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Forum topic by Griffin_SC posted 03-17-2016 11:38 PM 944 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Griffin_SC

17 posts in 267 days


03-17-2016 11:38 PM

My better half has decided that she needs a new dresser for the bedroom. I’m wanting to build this myself if possible. I’ve done some basic woodworking, Entertainment Stand, Bookshelves, etc. Nothing with drawers yet.

I’m starting with the plans below and planning to make a couple small changes. Thinking about using dowels for a lot of joinery instead of pocket screws. Couple changes to the molding as well.

http://jenwoodhouse.com/plans/DIY-11-drawer-dresser.pdf

I’m needing some advice on the drawers. She would like it stained to a dark brown/mahogany color but plan on keeping the drawers light colored. What would be a good material for the drawer bodies? I don’t have the jigs to do dovetails and not sure I’m up to that yet.

The majority of the build will be plywood. My last couple projects used Oak Ply, but I’m open to suggestions for something that may look even better with the dark stain she’s wanting.

This is really my first large scale project so any advice would be great.

Thanks


23 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6576 posts in 1617 days


#1 posted 03-17-2016 11:53 PM

Poplar is traditionally the drawer side/back material of choice, at least in the US.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2698 days


#2 posted 03-18-2016 12:00 AM

Pocket screws should make that a fairly easy project. Once assembled, they won’t be seen, and they hold really well. I use them on cabinets and face frames.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 618 days


#3 posted 03-18-2016 12:21 AM

Birch ply grain looks more like Mahogany then oak. it aint just about the stain/dye, its about the grain pattern to imitate a wood.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1197 days


#4 posted 03-18-2016 12:21 AM

I’m guessing you’re going to use the 6 part drawer construction.. If so, build the 5 part box, spray it with clear finish, stain the front, the sixth part, and you’re in business. I like Alder for drawer box construction myself, but Baltic Birch is totally acceptable. .................. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2698 days


#5 posted 03-18-2016 02:38 AM

“I’m needing some advice on the drawers. She would like it stained to a dark brown/mahogany color but plan on keeping the drawers light colored. What would be a good material for the drawer bodies? I don’t have the jigs to do dovetails and not sure I’m up to that yet.”

Maple or poplar make good drawer boxes. I planed rough stock to 5/8 inch but 1/2 Baltic Birch will work also.

Examples from our remodel.
Poplar with half blind dovetails

Maple

No stain. Just clear lacquer.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Griffin_SC

17 posts in 267 days


#6 posted 03-18-2016 03:04 AM

Thanks for all the advice. Think I’ll go with Poplar for the drawer sides. Birch Ply is a good idea if I can find some locally. I see a lot of oak or standard plywood normally. I’ll need to match the ply with some 1×4/1×2’s for the trim in Birch as well.

The quote from my wife is it better not look like a rectangle dresser from Walmart. Hard not to make a rectangle dresser….. I’m trying to figure out how to give the top some character or curves to ease it some. Plywood top is just giving me sharp edges and I have to put banding or molding over it. Banding would apply easy enough if I just put a radius on the corners, but it still leaves it with some pretty sharp edges. Any ideas?

View jonmakesthings's profile

jonmakesthings

68 posts in 285 days


#7 posted 03-18-2016 04:22 AM



Birch Ply is a good idea if I can find some locally. I see a lot of oak or standard plywood normally. I ll need to match the ply with some 1×4/1×2 s for the trim in Birch as well.

If you have trouble finding Baltic birch locally, I’ve actually found it at arts and craft stores like Micheals. Not large sheets of course but it might be big enough for your needs

-- How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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Griffin_SC

17 posts in 267 days


#8 posted 03-21-2016 01:37 PM

If I went with Baltic Birch Ply for the top and side panels what would be good to match the grain and finish for the 1×4 and 1×6 trim pieces?

View Snipes's profile

Snipes

99 posts in 1711 days


#9 posted 03-21-2016 02:21 PM

@MT what’s that red thing you got in that there drawer?
Griffin maybe birch, soft maple be a close match also.

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

764 posts in 1866 days


#10 posted 03-21-2016 03:27 PM

I have had very good results using pecan for drawer backs and side panels

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2698 days


#11 posted 03-21-2016 06:21 PM



@MT what s that red thing you got in that there drawer?
Griffin maybe birch, soft maple be a close match also.

- Snipes

It is three in one slow cooker/crock pot. Three cookers with removable pots but one base.
Like this…
http://www.amazon.com/BELLA-13576-Triple-Cooker-Stainless/dp/B0051QAY90/ref=pd_sim_79_3?ie=UTF8&dpID=41isRGPSuDL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0AGM5G4YZRQKBSTD0799

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Griffin_SC

17 posts in 267 days


#12 posted 03-29-2016 02:26 AM

I’m trying to hunt some Baltic Birch in the area and not having very good luck. Everything is 1/2” and 5’ x 5’. The dresser top is over 60” so I need bigger sheets. I’ll probably go with standard Birch for the bottom which I can get in 4×8 easily. Suggestions?

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1462 days


#13 posted 03-29-2016 02:38 AM

If you can find plywood with an A side, you can use that for the top and sides. It’ll show nice and its plenty strong. Baltic birch is always 5’x5’. Its not super pretty (most these days have some patches in the face), but it is super good for structural. That is what makes it great for drawers, and any internal carcass pieces.

Some Menards out here have Maple and birch plywood that have a B side. This is 4×8 sheets. Its not perfectly clear, but it is usually free of patches. So if you can live with not the prettiest grain I think it looks OK. A lumberyard or cabinet shop may be able to get you a piece of true cabinet grade ply. It costs about 3x as much though from what I have found.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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Griffin_SC

17 posts in 267 days


#14 posted 03-30-2016 01:53 PM

Unfortunately we don’t have any Menards down in this area. It would be nice, but they haven’t expanded this far south yet. I’m beginning to think I might have to go with Maple to build with. Will be a lot easier to get the dimensional lumber I need in Maple as well. I’m almost done with the Sketchup re-design and will post a copy of it when it completed. I’m wondering if I can cut down on some of my dimensional lumber and cut a lot of it out of Maple ply where the edge can’t be seen like the side trim pieces which call for 1×4 currently. Or even add some iron-on edging to things like the front supports for the drawers which I’m was planning to cut from 1×3’s.

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Griffin_SC

17 posts in 267 days


#15 posted 04-04-2016 03:55 PM

I’m debating over the type of wood for the top and visible parts. The size limit of Baltic Birch of 5×5 sheets hurts for my plans for the top. I’m hung between Maple or Oak. The more interesting options like walnut are a bit outside the price range for this project. Oak is the easiest to get around here and cheapest. But I’m not sure I want the roughness that seem to accompany the open pores on the top and faces. Maple would give a smoother look but doesn’t seem to take the dark stain/dye I plan to use for this as well to me. You end up with try grain almost hidden with dark stain. Any suggestions? I’ve never filled pores on a project and trying to stick to mostly waterbased and shellac for finishing. The heavy fumes for a lot of oil based products don’t go well with my wife and kids.

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