Chest of Drawers out of Country Maple

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Project by vetwoodworker posted 03-07-2014 04:49 PM 1435 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the project that got me into woodworking as a therapeutic respite from the stresses of life!

My step-son needed a new dresser for his bedroom, I, unlike my fiancee, absolutely HATE Walmart and Ikea, so I decided to take on woodworking to see if I like it. I have 2 Traumatic Brain Injuries from serving in the Marines in Iraq for 2 tours, as well as some pretty bad PTSD. As you can probably imagine, the noise that fills my head is pretty constant, and degrading to my quality of life. Small things can remind me of the hell I’ve faced, so I need distraction. Woodworking is such a great hobby to release my mind from these images.

Anyways, I used Country Hard Maple on this project, mainly because of the relative cheapness compared to other Hardwoods, as I don’t really like too much red oak or ash. I started by building the case, jointing the edges of the boards by hand with a Buck Brother’s Home Depot Special Jack Plane, and held together with pocket joinery (Kreg). The drawer boxes were constructed with Home Depot Poplar 1×6’s and 1×4’s, rabbeted construction (Working on dovetail technique now). I was contemplating using fancy pulls and drawer slides, but stuck with simple strip and dado slides constructed with my handy dandy Ryobi contractor saw (you guessed it – Home Depot special!) and trial and error. The bottom and top two drawers I decided to separate in a stacked back configuration so as to give it a different look. I constructed the top in the same manner. The back (not pictured) is also country hard maple, not hardboard or mdf (I wanted to stay bulletproof all the way through). The knobs were 50 cents for a 4 pack on clearance from a local hardware store that was going out of business so I bought them all up (Need some? lol).

Finished with Golden oak stain in 2 coats, 2 coats of poly and 6 coats of butchers wax. Please go gentle, it’s my first project!

9 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3633 days

#1 posted 03-07-2014 05:36 PM

This turned out very nice.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View vetwoodworker's profile


104 posts in 2474 days

#2 posted 03-07-2014 05:39 PM

Thanks Charles!

View jdh122's profile


1163 posts in 3584 days

#3 posted 03-07-2014 05:49 PM

Very nice job – your stepson will be proud to have his clothes in it.
While I can’t really relate to your traumatic experiences, there’s little doubt that woodworking is great for relaxing the mind.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View vetwoodworker's profile


104 posts in 2474 days

#4 posted 03-07-2014 05:51 PM

Thanks Jeremy! It really is great, it concentrates focus on the details, drowning out the rest of the world! :)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30550 posts in 3105 days

#5 posted 03-07-2014 06:01 PM

Great work. Great first post.

Woodworking is very relaxing until you screw up a project.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3457 days

#6 posted 03-08-2014 01:48 AM

That is a VERY nice chest with a lot of cool features! Can’t believe you are a novice woodworker.
Anyone who can joint accurately with one of those Buck planes deserves to be considered an expert!

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

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 3082 days

#7 posted 03-08-2014 06:24 PM

Those 50 cent knobs are a perfect match … How lucky you are to find the perfect bargain.
I really like the finish, making it look like a 1950’s replica.
If this is your first project, jointed with a Buck plane, and cut with a jobsite saw, you are a diamond in the rough for sure.
I will be watching for your next project.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3800 days

#8 posted 03-09-2014 05:25 AM

Very Nice Project Indeed & Well Done! Thanks For Sharing.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View vetwoodworker's profile


104 posts in 2474 days

#9 posted 03-11-2014 11:49 AM

Thanks everyone, I’m humbled by the compliments!I started to build a hybrid workbench this weekend, it will be a process! I’ll be sure to post the project!

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