|Project by Patrick Jaromin||posted 11-30-2007 04:56 PM||5234 views||30 times favorited||21 comments|
I designed/built this dresser for my son Sean born last January. Clearly I needed something a bit more masculine for my son than the butterfly dresser I built for Annalise. I had previously completed a couple projects featuring genuine Mahogany and thought a combination of Mahogany and Maple might be nice.
One of the reasons I absolutely love SketchUp is that it’s so incredibly easy to whip up a design concept, that I actually draw most projects twice. First with little regard to construction or any real practicalities—just free design, primarily concerned with aesthetics. Then I’ll redraw the piece more carefully—and in this case I drew it piece by piece as I would actually construct it. I prefer the surprises happen in the virtual rather than cutting actual hardwood. All that said, I still managed to cut the top too narrow. This lead to the addition of a back rail that I actually prefer over the original design. I guess we can call this a fortuitous mistake…or perhaps it was a sub conscience design decision! :)
The primary design choice that I struggled with was the attachment of the legs to the carcass. I couldn’t decide if I should cut a rabbet in the legs and set the carcass into them, or should I simply attach the “walls” to the whole legs? The former seemed sturdier, but I couldn’t help but think I’d wind up with a gap somewhere between the leg and the side. Also, as I was tapering the legs, I worried that a deep rabbet would weaken them significantly at the bottom. In the end, I decided to join the legs to the sides without a rabbet—by using a combination of biscuits and pocket screws. This feels very solid to me and the top acts as a sort of trestle for the carcass…so I think I’m good here…at least until he becomes a 6’, 200lbs fullback and decides to sit on it. Hmmm. What do you think?
I was also very concerned about the wide beveled maple edging around the top. I hadn’t mitered such a wide/thick piece before and felt certain that they wouldn’t come together. Thankfully, I was very wrong. By some miracle I managed to get the corners nice and tight. It helps that there were only 3 sides.
The mahogany was finished with a red mahogany stain topped with a “American Cherry” gel stain. The top coat is a satin water-based poly.
If you’re interested, there are more photos detailing the construction at my blog.
-- Patrick, Chicago, IL http://www.TenonAndSpline.com/blog