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My two girls, Madeline and Caitlin, had been growing like gangbusters this past year and the space we have for their clothing was reaching it’s limit. I’d been wanting to do a large dresser and had been eyeing the Harvey Ellis design sketched by Robert Lang in his craftsman furniture books.

Though I’m always in the middle of a dozen or so projects at any time, I’d decided to move this one to the top of the queue in order to have the dresser finished by the holidays. My girls are too young to really appreciate my work yet, but I hope that someday they will look back at what I’ve made them and perhaps even fight a little over who get to keep them when I’m gone (ha ha).About 6 weeks later, I’ve finally moved the piece into the girls room.

As expected, they are oblivious to their new gift, but I am thrilled at the way the piece looks. I’ve got to say; this is my best piece yet! I feel like I’m finally starting to get the quality I’ve been desiring out of my work. I discovered that the Lang drawings for this piece were lacking in a lot of information (what’s up with that Bob?), but this pushed me to think through the details of the piece as I went.

Southern yellow pine and pin oak make up the secondary woods. Oil and wax finish. Hand-cut dovetails (front and rear) on all the drawers. All joinery is traditional and the only ply used was for the panels in the web frames (inside the case), and for three drawer bottoms.

I’ve blogged about this here:

32 comments so far

View TNwoodchuck's profile


102 posts in 5226 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 07:53 PM

WOW! You SHOULD be thrilled. And your daughters will be thrilled one day to have this heirloom you have created. Well done!

-- Chuck near Nashville - “All you are unable to give possesses you” (Andre Gide)

View rweitz's profile


140 posts in 4528 days

#2 posted 12-29-2012 08:08 PM

gorgeous! – that is a thing of beauty.

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 5291 days

#3 posted 12-29-2012 08:27 PM

Outstanding workmanship. Your grandkids will be fighting over that – better make another!

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 4718 days

#4 posted 12-29-2012 08:28 PM


View EarlS's profile


5502 posts in 3798 days

#5 posted 12-29-2012 09:04 PM

Vey nice work. The finish makes the rays really stand out.

I’ve noticed most of the more advanced woodowrking “plans” are more or less shop drawings with major dimensions and you fill in the details to your preferred methods. It certainly makes you think about the details and how they will impact the look and function of the piece.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5027 days

#6 posted 12-29-2012 09:32 PM

Beautiful dresser, gorgeous.


View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4882 days

#7 posted 12-29-2012 10:27 PM

Total heirloom for generations to appreciate. The quartersawn Oak is spectacular and you made the absolute best use of the grain and rays. Hate to say it, but my wife hates oak like this. Being a farm boy from Minnesota, I love it. Speaks to you for sure. Great work and look forward to seeing more.


-- Scott, Irmo SC

View hickeymad's profile


158 posts in 4460 days

#8 posted 12-29-2012 11:14 PM

Thanks all! I worked hard to make this one a keeper!

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 5576 days

#9 posted 12-29-2012 11:36 PM

First rate craftsmanship! – Ellis would be pleased. Save your plans tho, you know when your girls are older they certainly be wanting another from dad!

Beautiful work!


-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View BenI's profile


333 posts in 3629 days

#10 posted 12-29-2012 11:36 PM

Great looking piece! Nice job!

-- Ben from IL

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7228 posts in 4645 days

#11 posted 12-29-2012 11:58 PM

Beautiful dresser…..Stellar job on the build, and I really like the looks of the drawers and the quarter sawn oak…..My granddaughter is wanting me to build her a chest of drawers…Only problem is, she lives in Memphis, TN, I don’t deliver, and she has no way to come get it….so I’ll have to give it some thought…..I might give in, as she’s my favorite…....She wants it for her birthday next month….I think she would appreciate it….she’ll be 19.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View nicetobenice's profile


1 post in 3494 days

#12 posted 12-30-2012 01:23 AM

This is really a stunning piece, you should be very proud!!

View hickeymad's profile


158 posts in 4460 days

#13 posted 12-30-2012 01:33 AM

Rick; you had better get started if you’ve only got a month!

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3868 days

#14 posted 12-30-2012 02:45 AM

beautiful dresser. It looks great and very well constructed.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View wrench's profile


336 posts in 4064 days

#15 posted 12-30-2012 02:48 AM

Outstanding work, what a beautiful piece!!

-- WrenchsWoodworks

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