Walnut and Spalted Hackberry Dresser for my Boys

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Project by firefighterontheside posted 10-23-2015 09:27 PM 1382 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a dresser that I made for my boys. It is also the first dresser that I have built. The biggest challenge was figuring out the structure to mount all the drawer slides on. My next dresser should be easier now that I know what to do and what not to do.

This is made from black walnut and spalted hackberry. The hackberry I got from LJ gfadvm and some of the walnut was sawn on his mill. I wanted to use all low odor, quick drying products so I could get it in their room quickly. I used Zinsser seal coat(dewaxed shellac) tinted with transtint amber to add some color to the hackberry and make the walnut glow a bit more. Then there are three coats of Minwax polycrylic. Everything was sprayed with my Earlex spray station. The end panels are book matched and each row of drawer fronts is made from the same plank so the grain lines up. This was my first book matched thing ever.

The drawer pulls are Duplo Legos. I made up some pieces of walnut that fit inside the ends of the blocks and glued them in. They are then screwed thru the drawer fronts. When the boys outgrow legos(maybe never) I will make some pulls out of walnut. I was pleasantly surprised and they look better than I thought they would.

Thanks for looking.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

24 comments so far

View jack1's profile


2055 posts in 3447 days

#1 posted 10-23-2015 09:31 PM

Thats nice work. I need to go back and rehang my drawers on the one I made. Grrrr. ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21534 posts in 1758 days

#2 posted 10-23-2015 09:34 PM

Very nice work. Should last many years.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JL7's profile


8399 posts in 2385 days

#3 posted 10-23-2015 09:35 PM

Beautiful work Bill, the wood choice is right on, and having the Andy connection with the sawmill will always make it memorable. You realize you have 2 boys!? You’ll need to make another one now. Maybe wait till your youngest can visit Andy’s sawmill and then each boy will make the connection…....well done.

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View firefighterontheside's profile


13068 posts in 1276 days

#4 posted 10-23-2015 09:38 PM

Thanks guys. Yeah, Jeff, I figured I eventually would make a whole set. When the older boy moves to a separate room he will need his own dresser.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View DIYaholic's profile


19137 posts in 2095 days

#5 posted 10-23-2015 09:52 PM

Great looking dresser.
Ya dun gud!!!

I really like the use of grain….
bookmatched panels & continuous flow of the drawers.
Did I mention…. Ya dun gud!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5103 posts in 2614 days

#6 posted 10-23-2015 10:26 PM


Great job on the dresser build….It’s beautiful…I’ve never used hackberry, but I’d sure like to have some…That is gorgeous wood, and it goes and flows so well with the Walnut….I know your 2 boys will get some good use of the dresser….How did you mount the top to the carcuss? L brackets, figure 8’s, etc.? Good job, bud….I think the Lego handles look good….But, like you said…as they get older you can always change them out if you need to….Stellar job….Ain’t woodworking fun when you stand back and look at what you’ve created? Who said money don’t grow on trees…!!!!

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View firefighterontheside's profile


13068 posts in 1276 days

#7 posted 10-23-2015 10:36 PM

Thanks Rick. I put screws in it from underneath. In the back it is screwed fast. In the middle and front I made elongated holes for the screws to go thru to allow for some movement.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#8 posted 10-23-2015 10:47 PM

You have done a very nice job on this dresser.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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 johnstoneb's profile


2104 posts in 1592 days

#9 posted 10-23-2015 11:16 PM

Good looking dresser the pulls came out looking great.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View lightcs1776's profile


4145 posts in 1074 days

#10 posted 10-23-2015 11:19 PM

Beautiful dresser, Bill. Love the wood contrast.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2110 days

#11 posted 10-23-2015 11:48 PM

Bill, The dresser is outstanding! Always fun to see where the wood I saw winds up. That hackberry came from my daughter’s ranch. I need to take you and the boys down there and show them the stump. You are a good dad, woodworker, and friend.

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

View firefighterontheside's profile


13068 posts in 1276 days

#12 posted 10-23-2015 11:59 PM

Thanks Bruce, Chris and Andy. I do love that hackberry Andy. I’m happy I chose it over yellow pine. I had to use the biggest clear pieces of hackberry, but I still have quite a bit to use for other smaller projects.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Mean_Dean's profile


4932 posts in 2567 days

#13 posted 10-24-2015 12:03 AM

It turned out great! It was fun following your progress, and it’s very satisfying to see the finished project!

-- Dean

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2986 posts in 1671 days

#14 posted 10-24-2015 12:21 AM

Nice work, Bill! The Duplo block pulls look sharp on the dresser. I hope you and the boys get to visit Andy so the harvest of the hackberry can become a part of the dresser’s story.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View boatz's profile


79 posts in 1071 days

#15 posted 10-24-2015 12:58 AM

Very well done. I really like the wood combinations

-- You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you just might find, you'll get what you need

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