Dresser made from $0.51 cull lumber at the orange depot

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Project by Darryl Jones posted 05-29-2013 05:25 PM 6416 views 10 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, I was asked to make a changing table for my nephew, who was expecting a child. After talking to my wife, we decided to refinish the changing table/dresser that we had purchased years ago and that I would build a new dresser for my own midget (that’s what we call our youngest child). As always budgetary concerns rank pretty high on the project requirements list so I was walking through the depot for a different project, I noticed the cull lumber cart had several 4 foot 2×6 pieces for $0.51 and since all of the other furniture in the kid’s room was made of pine anyway, I thought what the heck.

I bought about $12 worth and set about straightening and squaring up the stock for use. This is no picnic as these were some of the most deformed boards I have ever encountered. Looking at this from the “half full perspective”, I got A LOT of practice straightening and squaring willy lumber. In addition to this practice, I also experienced a few firsts.

This was the first time that I have ever successfully incorporated machine cut dovetails into a project. Funny thing is several years ago I bought a wood river branded dovetail jig that I was never able to produce anything useful with. I gave that one away and bought the porter cable 4210 which I let sit in the box for a couple years until a buddy asked if he could use it. So I let him use it and he set it all up and kept telling me that it was super easy! So finally after all these years I used it on this project…. it is super easy!

This is also the first time that I have made drawers from solid wood (instead of plywood). I think this is my preferred method from this point on. The edges are much easier to work than the plywood. This is also the first time that I have successfully re-sawed on my band saw. I had read about it a lot and I knew that most likely it was the blade hindering me but I finally changed it to a 1/2” Timberwolf and man what a difference. I typically re-sawed on the table saw but it wastes so much material, the band saw is far more efficient.

I did get to use my festool domino on this project as well. I was a little disappointed at first with this machine because I figured that after paying the premium that you pay for the “green kool-aid” everything should work flawlessly the very first time. But like everything else it takes a little getting used to. It is a terrific time saver and very accurate (not a review …. just saying).

I stained the cabinet with a minwax classic oak stain even though I knew there would be blotching, but I like the outcome anyway. I sprayed the carcass and drawer fronts with high solids lacquer. I left the drawer boxes raw to prevent the inside of the dresser passing an odor to the clothing.

Overall I am very pleased with the project. The wife is extremely satisfied and one more item is off my honey-do list. Please leave any comments good or bad and as always enjoy.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

26 comments so far

View Pdl's profile


90 posts in 3870 days

#1 posted 05-29-2013 06:09 PM

I have also grabbed the cull lumber and made some nice stuff, but no where near THIS nice. I mean DANG!! it looks like it was made from the good stuff. VERY nice. I doesn’t look like it blotched too bad…

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 3097 days

#2 posted 05-29-2013 07:12 PM

Looks great! Love it when a plan comes together, especially on the cheap!

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3426 days

#3 posted 05-29-2013 07:46 PM

very nice

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4771 days

#4 posted 05-29-2013 09:12 PM

Well done !! Nice design .
I got a chuckle out of you saying that you had a limit on your materials pricing ,(budgetary concerns) , and then later on reading that you used your Festool on it : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4417 days

#5 posted 05-29-2013 09:24 PM

Excellent build. I like the curves, it adds a lot to the design. The wood and finish looks great too in spite of the good price. Altogether a very well done project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

202 posts in 4252 days

#6 posted 05-29-2013 10:03 PM

Thanks everyone for the nice comments!

Dusty56, I know what you are thinking… but believe it or not I got my domino used with all the accessories and the domino systainer with the additional cutters for $470! You can check out my forum topic at if you want to read all about it.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 3037 days

#7 posted 05-29-2013 10:36 PM

You made the cull look great. Congratulations on a really nice project.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 3443 days

#8 posted 05-29-2013 11:22 PM

This looks awesome! Very nice job! Can’t be the price with a stick!

-- Steve

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4230 days

#9 posted 05-30-2013 12:01 AM

Great looking dresser! I’m sure your “midget” will love it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View SquintyPolock's profile


102 posts in 2980 days

#10 posted 05-30-2013 12:50 AM

You do wonders on a tight budget. Well done!

-- It's all in a day's work...

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3773 days

#11 posted 05-30-2013 01:03 AM

That turned out just beautiful!

Is it an optical ‘delusion’ or are the sides curved?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View HorizontalMike's profile


7919 posts in 3997 days

#12 posted 05-30-2013 01:43 AM

Very nice chest!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

202 posts in 4252 days

#13 posted 05-30-2013 03:50 AM

Yes the sides are curved, I can’t claim to have created the look. I saw it several times on the net and thought I would give it a try. I did add the outside tapers at the bottom of the legs though.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3773 days

#14 posted 05-30-2013 03:54 AM

The curved sides are extra cool! Did you work from plans?

Edit: I think I get it now: The case and drawers are straight and square and only the uprights on the face frames are curved. Right? (I can’t ever keep that rails/stiles thing straight in my mind)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Darryl Jones's profile

Darryl Jones

202 posts in 4252 days

#15 posted 05-30-2013 04:02 AM

No I didn’t, in fact I didn’t have a plan at all (another first). I used another chest of drawers from the kids room for a frame of reference for things like height, width, and the like. I even made the drawer boxes first which is something that I have never done before. I needed to complete this project quickly so I just kind of “jumped in feet first”.

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

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