Curly Cherry Chest of Drawers

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Project by jonsprague0000 posted 10-17-2016 08:07 PM 922 views 7 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When your Ikea dresser is falling apart you might as well make a new dresser. So that is what I did. This chest of drawers is my largest piece yet. The incredible grain pattern, 196 total dovetails, dovetail keyed moldings, graduated hand turned knobs, and solid wood construction make it a one of a kind piece. The knobs gave me an excuse to purchase a lathe and I am looking forward to incorporating more turnings in the future. Let me know what you think.

Primary – Curly Cherry. Shout out to Irion Lumber. The lumber is fantastic.
Secondary (drawers) – Soft Maple

Tried and True Danish Oil (primary)
Mixed Shellac (secondary)
Hand Rubbed Renaissance Wax Finish

23 comments so far

View BB1's profile


421 posts in 271 days

#1 posted 10-17-2016 09:33 PM

Really great grain in the wood. Wow. Nice to find a good reason to purchase a lathe. Every project should include something new for future use! This looks great.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1140 posts in 1057 days

#2 posted 10-17-2016 09:41 PM


-- Jeff NJ

View AJ1104's profile


213 posts in 1082 days

#3 posted 10-17-2016 11:48 PM

This is a gorgeous chest. The scale, wood, and of course, your craftsmanship. Fantastic job!

-- AJ, Long Island. New York

View Daisybaby235's profile


3 posts in 612 days

#4 posted 10-18-2016 12:05 AM

Awesome grain!

View TheFridge's profile


5682 posts in 909 days

#5 posted 10-18-2016 12:18 AM


-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3246 days

#6 posted 10-18-2016 12:57 AM

I notice the cats paw on top piece ha, love me some Blackcherry! Gotta a feeling IKEA will not be in your future furniture plans, that is if the Mrs.,has anything to say. Nice piece and well constructed…..Blackcherry

View oldrivers's profile


712 posts in 989 days

#7 posted 10-18-2016 01:44 AM


-- Soli Deo gloria!

View jonsprague0000's profile


80 posts in 1012 days

#8 posted 10-18-2016 02:07 AM

Thanks everyone for your kind comments! It only took 6 months so it sure is nice to post and be done.

Glad you like the cats paw black cherry! I have another piece I made legs out of for a side table with heavy cats paws. One of the paws runs on the edge of the leg cut so you can see how it formed through the wood. Really cool seeing its depth.

View BurlyBob's profile


3485 posts in 1688 days

#9 posted 10-18-2016 02:27 AM

That’s fantastic everyway from Sunday.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7725 posts in 1803 days

#10 posted 10-18-2016 05:12 AM

View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

163 posts in 2837 days

#11 posted 10-18-2016 05:28 AM

Great job. I love the dovetail and figure in the wood.

-- Matt, Arizona

View gargey's profile


397 posts in 198 days

#12 posted 10-18-2016 12:00 PM

Is the top veneered plywood, or solid wood? I noticed it is encased in a mitered moulding (or whatever you want to call it). If the top is solid wood, won’t that cause problems?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3641 days

#13 posted 10-18-2016 12:53 PM

Beautiful work!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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2394 posts in 1766 days

#14 posted 10-18-2016 01:17 PM

very nice

View jonsprague0000's profile


80 posts in 1012 days

#15 posted 10-18-2016 03:10 PM

Gargey – the dresser is solid wood with no veneer or plywood. The molding rides on dovetail keys to allow for seasonal wood movement so there is no concern about the molding cracking or breaking off.

The front molding is glued on while the sides are only glued on the front inch or so. The additional 18 inches on the sides ride on sliding dovetails. This allows the dresser case to expand while not impacting the moldings that run cross gain.

I’ve included pictures below of the process. The first shows me fitting a dovetail runner on the molding. The second shows me attaching the runners and sliding on the molding. From there I removed the molding and cut the runner into segments to allow further expansion. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

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