Mission style dresser - Cherry

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Project by Techsan posted 06-30-2010 11:12 PM 4692 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was the first real project I did for my family. My wife and I were expecting our first child, and I got the urge to build the furniture for the nursery. Rather than start with the crib for the baby, knowing they would be sleeping in a Moses basket in our room for awhile anyway, we decided the dresser would be of greatest use – good thing we did, because I didn’t finish the crib until she was almost 2 (thankfully I designed it to be converted to a toddler bed).

The dresser is made out of solid cherry I milled from the stack in the 2nd photo. It is constructed with standard frame and panel sides and a mortised and integral tenon face frame (somewhat of a puzzle to put together). Knowing the abuse it was going to take from the children, I opted to go with full extension metal drawer slides as opposed to having the boxes glide on wooden runners. The drawers boxes, which I made out of poplar, are dovetailed together and their fronts are attached with sliding dovetails. I finshed it with shellac and a couple of coats of sprayed lacquer (I need more practice there).

While the finish could be rubbed out and refined, I’m very happy with this first project proudly sitting in our daughters room (and now covered with toddler clothes and toys)!

-- Michael - Houston, Texas

14 comments so far

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3561 days

#1 posted 06-30-2010 11:24 PM

That is so beautiful – Great Job

Coincidentally I am in the gathering inspiration for a Mission Dresser very close to what you have done. I’m sure I’ll be visiting this post many times when I start the actual design and build.

-- Joe

View heavyelectrician's profile


14 posts in 2940 days

#2 posted 07-01-2010 12:07 AM

That is some fine work! That finish really brings out the beauty of the wood

-- You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head

View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 3269 days

#3 posted 07-01-2010 12:40 AM

Did you sneak into my garage!!!!! It looks like the progress pix from a similar dresser I built for my son a few months ago…....I even have the same mower! By the way, the dresser is awsome, the cherry looks great.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3465 days

#4 posted 07-01-2010 01:16 AM

nice work. I’m a big fan of mission/craftsman/arts and crafts done in cherry. somehow the quality of the wood softens the hard edges of those styles.

View dub560's profile


615 posts in 2913 days

#5 posted 07-01-2010 01:35 AM

looks great

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View Skylark53's profile


2669 posts in 3061 days

#6 posted 07-01-2010 02:36 AM

This is a great work. Te cherry shows up very nice and you did an excellent job with the construction. This’ll be a family favorite, not doubt. Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3443 days

#7 posted 07-01-2010 02:55 AM

Nice job. I really like this style of furniture and it is fun to build.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3823 days

#8 posted 07-01-2010 03:25 AM

A excellent job on your first heirloom piece. I like the use of Cherry instead of the more masculine QSWO for the use in the nursery. I’m wonder if you may have known that by leaving the Cherry cabinet expose to direct sunlight the wood will darken faster? It a real nice piece of furniture and you should be proud so carry on young buck you have a whole house to fill….take care and enjoy raising your family, and thanks for posting…BC

View stanley_clifton's profile


195 posts in 3704 days

#9 posted 07-02-2010 08:11 PM

Outstanding, particularly as it’s a first project.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View randyb's profile


119 posts in 3328 days

#10 posted 07-07-2010 02:39 PM

excellent job, I like the design, also how you did the drawers.

-- I was going for that distressed look

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3561 days

#11 posted 07-22-2010 03:56 PM

How did you attach the top to the sides?

-- Joe

View Techsan's profile


4 posts in 2888 days

#12 posted 08-03-2010 02:40 PM

The top is attached using home made cabinet buttons. They are L shaped wooden pieces that fit in slots that are dadoed into the top rail of the front, back and side frames and then screwed into the top. The slots are cut wider than the button, and no glue is used to allow for any seasonal movement of the top.

Another option would have been to use “figure 8’s”, but I opted for the more traditional solution – mainly so I wouldn’t have to go out and buy more hardware :)

-- Michael - Houston, Texas

View pintodeluxe's profile


5663 posts in 2814 days

#13 posted 01-02-2013 10:00 PM

Great work on the dresser, it came out fantastic!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3121 days

#14 posted 01-30-2014 05:50 PM

Great piece thta your son will treasure for decades

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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