Chest of Drawers - 1st

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Project by Brian posted 05-06-2013 01:38 PM 1189 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months ago, I asked my sister what my favorite (and only) neice wanted for her 5th birthday. Since she has only ever had cheap particle board furniture that is half broken, a new chest of drawers was requested.

This is by far the nicest piece of furniture that I’ve built to date. Although there are some minor flaws, this is the first time that there isn’t much that I would have done different. The sides are China Oak 3/4” plywood, facings and top are 4/4 local red oak, and drawers are 4/4 spruce with 1/4” oak bottoms.

Since I had never built a drawer before and not even thought about a dovetail, I built a practice chest of drawers for my shop shown below. It works well for a planer stand and extra storage. Can you get too much storage?

That definitely told me what to do and what not to do when building the actual product. I made every dovetail with the pins on the wrong side so it looked like a box joint among other errors. But alas, it served its purpose as useful practice.

The only issues that really show up on the final chest of drawers were some chipping in my dovetails. This is probably a result of inexperience and cheap wood. Note: the front was tightened the rest of the way down after this picture was taken to reduce that gap that shows up.

I also have to give a shout out to fellow LJs that helped me decide on a finish in the forums. I will say that Shellac is my new favorite thing. Man, that stuff is easy to apply. Also, I have to give props to my wife for picking out the flowery shiny glittery knobs since it is for a 5 year old girl.

Materials ~ $200
Labor ~ 30-40 hours
End Result = one happy neice and sister. The rest of the bedroom set has already been requested.

-- “Always take a banana to a party, bananas are good!” - Tenth Doctor

7 comments so far

View Ryan's profile


11 posts in 1635 days

#1 posted 05-06-2013 03:16 PM

Very nice work! I love making things for family and seeing them enjoy it.

View workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 05-07-2013 12:44 PM

Well done, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2286 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 12:49 PM

Very clean chest. Congratulations.

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 Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2945 days

#4 posted 05-07-2013 02:18 PM

Good job! Making a chest of drawers is one heck of a job and you did well.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1595 days

#5 posted 05-08-2013 08:39 PM

That’s a beautiful and well made dresser. It will be a family heirloom for sure. Your niece will enjoy it for many years.

View Tom Pritchard's profile

Tom Pritchard

145 posts in 2111 days

#6 posted 02-24-2016 06:03 PM

That is a great job on your dresser…I bet she really loved it.

-- Tom in Madison, Indiana

View Woodchuck2010's profile


465 posts in 277 days

#7 posted 03-04-2016 01:20 AM

I hope to start making furniture like that! Very beautiful chest Brian.

-- Chuck, Michigan,

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