Coffee Table or Dresser?

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Forum topic by Ike posted 03-25-2013 06:19 PM 1550 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3810 days

03-25-2013 06:19 PM

This will be my first woodworking project. HD had 1”x7”x4’ oak boards for $8 so i grabbed 10 as well as 1”x3”x6’ pine for framing.

For the dresser, I was planning on 3 of the boards for the top, another 4 for the drawer fronts, with oak veneer plywood (1/2” or 3/4” don’t know which is more typical) for face frame and the sides, with 1/4” for the back. Overall dimensions (length x height x depth): 4’x’3’x20”

For the coffee table chest, again 3 planks for the top (which opens), oak veneer plywood for the panels with the other planks ripped and cut to make rails and stiles. overall dimensions: 4’x2’x20”

My question, would a 4’x3’x20” dresser (with 4 drawers) look odd? I’m not very good with google sketchup.

-- Ike, Houston,Tx

8 replies so far

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 1989 days

#1 posted 03-25-2013 06:21 PM

Ike -

I personally think the size would look kind of odd, but everyone has a different style and preference, so go for it if thats what you prefer.

Do you have more use for one over the other?

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2339 days

#2 posted 03-25-2013 06:37 PM

I agree that the size would look odd. My thought is that, unless you’re willing to make a longer panel with butt joints or a trimmed plywood top, that 4’ length is not very conducive to making a dresser. If your height is under 4 feet, you’re probably going to want the dresser to be longer (maybe 6-8 feet). If your dresser is going to be taller than 4 feet, you’d probably want it closer to 5 feet, and adding a 12” base on the bottom to get there would look dumb.

Could you possibly make some end tables from the oak, and get something more suitably-sized for your dressers?

P.S. Love the avatar. Good episode.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View SteveKnnn's profile


66 posts in 1857 days

#3 posted 03-25-2013 08:26 PM

The answer to whether something “looks good” often boils down to the golden ratio. 1:1.1618

Using that a 4’ tall dresser should be 2’ 6” wide or 6’ 6” wide.

-- Steve in Richmond, VA

View Ike's profile


10 posts in 3810 days

#4 posted 03-25-2013 09:11 PM

how about a coffee table? just did a mock up in sketchup and determined that 4’x’2’x20” looks weird, so changed it to 4’x18”x20”, top would be bull nosed with 1” overhang on all sides. Is 1” enough?

on the dresser, how do you feel about painted MDF, designed something like this?

-- Ike, Houston,Tx

View Ike's profile


10 posts in 3810 days

#5 posted 03-25-2013 11:42 PM


-- Ike, Houston,Tx

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2938 days

#6 posted 03-25-2013 11:57 PM

Not being funny, but if you can’t use sketchup, there’s always a pencil, ruler and a piece of paper. You might find it useful to draw it up at scale, see how it looks and make any changes you want until you are happy with it.
You will probably keep this piece for years, spending a couple of hours designing and planning it properly will be time well spent. Construct it first on paper before you do any cutting.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2044 days

#7 posted 03-26-2013 12:36 AM

Drawers can be very finicky and frustrating. If you are truly a beginner, I’d steer you away from a dresser as your first project. Just my 2 cents worth.

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

View Ike's profile


10 posts in 3810 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 09:54 PM

I watched some videos on sketchup and it has made things easier

I’m thinking of scraping both ideas for coffee table or dresser and going with a shoe bench.

dimensions: 16” height x 18” depth x 36” length

I’m still debating on solid side or opened. Solid because I want to put slides for the shelves and don’t want them exposed. Also taking the bullnose idea from the table and implementing it here, legs are 1/4” round-over.

pic is what I came up with in sketchup

-- Ike, Houston,Tx

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