How To Make A Dresser

With the right plans, materials, and equipment, you can construct this Quality Dresser Chest of Drawers, as shown here.

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Materials
  • 3/4" Plywood 48" x 96" Hardwood of choice: Two pieces for the Top, Sides, Bottom, Drawers, and Glide Supports
  • 3/4" Thick x 12" x 96" Hardwood: One piece for the "finished" Drawer Fronts
  • 3/4" Thick x 3" x 96" Hardwood: One piece for the Top Frame
  • 3/4" Thick x 2" x 96" Hardwood: Three pieces for the Face Frame
  • 3/4" Thick x 5" x 96" Hardwood: One piece for the Drawer Dividers
  • 1/4" Plywood 48" x 96": Two pieces for the Drawer Bottoms and the Back Panel
  • 1 1/4" Wood Screws: 1/4 lb.
  • 1/2" Wood Screws: 1/8 lb.
  • 1 1/4" Kreg Screws: 1/4 lb.
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Filler and Glue
  • Satin Finish Polyurethane Poly

Tools
  • Table Saw
  • Belt Sander or 120 grit sandpaper and a block (320 grit for finish sanding)
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Corner/Arc Template
  • Miter Saw
  • Band Saw
  • Power Drill with DeWalt 9/64 Tapered Bit with Plug Cutter
  • Router with Round-over Bit
  • Kreg Pocket Hole System
  • Screw Gun
  • Two Clamps: Bar Clamps and a Gripping Clamp

Step 1: Cut the Dresser Box Pieces - Determine the desired size of your dresser or use the dimensions provided here

  • Select the 3/4" Plywood stock: Rip one piece in half to 24" (23 7/8") and crosscut the 24" x 96" in half to make the two Sides @ 48" (47 7/8"); using the other half (24 x 96), cut the Bottom Panel @ 24" x 34 1/2"; see the diagrams above.
  • Select the 3/4" Plywood stock: Cut one piece @ 24" x 36" for the Top Panel
  • Select the Top, Bottom, and Side Panels; On the back edge, make a daddo cut 1/4" deep by 1/2" to receive the 1/4" thick Back Panel
  • Select the 3" Hardwood stock: Cut one piece @ 40" for the Top Panel Frame (Front); Cut the ends @ 45 degrees
  • Select the 2" Hardwood stock: Cut two pieces @ 25 7/8" for the Top Panel Frame (Sides); Cut one end of each @ 45 degrees, as shown above
  • Select the Top, Bottom, and Side Panels; Drill pocket holes along the edges of the panels as shown above (Ensure to drill the holes to attach the Front Frame)
  • Select the 3/4" Plywood stock: Cut eight pieces @ 2 7/8" x 23.5" for the Slide Supports

Step 2: Make the Dresser Box - Select the pieces from Step 1

  • Select the four pieces that make up the Top Panel; Using glue, Kreg them together; Using a Band Saw, round the two, "front" corners; Using a Router with Roundover Bit, round off the top and bottom edges of the Front and Sides (NOT the "Back Edge"); Sand smooth
  • Select the two, Side Panels and the eight Slide Supports; Using glue and 1 1/4" screws, attach the supports to the two Side Panels, per the dimensions above (countersink the screws)
  • Select the Top, two Sides and Bottom Panels; Using glue, Kreg them together; Notice the 2" placement of the Bottom Panel

Step 3: Construct and Attach Front Frame - Select the 2" Hardwood Material

  • Select the 2" material; Cut two pieces @ 1.5" x 48"
  • Select the 2" material; Cut five pieces @ 2" x 33"
  • Select the cut pieces; Drill the pocket holes, as shown above; sand all pieces
  • Select the pieces; Using glue and pocket hole screws, connect the pieces
  • Select the Front Frame; Using glue and pocket hole screws, connect the Frame to the Cabinet

Step 4: Construct the Drawers - Select the Plywood and Hardwood Materials

  • Select the 3/4" Plywood; Cut the Front and Back Panels for the three larger drawers, 6 pieces @ 9.5" x 30.5"; Cut a 1/4" daddo slot 3/8" deep to receive the 1/4" Bottom Panel
  • Select the 3/4" Plywood; Cut the Side Panels for the three larger drawers, 6 pieces @ 9.5" x 23 7/8"; Cut a 1/4" daddo slot 3/8" deep to receive the 1/4" Bottom Panel
  • Select the 3/4" Plywood; Cut the Front and Back Panels for the smaller, top drawer, 2 pieces @ 7" x 30.5"; Cut a 1/4" daddo slot 3/8" deep to receive the 1/4" Bottom Panel
  • Select the 3/4" Plywood; Cut the Side Panels for the smaller, top drawer, 2 pieces @ 7" x 23 7/8"; Cut a 1/4" daddo slot 3/8" deep to receive the 1/4" Bottom Panel
  • Select the Front and Back Panels; Drill two holes in each panel, on center (counter sink holes), to receive the Drawer Center Divider
  • Select the Side Panels; Drill 3 holes (counter sink holes) on each edge
  • Select the 1/4" Plywood Material; Cut 4 Bottom Panels @ 31 1/4" x 24 5/8" (dry-fit drawers and confirm measurement)
  • Select the 3/4" Hardwood Material; Cut 4 Center Dividers @ 4.5" x 22 3/8"
  • Select all pieces; Sand all pieces
  • Select all pieces; Using glue and 1 1/4" screws, construct all drawers

Step 5: Attach Drawer Slides - Select the Drawer Slides

  • Select the Drawers, Chest, and Slides; Attach the slides to the drawers and the Chest Glide Support Braces

Step 6: Construct and Attach Drawer Fronts - Select the 12" Hardwood Material

  • Select the 12" Hardwood Material; cut 3 bigger Drawer Faces @ 11" x 34"
  • Select the 12" Hardwood Material; cut 1 smaller Drawer Face @ 8.5" x 34"
  • Select the Drawer Faces; Using a router and bit of choice, router all edges (include finger grabs); Sand all surfaces smooth
  • Select the Drawer Faces, clamps and 1 1/4" screws; Center and clamp the Faces on the Drawers; Pre-drill and attach with screws

Step 7: Finish the Dresser - Select the Completed Dresser

  • Select 1/4" Plywood; Cut the Back Panel @ 35 1/4" x 46 7/8"; Using 1/2" screws, attach the panel
  • Fill all holes and cracks with filler; Conduct a final sanding of all surfaces
  • Apply three coats of poly

Copyright 2013 - Wayne Murray

If you are a member of a non-profit organization and have any requests or suggestions regarding projects for your group, you can send Rod an email at: rodneyg@cheqnet.net