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double dresser joinery - need advise

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Forum topic by martin007 posted 1848 days ago 1802 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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martin007

141 posts in 2372 days


1848 days ago

I am designing a double dresser for my little girl and I have some doubts on my design and would like to get your comments or suggestions

here is the draft drawing

The double dresser will be 48 inch wide and 35 inch high. I have planned to use 3/4 thick drawer dividers (horizontal and vertical). Each horizontal divider will run from post to post with a double tenon joinery, except for the top one which will have a dovetail. I will also drawbore joints. The horizontal dividers will be approx 2 1/2 inch wide and will be grooved to receive the drawer runner 1/2 long tenon. The drawer guides will be screwed to the runners.

I have two main questions

Is 3/4 inch thick enough for the horizontal divider?

I had planned to used stopped dado between the vertical and horizontal dividers (see picture) with 1/4 inch deep groove. Is this sound or it will weakened the H.divider too much

thanks for your help, any comments welcome

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec


13 replies so far

View CutNRun's profile

CutNRun

122 posts in 2443 days


#1 posted 1848 days ago

I believe 3/4” is thick enough, but would suggest reducing the dado depth to 1/8”. This will still position the vertical dividers, but will leave more “meat” in the horizontal dividers.

-- CutNRun - So much wood, so many trails, so little time

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2294 days


#2 posted 1848 days ago

I have build quite a few dressers and I make mine like would do a kitchen cabinet I start with a frame for the front and the back then the sides and from there I make my drawers very simple to make.

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GMman

3902 posts in 2294 days


#3 posted 1848 days ago

Photobucket

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GMman

3902 posts in 2294 days


#4 posted 1848 days ago

Photobucket

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GMman

3902 posts in 2294 days


#5 posted 1848 days ago

Your making your job complicated you can frame a 6 drawer dresser in 1/2 a day the drawers are more time consuming.

View MattD's profile

MattD

149 posts in 2541 days


#6 posted 1848 days ago

I think CutNRun is right. 1/8” hidden or maybe even through dados if you want to show the joinery.
Another configuration you might not have considered would be to use a single vertical divider. One advantage to this is that you could perhaps put in a door in place of the 2 bottom left drawers. I studied a lot of post and rail pieces like yours years ago and 3/4” is quite standard for horizontal dividers. However, what are you going to do for the drawers fronts? flush, overlap? I suggest you think about how you want the space between drawers to look before you decide on how thick the dividers should be. Just a suggestion. Looking great so far!

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

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martin007

141 posts in 2372 days


#7 posted 1848 days ago

MattD, The drawers front will be flush

I have also second thoughts on my double tenon joints between divider and post. I have done some before and found them time consuming. Since I will be draw bore the joints, I wonder if I could substitute them for single tenon without compromising quality.

thanks

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

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MattD

149 posts in 2541 days


#8 posted 1847 days ago

I think you need the best possible joints, like pinned double tenons, around the outside perimeter. The horizontal divider frames in the middle are secondary to the structure, so I’d think a single tenon or a 3/8” dado would be more than adequate.

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

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martin007

141 posts in 2372 days


#9 posted 1839 days ago

I am concerned that the lower horizontal divider, which is only 1 3/4 wide might sag over time with the weight of the drawers.

I know I could make it wider like 3 inch wide but that would probably required that I also join the divider to the drawer guide. The drawer guides will be joined to the leg with tenons.

thanks again

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

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MattD

149 posts in 2541 days


#10 posted 1838 days ago

Hi Martin,

It seems to me that the weight of the drawers would rest entirely on your runners to each side of the drawer. That weight would also be mostly distributed between the front and back of the runner. If so, I think you’d want to focus on that amount of pressure bearing down on the intersection between the lower horizontal divider and the vertical divider. In this case, that joint, (or joints in the vert dividers about it) would need to break before the horiz divider could sag, which seems unlikely to me with everything going on there. You might reinforce the intersections with dowels or screws or something.

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

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martin007

141 posts in 2372 days


#11 posted 1838 days ago

Thanks Matt

Well I think , I have pretty much of the carcase design issues resolved.

Another issue that I would like to address is the weight of the dresser. I will be using pine for the back frame and panel, and will use 1/4 maple panel for the side. I want also to use pine for the drawer sides, backs and bottoms. Since the larger drawer will be 30” x 19” + 8 1/2” I wonder if 3/8 is fine for the sides and 1/2 for the bottoms.

To reduce the wear on the pine drawer side, I will be using slips for the drawer bottoms which will make a 1 1/8 or so sliding surface. Slips and runners will be in maple.

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

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MattD

149 posts in 2541 days


#12 posted 1838 days ago

Personally, I would tend to go towards 1/2” on the drawer sides and back using pine. You could probably do 3/8” for the bottom on the large drawers if you put in a muntin (maple) to divide the drawer bottom into 2 separate panels. Be sure to allow all your panels to move in the grooves.

This is going to be a great dresser Martin. Looks like you have a great plan.

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

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martin007

141 posts in 2372 days


#13 posted 1837 days ago

Thanks Matt for all your tips, I will be cutting wood tomorow !

I will give the muntins some thoughts, interesting.

Martin

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

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