Add some uptown funk to your bedroom décor.
Building a bedroom suite is not a job to take lying down. Breaking up the task into components makes it more manageable. Start with this six-drawer dresser. Once completed, you’ll have the skills needed to take on the matching headboard and nightstand in the next issue.
Continuous grain wraps the case like a waterfall
1 From 3⁄4" stock, glue up a 22×112" panel for the sides (A) and top (B) [Exploded View]. Glue up two additional oversize panels for the bottom (B) and the divider (C) [Materials List, Exploded View].
2 Lay out the sides and top on the long panel, with the top in the center. Bevelcut parts in the following order: the ends of the top to length [Photo A, Exploded View]; the mating ends of the sides, as close to the end as possible; and then the opposite ends of the sides to length. Bevel-cut the bottom panel (B) to match the length of the top panel.
3 Cut biscuit slots in the bevels [Exploded View]. Rabbet the back edges of the panels (A, B), and chamfer the front edges. Finishsand the inside faces of the panels.
4 Make a set of clamping blocks [Photo B]. Then, using biscuits to align the pieces, glue the top to one of the sides and the bottom to the other side, creating two L-shape assemblies [Photo C].
5 Dry-assemble the two halves of the case and measure the opening height to determine the length of the divider (C). Cut the divider to size and form biscuit slots on the ends and at the center of the top and bottom panels (B). Finish-sand the divider.
Glue up the two halves of the case, sandwiching 6 the divider (C) in between, aligning the rear edge with the rabbets in the top and bottom panels (B) [Photo D]. From 1⁄2" plywood, cut the back (D) to fit in the rabbeted opening and set it aside.
Add a base on the down-low
1 From 11⁄2" stock, cut to size the blanks for the feet (E) [Materials List, Drawing 1]. Mark the location of each foot on top of the blanks. Then form the mortises [Drawing 1a].
2 Lay out the profile on each foot blank [Drawing 1b]. Bandsaw the profile and sand the curves smooth. Ease the edges with sandpaper and finish-sand the surfaces.
3 Cut the stretchers (F, G) to size. Form tenons on the ends of the stretchers [Drawing 1c] and biscuit slots on the inside face of each stretcher for the Z-brackets [Exploded View, Drawing 1, Sources].
4 Finish-sand the stretchers and glue up the base.
Fill the case with drawers
1 Cut to size the drawer fronts, backs, and sides (H, I). Dado the ends of the sides [Drawing 2], then rabbet the fronts and backs to fit in those dadoes.
2 Groove the inside face of the drawer box parts for the drawer bottoms (J) [Drawing 2]. Cut the drawer bottoms to size.
3 Finish-sand the inside faces and glue up the drawers, checking for square.
4 After the glue dries, finish-sand the outside of the drawer boxes. Use a handsaw and chisel to quickly notch the drawer backs, then drill locating holes for the drawer slides [Drawing 2a].
5 Cut the false fronts (K) to size and finishsand them. Make the drawer pulls (L)
[Elegant two-bit drawer pulls].
Elegant two-bit drawer pulls
Keep true to the mid-century style by making your own drawer pulls using a pair of router bits. Start by cutting three 3⁄4×23⁄8×121⁄2" blanks. Using a 3⁄8"-radius core-box bit, rout a pair of flutes in each blank [Photo E]. Replace the core-box bit with a 3⁄4" round-over bit and rout the opposite face of the blanks [Photo F]. Rip the blank into two equal-width pulls, and sand them smooth. Sand a slight round-over on the front edges of the pulls.
Slide it all together
1 Finish-sand the remaining outside faces. Apply a finish to all the parts and assemblies. (We used a satin-finish lacquer.)
2 Turn the case upside down and center the base assembly (E–G) on the bottom (B) and attach it with Z-brackets [Exploded View]. Secure the back (D) to the case with brads.
3 Screw the front clips for the drawer slides to the drawer boxes [Photo G].
4 At the bandsaw, trim off part of the rear brackets so the drawer slides fit flush against the sides of the case [Photo H]. (Trim an equal number of left- and right-side brackets.)
5 Insert the rear brackets onto the drawer slides and screw the slides to the case sides and divider [Exploded View, Photo I]. The bottom slides rest on the bottom of the case.
6 Center the pulls on the false fronts using double-faced tape. Drill pilot holes from the back of the false fronts into the pulls. After removing the tape, drive trimhead screws into the pulls.
7 Install the bottom drawer boxes in the case, and the false fronts on the drawers [Photo J]. Drive screws into the false fronts from inside the drawers. Repeat the process with the second and third rows of drawers.
8 Move the dresser into a suitable spot in the bedroom and load up the drawers. You’ll sleep easy knowing that you’ve built a piece of furniture that will last for years.