Dresser to go with Chest of Drawers


I built the chest of drawers you featured in Popular Woodworking in 2005 and it came out pretty good.  Now I would like to build a similar-looking dresser.  Never having built one my question concerns the construction.  Would I be able to use the same techniques you outlined in your chest of drawers or would I have to do something different?  

My plan is to make the dresser 58" from side panel to side panel, with three smaller drawers across the top, about 4" deep, then six drawers under that in graduating sizes, from about 8" on the bottom row, 6-1/2" for the next row and 5-1/2" for the third row.  I'm concerned about strength across the 58" width, assuming all the drawers will be full.  I would appreciate any advice or direction you can give me along this line.  I really admire your work and I'm so pleased with the chest of drawers.  If I can get this dresser built, the two should go very nice together.

- Joe W.

La Luz, NM

Our Expert

Thanks for your compliments; it's always a pleasure for me to know that people are enjoying my articles.

You can certainly use many of the construction techniques from the tall chest to build a dresser. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:

-Traditional chests-of-drawers, like the one in my article, are tall and narrow.

-Dressers, which are a relatively modern design, are short and wide. This causes the drawers to be short and wide, too. A wide drawer will

more easily rack and bind as it is closed. I suggest that you add vertical dividers to the drawer openings. This will provide support to the horizontal dividers to prevent sagging (58" is a long span). It will also reduce the width of the drawers and help prevent the drawers from binding during use.

-Make the top as overhang the case and shape the edge of the top with Amana Tool No. 49555.

-You can rout the dovetails using Amana Tool No. 45852



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