Ok, where to begin…
I have been lurking here for a while and just joined up, yeah!
Been woodworking for years but had to take the last couple of years off because of space and money constraints… So now I have a 3 car garage and am setting up shop and designing the first project to properly christen it. I have moderate skills and a decent assortment of tools.
I want to build a low long dresser for my beautiful wife.
I recently acquired two trailer loads of wood including; walnut slabs (not enough for this project), really cool looking cedar slabs, some water oak with crazy black lines running throughout, a pile of pine including 5×5 material, misc walnut in 4/4 and 8/4 and some random maple.
For the dresser I am looking at doing the top in book matched cedar slab;
Here is some of what I have, have a few larger pieces as well… And before anyone asks, no I will not be leaving the live edge on… I feel that gives the piece too much of a rustic look on the project, and that is not the style I’m going for.
For the sides and divider and bottom I wanted to do the water oak, sorry don’t have any pictures of that, it looks really cool with the black streaks running through it… after searching online I still haven’t found any like it. otherwise it looks like red oak.
I want to do through tenons to the top wedged with walnut so that on the top you see three species.
Then dovetail the bottom corners and put the whole thing on a ‘stand’ of walnut with some curved (almost Asian inspired) legs.
On the face I want the drawer faces out of red cedar with exposed dovetails exposing the oak that the other three drawer sides will be made from. Then make drawer pulls out of walnut.
Here is a very rough sketch… I don’t use sketch up yet and inspiration hit at work so all I had was a pen, paper and ruler… so don’t judge;
The dimensions are all up in the air at this point and will depend on a nice bookmatched cedar slab.
I only drew one drawer in because you get the point. The face frame will basically just be the edges of the water oak, so probably slightly over 3/4” thickness. And I will run a small maybe 3” thick piece behind the top drawers right below the surface to keep the “face” uniform.
So here’s what I need advise on…
Wood movement; I know how to mitigate it with the walnut stand, it will be loose and attached with slotted screws probably, but my question is; With two species as different as oak and red cedar if I do those through tenons very tight will the wood survive movement? I know its not a cross grain to long grain situation but if the different types shrink at different rates will this thing crack?
How will a cedar face on a drawer with exposed oak dovetails do?
Do you advise metal drawer runners or groove with hardwood runner?
Finish on aromatic red cedar?
Any other glaring design flaws? This is my first dresser and I am definitely open to suggestion.
Thank you for any help you can provide! I look forward to documenting this thing along the way.