LumberJocks

Black Cherry Dresser

  • Advertise with us
Project by JerseyTiger posted 07-14-2015 01:30 PM 2372 views 17 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first woodworking project. My wife and I are expecting our first child within the next month, so I thought I would make use of all the tools I’ve been buying since we moved into our first home together (and perhaps somewhat, maybe just a little bit, justify my purchase of these tools to my wife), and build a dresser/changing table for the nursery. I like the idea that the dresser will be appropriate for a person of any age and the baby can keep the furniture as it grows up. It may go out of style, but it won’t fall apart.

The dresser is built from plans I found on Design Confidential, which itself borrowed them from Makely Home.

A few people have posted their builds of the same dresser here on lumberjocks, such as this one.

I made a few modifications to the plans from Makely Home, most notably building the drawer boxes with lock rabbet joints, and changing the legs a bit. I also opted for higher quality wood.

The carcase is made from high quality veneer core 3/4” birch ply and edge banding, and was assembled with pocket screws and glue. The pocket screws worked remarkably well. The box was dead square (within a 1/16”) after initial assembly and I didn’t need to use any clamps in the process, which is useful because I do not have any clamps long enough to span the entire dresser (57”). I’m guessing this was dumb luck and it won’t work as well the next time.

The drawer fronts and base frame are black cherry and are assembled with pocket screws and glue, and mounted to the carcase with screws alone. I had a heck of a time breaking down the leg blanks with my table saw. Since I don’t have a jointer, I made a straight line ripping jig for “jointing” the blanks (and the drawer fronts). I had to flip the leg blanks and cut from both sides since my table saw blade wouldn’t cut all the way through on one pass. I then made a lousy tapering jig for the taper. The 1/2” ply for the taper jig base warped a bit when I applied clamping pressure with two toggle clamps I used. The next taper jog I do will be with a 3/4” ply and better clamps. I ended up doing most of the real jointing and cleaning up of the tapers with a stanley 4 1/2 plane clone. I’ve never really used hand tools before so that was something of a learning experience with fixing up the plane and sharpening it and not screwing up the legs all at the same time. It may not show through in the photos but the legs came out smoother than any sandpaper can manage. I’m kinda sad that the best parts of the dresser have to be hidden under it and against the floor.

The drawer boxes are 1/2” baltic birch and 1/4” birch ply for the drawer bottoms. The joints are the simpler kind of lock rabbet joints. I ran those on a table saw with a dado set. I also cut grooves for the drawer bottoms with the same dado setup. While I’d like a prettier joint, and I’d like to try my hand at some dovetails or finger joints, for simple dresser drawer boxes mounted on slides I think the lock rabbet joint is plenty strong enough and should last a lifetime.

I installed the drawer boxes first, then attached the fronts at the end. The fronts are attached with glue and screws. The screws were just used for precise holding while the glue set, so I could get the best alignment of all the faces from the front. Given the difficulties of installing the slides (what a nightmare), the boxes are all slightly out of alignment so I corrected the visual impact of this by making sure the faces were aligned properly relative to each other and the carcase.

Except for the legs, which I bought as blanks from www.woodsbygwgreen.com, all the wood was purchased from a local lumber yard, Mr. Roberts of Barrington, New Jersey. The slides are KV TT100 slides. The pulls are bronze edge pulls from cabinetparts.com. I would have preferred to put in notched hand holds in the drawer faces, but my wife wanted pulls so here we are.

The white paint on the exterior is Benjamin Moore Advance in chantilly lace. I put on a coat of oil based primer first, then two coats of the Advance, then applied S.C. Johnson’s paste wax. The drawer faces and base were finished with Watco Danish Oil, then five coats of Minwax rattle can lacquer.

While not pictured here, I also built a removable frame to sit on top of the dresser to use it as a changing table, and to enclose the changing pad.

All in all, I’m glad I was able to see this thing through to completion. It seemed like it would be a lot easier and take less time at the beginning, but it ended up a couple of months of intermittent nights and weekends. It was also a nice excuse to put the basement shop in working order.





9 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23218 posts in 2335 days


#1 posted 07-14-2015 01:45 PM

You did a nice job on this. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View JerseyTiger's profile

JerseyTiger

10 posts in 734 days


#2 posted 07-14-2015 03:11 PM



You did a nice job on this. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck

Thanks, helluvawreck!

View Shawn LaFleur's profile

Shawn LaFleur

75 posts in 1110 days


#3 posted 07-14-2015 03:33 PM

Nice job.. Building something like that for my 7 yr old daughter right now.

View isotope's profile

isotope

146 posts in 1092 days


#4 posted 07-14-2015 11:36 PM

You did a great job. I would love to have this dresser in my daughter’s room. Some day, maybe I’ll try to make one.
Thanks for sharing.

View soccer2010's profile

soccer2010

97 posts in 1897 days


#5 posted 07-15-2015 01:19 AM

That looks great. Too late for me to make something similar for my kids as they’re in college. Maybe some day for grandkids.

-- John

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1181 days


#6 posted 07-15-2015 08:53 AM

Great project. Like how the grain flows on the drawer fronts.
Thanks for sharing

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View ohwoodeye's profile

ohwoodeye

1742 posts in 2621 days


#7 posted 07-15-2015 12:43 PM

I love your line “It may go out of style, but it won’t fall apart”
My Mother-in-law has some furniture she got for a wedding present. They are very big pieces and the style is dated. She once told me she would like to punch whoever made these pieces, right in the nose for making them so solid that she can’t justify getting rid of them for something more modern.
Hopefully many years from now you will be on somebody’s nose punching list.
Well done.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View JerseyTiger's profile

JerseyTiger

10 posts in 734 days


#8 posted 07-15-2015 01:22 PM



I love your line “It may go out of style, but it won’t fall apart”
My Mother-in-law has some furniture she got for a wedding present. They are very big pieces and the style is dated. She once told me she would like to punch whoever made these pieces, right in the nose for making them so solid that she can t justify getting rid of them for something more modern.
Hopefully many years from now you will be on somebody s nose punching list.
Well done.
- ohwoodeye

This was an important issue for me. I mean, a white box with some decent enough looking drawer fronts (maybe not good hardwood ones though) can be purchased from a lot of retailers. The affordable ones are made from cheapo manufactured wood products. I don’t know what those goofy products are called and I won’t bother to learn. I know that they will warp at the slightest bit of moisture and they can barely survive assembly, much less a move or two.

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

2327 posts in 1895 days


#9 posted 07-15-2015 08:35 PM

You are off and running – Well done!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com