Lacy's Dresser

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Project by HokieKen posted 05-09-2016 12:51 PM 814 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our first granddaughter was born last year and we needed a dresser for the nursery we made in our house. I decided that would be perfect for my first “fine” furniture piece. My hope is that it will be an heirloom piece that she will have and pass down long after I’m gone.

The design is my own. I suppose it’s primarily Shaker style, but I didn’t attempt to adhere to any one style but rather just “borrowed” ideas from all the many similar pieces I found on LJs as well as the rest of the internet. It is made entirely of white oak with the exception of the drawer pulls which are walnut. All of the wood was harvested and dried locally.

The side panels “float” in the frames and the top is loosely screwed into slotted blocks to allow for movement of the large glued-up pieces. The drawer fronts are dovetailed into the sides. They are half blinds and are the first time I’ve use my PC dovetail jig. It was a life-saver!

Drawer pulls were made by cutting a cove on 2 sides of a piece of walnut then drilling through to “wrap” the coves around with a forstner bit. The pulls were then cut apart and the tops shaped and the bases narrowed down using a couple of block planes. It took considerably longer than I expected to make the pulls but it was worth it. They fit the piece nicely and kept me from using any purchased parts on the dresser.

The joinery is primarily M&T with the face frame dadoed into the front legs. I used through-mortises at the top which were my first and I really like the extra character it gives the piece. The side panels are splayed out at about 2 degrees. This definitely caused some challenges with getting the joinery cut right but was well worth the added trouble.

The finish is a coat of BLO followed by a sealer coat of thinned down poly. I glazed over the poly with a red elm gel stain to highlight the grain. Then a few coats of thinned down poly to seal it all up. The final coat of poly was satin sheen to cut down on the gloss. This is the first time I’ve done this type of finish and I’m really happy with how it came out.

I learned MANY things in making this piece and I’m very glad I tackled it. It was a lengthy build and I still have to make a hutch to go on top but it was worth every minute! Thanks for looking and, as always, comments and critiques are welcome.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

15 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


3456 posts in 1684 days

#1 posted 05-09-2016 01:21 PM

Very nice. That thru tenon at the top and how you tapered the front to the sides is really eye catching.

View Jarrett's profile


70 posts in 546 days

#2 posted 05-09-2016 01:38 PM

Awesome job! She could sell that masterpiece to pay for all of her college tuition! Drawer pulls look great! Well worth the time invested!

-- Jarrett

View david38's profile


2373 posts in 1762 days

#3 posted 05-09-2016 01:42 PM

beautiful piece

View ChrisK's profile


1794 posts in 2500 days

#4 posted 05-09-2016 01:52 PM

Looks great, really nice work.

-- Chris K

View jeffswildwood's profile


1287 posts in 1396 days

#5 posted 05-09-2016 03:00 PM

Very nice job buddy!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7696 posts in 1799 days

#6 posted 05-09-2016 03:58 PM

Nicely done, a good looking piece of furniture.


View oldnovice's profile


5650 posts in 2787 days

#7 posted 05-09-2016 04:27 PM

Nice work Ken!
She is too young to understand how/when the piece came to be but she will treasure it when she get older.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Tetedebois's profile


53 posts in 254 days

#8 posted 05-09-2016 04:36 PM

This is a really nice dresser. The walnut pulls awesome. Good work! Thank you for sharing.

-- Alex, Bas Saint-Laurent

View oldrivers's profile


710 posts in 985 days

#9 posted 05-10-2016 12:40 AM

Excellent design and workmanship congrutalations on a beautiful build.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View HokieKen's profile


1519 posts in 557 days

#10 posted 05-10-2016 02:14 AM

Thanks to all for looking and the kind comments are greatly appreciated!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2285 days

#11 posted 05-10-2016 12:51 PM

This dresser is so nice.

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 Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 1499 days

#12 posted 05-10-2016 01:03 PM

Cool design ideas

-- Billy, Florence SC

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1256 days

#13 posted 05-10-2016 05:10 PM

That is a truly nice chest of drawers. I like the oak with walnut pulls. I really like the half blind dovetails on the drawer fronts.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View jasonallen's profile


175 posts in 1039 days

#14 posted 05-11-2016 01:41 AM

That is awesome! I can certainly see the angle on the sides causing some bad language and possible flying tools, at least in my shop. Great design!

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View dshute's profile


192 posts in 2105 days

#15 posted 05-14-2016 12:44 AM

Very nice piece of furniture.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

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