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486 Posts
Designing and materials

We finished building our house in 2008, but there are all those little projects that you have to set yourself to get done or it will never happen.

In addition to getting side tracked, the shop (garage) or what ever you call it, starts to fill as storage. The amount of things that need fixing keeps stacking up too.

But today is the day we start a new project. I need to build a dresser that will fit right in my closet, between the vertical pine members, just the way we planned it 4 years ago.

Textile Wood Shelving Bag Luggage and bags

I wanted to give this dresser a shaker look. There are a some real nice examples of dressers still around that those Shaker guys made years ago. I choose the "pharmaceutical design" with the increasingly larger drawers towards the bottom.

Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Motor vehicle Gas

I wanted to build this dresser partly because I wanted to know how to do it. I have built lots of cabinets, but never a dresser. A dresser is different with all the stretchers in it. Christian Becksvoort with FWW has done a fine job showing how to build them. I am not following all him all the way. I was going to use dovetailed drawers without drawer slides, but not on this dresser. I need this thing to be done. I need to cut out some of the fancies.

The rest of the closet is built out of knotty pine and so will this dresser. Pine is a very beautifully wood. I like pine and so did the Shakers.

Table Wood Workbench Machine tool Hardwood

The other non-shaker thing I will do is use the Kregg pocket jig to put the different frame members together. I have used this jig a lot for all my other cabinets in the house.

Table Wood Computer desk Workbench Desk

Before gluing up the side panels, I used my jointer plane to straighten the edges for a good glue joint.

Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Hardwood

I mark the panels with the V-mark so all boards have their own spot and I can keep track of them.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Building material Plank

Smoothing plane Plane Scrub plane Jack plane Block plane

I am very exited about building this dresser, and I have a feeling my better half as well. I need to build e second one for another closet as well. As I am writing this I made great progress putting parts together.

Below you see the shop-notes I have on this dresser.

Handwriting Font Material property Wood Rectangle

I will keep you posted.

PS, I should mention in regards to the first picture, the dresser is for my wife's closet, but you never post a picture of a wife's closet (as a well behaved LJ), so I took one of mine.
Looking forward to seeing this project! Keep us informed.


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486 Posts
Shaker design; secret compartment

I wanted to show off the little progress I made so far…..

The drawers are going together:

Wood Machine tool Gas Cylinder Machine

Here you can see how I used a wooden clamp, clamped to the bench to hold the back of the drawer upright in a 90, while i nail the front on. Once you have the front on, the rest comes easy. Lots of guys make a big deal about jigs they come up with, but I never saw the purpose of them. To get the drawer all the way square, we handle this when the bottom comes on.

Wood House Rectangle Gas Plywood

Wait…. look closely at these two drawers…. see any difference?

Wood Flooring Rectangle Hardwood Shelving

Here is the back of one of them, there is a false bottom and a secret drawer, opening from the back. I showed it to my wife, and she wanted all drawers done like that. Well it was supposed to be just a little joke. So we just stick with one for now.

Font Publication Material property Parallel Engineering

Here is the book I got my inspiration for the design from, "Measured Drawings of Shaker" from Ejner Handberg. He has a whole series of these books. I think I have 4 of his books.

Cabinetry Drawer Rectangle Wood Chest of drawers

Here is the cupboard we fell in love with. We took the dresser part. We needed bigger drawers. The drawers of this original dresser were way too small for our closet.

Handwriting Font Rectangle Parallel Pattern

Wood Automotive exterior Gas Rectangle Hardwood

As yo can see, I put together the sides of the drawers, next will be cutting the bottoms and putting on the drawer slides.
It is coming together pretty well.

Sorry about the photography and its quality, it was all done with my phone (droid).

Thanks to my friend Steve A. for all the pieces of 1/2" plywood I got from him.

Thanks for checking it out, and don't hesitate to say "hi", when you stop by.

Looking good, PaBull !!! Can't wait to see the finished product!


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486 Posts
Just needs to get a coat of lacquer.

I found a little time between driving kids to dancing lessons, cleaning the pool, checking on the crew in the greenhouses (working overtime on Saturday), to work on the dresser. I have the feeling I started five other uncompleted projects while this dresser is waiting for attention.

But we finally got to the point that the dresser is complete, the top is on, the drawers all line up, the drawer fronts are on, the hardware is temporarily installed.

I am happy with the result.

Furniture Wood Tableware Table Wood stain

Furniture Drawer Cabinetry Wood Chest of drawers

Cabinetry Dresser Table Drawer Chest of drawers

So here you have it. As soon as I have this dresser coated with lacquer, I will post it on LJ. Thanks for all your nice comments and encouragements.

Looks great! That should provide plenty of storage space for you. I need to build a dresser for the wife. I've got that big pile of padouk to use and figure that will work fine. I just need to find the design I want. Might steal a couple ideas from yours!


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