picture of the dresser

     This was my second chest of drawers. (The first is in my workshop providing storage space for hand tools.) I am currently using this second dresser in my bedroom. It is very functional but not aesthetically pleasing. There is a blank space between the dresser top and the top of the first row of drawers. Also, I failed to stain the pine prior to applying a clear polyurethane finish. This and other projects have taught me more about building furniture and the next chest of drawers will be much better!

picture of the dresser back

     This is a picture of the back of the dresser before the 1/4" plywood backing was attached. Note the pocket screws used to attach the back of each drawer to the drawer sides.

picture of sock drawer
     My favorite drawer features 1/4" plywood dividers. Until building this dresser, my socks were thrown into a single drawer. Pulling out a matching pair was no problem as long as they remained tied together. (During Air Force basic training, we were taught how to "roll socks" into a neat ball. I consider myself adventurous but I would never ask my wife to roll my socks. She'd probably roll her eyes before knocking me out!
dresser plans - front view
     Drawing showing the front view of the dresser.

dresser plans - end view
     As shown in this end view drawing; rather than relying solely on the carcass for drawer support, a framework of boards supporting the drawers was added for additional strength.
plans for the dresser
     Attaching drawer slides requires precision and patience. The woodworking industry sells a wide variety of specialty tools which help make drawer attachment simpler. I've found that two 1/8" or 1/16" thick steel bars supporting the drawer works great.
  1. Attach the slides to the sides of the dresser.
    • Measure from the bottom of the dresser (front and back) and ensure each pair of slides are even with one another and are level. That is, the slides are level with the floor. Normally, the slides are attached halfway up the drawer sides.
    • It is critical that the front edge of all pairs of drawer slides are spaced the same distance as measured from the front of the dresser. Remember that you must allow for the thickness of the drawer face.
  2. Place the steel bars on the bottom of the dresser.
  3. Set the drawer on the steel bars. Ensure the drawer is aligned with the front of the dresser.
  4. Starting from the front of the drawer, attach the slides to the drawer. Ensure the front edges of the slides are placed exactly the same on both sides of the drawer.
  5. Remove the steel bars and check the drawer for fit and ease of operation.
  6. Once satisfied, place the bars on top of the drawer and set the next drawer on the steel bars.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6.

plans for the dresser with drawers in place
     This is the finished dresser plan showing drawers and trim.

     What caused the excess space between the dresser top and the first row of drawers? When cutting the dresser sides, I forgot to subtract the height of the feet from the overall height of the dresser! A simple mistake like this can ruin the aesthetics of a piece of furniture. All is not lost. I will eventually redo this dresser by:
  1. Removing the top and facings
  2. Cutting the sides to the correct height
  3. Replacing the top and facings
  4. Refinishing the entire dresser.

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Updated 01/29/2018
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