Sycamore Dresser #5: Dovetails Done, Ready To Sand & Finish

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Blog entry by Ben posted 1664 days ago 2433 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Time to build the drawers Part 5 of Sycamore Dresser series Part 6: Quarter Sawn Sycamore Dresser Complete. »

I finally finished the drawers. This was my first attempt at dovetails.

I made them using an Incra jig my neighbor gave me. I used wooden drawer slides. The drawers were pretty time consuming. Actually, this whole project has been time consuming. I have thoroughly enjoyed it though.

The knobs are obviously a little different but, my six year old reallly likes them. I guess I can always change them out when he gets a little older.

The construction is solid wood except for the plywood back and drawer botttoms. The dimensions are 36” Wide, 36 1/2” Tall and 20 1/2” deep.

I am a little bit nervous about staining and finishing. The wood is very pretty and I hope that I can do it justice.

Thanks for looking and have a great new year!


12 comments so far

View r's profile


41 posts in 1852 days

#1 posted 1664 days ago

very nice looking piece of furniture and i’m sure you will do a fine job at staining and finishing it

-- u

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2419 days

#2 posted 1664 days ago

I agree, Ben, that is turned out nicely. And the staining/finishing will go just fine. As a suggestion work out your finishing routine on some scrap and the rest will fall into place. I always approach fnishing, even though it is my favorite part of the building process, with a little nervousness but once into the routine it goes just fine.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2123 days

#3 posted 1664 days ago

I just love qs sycamore! You did a great job. What finish/stain are you going to use? BLO followed by shellac looks super on sycamore.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2270 days

#4 posted 1664 days ago

Nice work!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View HokieMojo's profile


2097 posts in 2325 days

#5 posted 1664 days ago

this came out beautfully. You should be really proud. What kind of finish are you going with? I would probably try a water based poly to avoid changing the nice cool color too much, but I think it would be hard to go wrong. Julian’s idea sounds awesome too, but it would look very different (and I wonder how it would hold up to the wear and tear a child might subject it to).

View Ben 's profile


157 posts in 1962 days

#6 posted 1664 days ago

Thanks so much for the encouragement guys. This project has been a real challenge for me.

Julian and Hokie: My current plans are to use a combination of water-based Transtint amber and Transtint maple dye followed by 3-4 coast of gloss poly. I attached a picture of some different combinations of the Transtint I tried on some scrap.

Before purchasing the transtint dyes, I tried every shade of minwax stain I had in my shop and they all looked bad. They completely obscured the figure in the wood.

Julian, I am going to Rockler in the morning and I may give your Boiled Linseed/Shellac suggestion a try.

I value the advice I receive on this site.

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2174 days

#7 posted 1664 days ago

Think water base dye . you can dilute it and keep adding coats until you get the shade you want , General finishes makes a good product.

-- Custom furniture

View MOJOE's profile


547 posts in 1866 days

#8 posted 1664 days ago

Just another suggestion, but I recently used transtint in dewaxed shellac, and it gave a nice soft-to-the-touch finish with a semi-gloss luster. Sprayed on really nice in about 5 coats…..good luck

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

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1811 posts in 2269 days

#9 posted 1664 days ago

That’s a great looking chest!! Good luck on the finish!!


-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View HokieMojo's profile


2097 posts in 2325 days

#10 posted 1664 days ago

so glad you aren’t using traditional stain. That was what I was mostly afraid of. Your choice looks excellent.

View Napaman's profile


5315 posts in 2674 days

#11 posted 1663 days ago

this looks great…i love the hardware!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View BigBard's profile


113 posts in 2011 days

#12 posted 1663 days ago

very nice indeed

-- Carolina Panther fan!

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