Chest of Drawer Plans Help

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Forum topic by Brian posted 02-08-2013 06:09 PM 6691 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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180 posts in 2028 days

02-08-2013 06:09 PM

So my only neice’s birthday is next month and her mother said she really needs a chest of drawers. She’s turning 5 and has only had a cheap particle board dresser from wal-mart and a toy box that I made up to this point. The dresser is coming apart and needs to be replaced. We grew up out in the country with not a lot of funds, so in my family, hand-made items are appreciated because of the time and effort put into them and just spending a lot money on something is too foreign to enjoy.

I am having trouble finding decent chest of drawer plans for a novice woodworker. I fully expect the chest of drawer to develop new skills and test the limited skills that I already possess. I have pretty much every tool that I can think of needing except a bandsaw and dovetail jig. However, I plan on ordering a Porter Cable dovetail jig next week. I think dovetail drawers are too pretty not to use. I have never done mortise and tenon joinery and am not sure now is the best time to start learning that since I have one month to completely finish the project. However, I do have a new set of forstner bits and a grizzly baby drill press.

If anyone has any ideas on a chest of drawers, I would appreciate the direction. I am happy to buy decent plans if they will work for me. Oak and Poplar are about the only woods I have available here as well. I promise to post whatever I build, good or bad! Thank you in advance.

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

5 replies so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4001 posts in 2231 days

#1 posted 02-09-2013 04:18 PM

Buzz, I’m so excited that you are planning to build an heirloom. It is worth the time and trouble to do it “right”, even if it is going to be a bit late.
First, don’t spend the money on a dovetail jig. If you have any kind of decent saw and chisel, you can cut passable dovetails by hand with minimal practice.
If you insist on new tools for this job, get a decent pair of back saws, one for rip cuts and one for cross cuts. This will set you up nicely for both dovetails and tenon cuts. Your Forstner bits at the appropriate (slow) speeds in your drill press are a natural for mortises. A little chiseling and you have nice round end mortises that can be fitted with corner filed tenons. Loose tenons are another option where you mortise both rail and stile and glue in a “loose” tenon, a short stick cut to fit the mortises.
Do you use SketchUP? It’s a free design tool that’s quick and easy to use. If you can give me specs and style I’ll quickly draw up something for you. No charge, no gimmicks.
There are dozens of tutorials, videos, and help references available. Search Internet for what you want to know or ask here. We’ll be all over it! And, we’re going to hold you to the posting pics!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2072 days

#2 posted 02-09-2013 04:23 PM

Hi Buzz,

I’ve downloaded plans from PlansNow before. They’re from Shopnotes and Woodsmith. I did some browsing and found this plan for 7.99.

It might be worth your consideration. Good luck.


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4001 posts in 2231 days

#3 posted 02-09-2013 04:26 PM

View Brian's profile


180 posts in 2028 days

#4 posted 02-10-2013 07:47 PM

Thanks for the responses. I’m just started to look at sketchup. I see a lot of the guys using it on here but there does seem to be a little bit of a learning curve. My wife actually ordered the portal cable dovetail jig for me the day I posted this. I think she’s wanting me to practice before she asks for a new kitchen. I’ve looked at the plans you guys provided. I think I can take a little from each and get what I’m looking for. If I can’t, I’ll definitely take you up on your offer Dan. Hopefully I’ll have a new project to post soon!

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

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3228 days

#5 posted 02-10-2013 11:42 PM

Take your time and make a good one. It should last a long time. My dad made a toy box/hope chest for my daughter when she was born. She is 25 now and her three yr old has taken over and has her toys in it and plays in it all the time.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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