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Craftsman Style Double Dresser

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Project by JLYoung posted 01-26-2013 04:34 AM 2335 views 10 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just completed this double dresser for our master bedroom to match the rest of the bedroom set, (see my other project posts). The dresser is red oak with a varathane “mission oak” stain and three coats of wipe-on poly.

It took me quite awhile to arrive at a design for this dresser but I feel comfortable saying it’s my very own design. I took some inspiration from some google image searches for this style of furniture but it wasn’t until I visited the Thos Moser showroom in Freeport Maine where I saw their american bungalow dresser that I was inspired by the idea of suspending the dresser carcase inside an external framework. This enabled me to build each carcase separately as a pretty straight forward shaker style dovetailed box with graduated drawers. Though I modelled the project in google skecthup, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. This project took be two years to complete. (Evenings and weekends with lots of other projects in between. So as one carcase was built, I finished it and lived with it for awhile. Though they functioned well, the were missing something aesthetically. Once the two carcases were installed into the external frame, it really came together nicely.

Each of the dresser carcases is joined using hand-cut dovetails at each corner. The web frames that support the drawers are connectedd to the side panels via sliding dovetails. Each of drawers is made with hand cut half blind dovetails at the front and through dovetails at the rear with 1/2” thick solid ash drawer bottoms. All of the secondary wood is white ash, including a frame and panel back for each dresser.

I encountered a couple of stumbling blocks with this project that I overcame that might serve as a warning to others:

1. I started this project in early spring and glued up all of the carcase panels and flattened them. I put them aside leaning against a wall and sitting on my shop’s concrete floor thinking I’d get right back to them. Then my wife gave me the green light to fence in my back yard. The oak panels sat there for a few months and when I finally got back to them, they had a serious bow in them. I tried getting the bow out by wetting down the concave side and clamping them flat to my bench with stickers and though it did work to an extent, it didn’t take all of the bow out. I ended up clamping a strongback across each panel to straighten it out as I cut the dovetails on each corner. Once the dovetails were assembled it took the bow right out at the corner but left a bit of bowing in the center of the panel. I got rid of this my hand planing the sides but in retrospect, I should have driven a screw from the drawer runners into the case sides. This would have pulled everything into alignment.

2. Due to having built this piece in three separate stages over two years, I struggled with the finish. I should have written down the steps I took for the first piece so I could replicate it later. Sanding oak to a higher grit on one piece versus the other or not adding the same number of coats of stain can create some visible discrepancies.

3. I had a real hard time routing the sliding dovetails in the case sides. I built a jig for my router with two fences to capture the router (which has a flat spot on it’s round base) but the darn router still wobbled. I think this was due to trying to hog out all of the 1/4” deep x 3/4” wide dado in one pass with a 3/4” wide 14 degree router bit. I should have hogged out the majority of the material with a straight bit first.





16 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5304 posts in 1254 days


#1 posted 01-26-2013 04:36 AM

Really nice job on this one, it looks great.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#2 posted 01-26-2013 05:14 AM

Very well done ! So many fine details : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View a1Jim's profile (online now)

a1Jim

112093 posts in 2233 days


#3 posted 01-26-2013 06:41 AM

Great job very nice dressers

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View JoeRPhilly's profile

JoeRPhilly

97 posts in 808 days


#4 posted 01-26-2013 12:45 PM

I second Dusty, very well done! I really like the design

View ldl's profile

ldl

1135 posts in 1021 days


#5 posted 01-26-2013 02:16 PM

Interesting concept of the drawer carcass. Don’t think I have ever seen that design before.

Good looking job.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View david38's profile

david38

1070 posts in 999 days


#6 posted 01-26-2013 03:04 PM

nice work

View doncutlip's profile

doncutlip

2832 posts in 2212 days


#7 posted 01-26-2013 04:06 PM

Wow that is a good looking project

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View mbs's profile

mbs

1438 posts in 1596 days


#8 posted 01-26-2013 04:34 PM

I haven’t seen one of these before. Nice work! I like your other projects too.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1085 posts in 971 days


#9 posted 01-26-2013 11:01 PM

What a beauty, the pride in your work really shows here.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1814 days


#10 posted 01-27-2013 12:07 AM

Okay, this is WAY too pretty to have so few comments! Really nice job on a gorgeous piece!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Kyle's profile

Kyle

109 posts in 1299 days


#11 posted 01-27-2013 02:53 AM

Wow, this is really nice. I hope it doesn’t take me two years to build the chest of drawers I’m building. I think I’m about 8 months into it and I’m just getting ready to glue it up.

I really like this… Great job.

-- Kyle

View SawdustSeamhead's profile

SawdustSeamhead

17 posts in 630 days


#12 posted 01-27-2013 03:44 AM

Wow, great looking dresser. I would say it was well worth the wait – turned out gorgeous!

-- Jarred K.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3363 posts in 1469 days


#13 posted 01-27-2013 03:49 AM

Great dresser, I have not seen dressers with this chest inside carcase design. I like it.
Well done on the dressers. I am just finishing up a pair of dressers, so I can relate to how much work they are.

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

View woodrookieII's profile

woodrookieII

215 posts in 1319 days


#14 posted 01-27-2013 01:18 PM

Very nice.

I like the way the drawer dividers sit proud of the frame. Nice touch.

....rookieII

View Jero's profile

Jero

75 posts in 1642 days


#15 posted 01-29-2013 07:20 PM

Wow, looks great! Very original design.

-- Jeremy - Marshfield, WI

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