My beautiful wife's 5 drawer dresser!!!

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Project by Kaleb the Swede posted 12-07-2013 06:33 PM 2987 views 2 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally done! I’m pretty excited right now. This started in the summer when the previous occupants were kind enough to leave us some furniture. The only bad part was they were really cheap dressers, but good for a young couple with no money.

This dresser was a huge series of firsts for me.

So I bought from a sawyer close by some New Jersey cherry and ambrosia maple wood. And I made this dresser. The top is a giant piece of 20 inch wide ambrosia maple and ambrosia maple drawer fronts. The sides of the dresser are cherry. The insides of the drawers are poplar that Home Depot was selling as “hobby wood” for really cheap. I used Baltic birch ply for the bottoms of the drawers and back of the dresser. The handles are made from a spalted maple turning blank. (I don’t turn, I wish I did, but it sure worked for handles).

The finish is first a coat of 3:2 denatured alcohol to zinssers dewaxed shellac, then colonial maple min wax stain on the case of the dresser and the handles. The drawer insides is shellac only. The whole dresser and drawer fronts is three coats of waterlox (never used that before either). The waterlox is stunning! I can see why you guys like it so much. I can say that this is the first time that I am happy withy the finish.

I didn’t use drawer glides. They rest on a web frame that is made with12 mortise and tenons (another thing I really never did before). The tenons are glued in the front of the runners but not in the back for wood movement. The drawers are on that slippery tape and I can say from this that it works incredibly (another first).

The dovetails….....oh the dovetails. I cut a total of 96 hand cut dovetails in this dresser!!!!!!!! 30 of them are half blind (something of which I have never done before). The rest are through dovetails on the top and bottom and the back of the drawers. I started to get a little more confidant at around number 60 or so. I also have 8 sliding dovetails in the case for the front of the runners cut with my router (and another first).

Thanks to those of you who kindly answered my questions with your experienced responses and of course to the little beetles and fungus that make the lines in the different kinds of maple.

My beautiful little wife is very happy. By the way we are 5 months pregnant….......with twins! And the our first. So if your the praying kind, I could really use it.

Thanks for looking.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

42 comments so far

View maquinasdemadeira's profile


100 posts in 2181 days

#1 posted 12-07-2013 06:35 PM

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8547 posts in 2526 days

#2 posted 12-07-2013 07:16 PM

It’s outstanding Kaleb. You’ve got a lot of guts conquering all of that technical joiner so early on.

Twins? Your one blessed dude;-)

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2887 days

#3 posted 12-07-2013 07:31 PM

really nice

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 2971 days

#4 posted 12-07-2013 07:37 PM

Congratulations on the upcoming twins! You and your wife are truly blessed. Looking at your beautiful dresser I can see you relish a challenge, and you have the courage to start and see it through, well done.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1909 posts in 2513 days

#5 posted 12-07-2013 08:11 PM

Thanks guys really means a lot with your comments

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3513 days

#6 posted 12-07-2013 08:50 PM

That turned out great Kaleb, all those new things you did along the way? They just get easier and easier the next time you do them. Well done, so is it a pair of cribs next?

View ShaneA's profile


7084 posts in 3142 days

#7 posted 12-07-2013 09:04 PM

Well done, it is a fine piece of furniture.

View zzzzdoc's profile


562 posts in 3547 days

#8 posted 12-07-2013 10:56 PM

Nice job. I really like the drawer pulls. And that’s a lot of hand cut dovetails.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View doubleDD's profile


8764 posts in 2587 days

#9 posted 12-07-2013 11:27 PM

A great looking dresser and some fine detail work. Nice work. Congrats on the up coming family expansion.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2964 days

#10 posted 12-07-2013 11:56 PM

Looks great!! Great job on the dovetails! How did you attach the back and what did you use for it? Just curious because my wife wants the same thing

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30462 posts in 2882 days

#11 posted 12-08-2013 01:41 AM

Looks like great work dresser.

Congratulations on the babies. Make sure you raise them to be woodworkers.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CFrye's profile


10773 posts in 2383 days

#12 posted 12-08-2013 02:00 AM

Beautifully done piece Kaleb! Congratulations to you and your wife on the babies! You have no idea how much your lives are about to change. Praying for all. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

202 posts in 2588 days

#13 posted 12-08-2013 02:24 AM

All I can say is WOW!!! And awsome news congrats

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View Ottacat's profile


517 posts in 2395 days

#14 posted 12-08-2013 02:30 AM

Beautiful job, I’m glad your wife is happy with it – now you both win.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1909 posts in 2513 days

#15 posted 12-08-2013 02:42 AM

Greg, the back was rabbeted in with a 1/2 inch router bit. Then I just pinned in with my brad nailer.

Cribs… much work to be done for the little ones coming. Thanks renners

And a big thanks to everyone for the nice comments

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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