Drawers are an essential part of any dresser. Lets build some for our DIY Vanity Dresser and give them a personal touch to boot.
Part 2 of this build will focus on building the drawers for the base units. After thinking about the type of joinery I wanted to use, I decided on dowels.
The goal was to introduce a bit of uniqueness to the piece.
I measured for the dowels to be equally spaced apart from each other. The vertical plane however, was left up to human error. Yes their is a place for human error in woodworking. The hand will naturally wonder a few degrees one way or the other on each dowel. I feel it gives the piece a more hand crafted feel.
After the drawers where finished, I had a chance to stand back and take a look at them. I liked the look so much that I will probably incorporate dowels in other aspects of the design going forward.
Hope you enjoy the project as much as I have.
DIY Vanity Dresser Part 2 - Building and Installing the Drawers
A few Unmentionables1. Using the table saw to cut the dadoes does create a slight flaw in the drawers. However, it is one that will almost never be seen unless you pull the drawer out and actually inspect the drawer. The dado will extend through to the ends of the sides.
You would have to pull the drawer out of the dresser in order to see that. How often have you pulled the drawers out of your dresser?
I thought so.
2. If you will notice I used a hand saw to cut the dowels used to assemble the drawers. Why didn't I use the band saw? Because I wanted to ensure as clean a cut as I could get so I didn't have to do extra work sanding later on. Cutting the dowels with a hand saw leaves the ends fairly clean and true. Minimal sanding was required afterwards, if any in some cases.
3. I used oak dowels not pine.
4. I designed this dresser to have two different depths to the drawers. The two bottom ones are six inches deep and the two top ones are five inches deep.
So the five inch deep drawers got four dowels each side and the six inch deep drawers got five dowels each side.
5. If you use plywood like I did for the drawer sides, be careful when drilling for the dowels so close to the ends. I found the thin vaneer was easily torn away leaving a not so pleasant looking end.
The ways I found to prevent this was to not apply to much pressure to the drill until I got past the veneer and into the inner layers of the plywood. Also, a new or sharp drill bit didn't hurt either.
6. I sent the solid oak face fronts through the planer before cutting to length on the miter saw. A slight cup developed in the board in the few days it sat in my shop. That is also why it is important to let lumber acclimate to your shop before using them in a project.
Video TranscriptWell I got the drawers to one of the base cabinets installed and then I took a look around the shop and it was in such a state that I thought I would stop for a moment and clean it up. So while I do this, why don't you watch that.
In Part one of this Vanity Dresser build, I assembled the two base units and cut the drawer sides while those were drying in the clamps. The table saw will make short work of the dadoes I need for the drawer bottoms. Make a single pass for each side. Adjust my fence about an eigth of an inch. Make a second pass.
Check the fit.
Everything looks good so I'll finish up here. Next I'll cut the drawer bottoms to size.
These eight foot ceilings are a pain in my...ankle. You thought I was going to say it was a pain in something else didn't you. Naughty you!
Cut to width. Then to length.
I've decided on dowels to assemble the drawers so I need a whole mess of one and a half inch dowels.
Every inch or so should be good on these dowels. Alright lets assemble some dresser drawers. Once I got a couple dowels set I realized I could remove the clamps and do that last dowel. That'll clean up nice with some light sanding. Now I can slide the bottom in place and finish up the other side.
Sand everything flush and then I'll take a sponge to those top edges. I'm not trying to round over anything over, just take the bite out of them.
Once that's done I'll start cutting the face fronts to rough length. This is a solid piece of one by eight oak. I'll cut em a quarter inch longer than I need and then take them over to the table saw and make a pass to square up one side. Then I'll add a stop block to my final measurement and sqaure up the other side. A quick check to make sure everything came out ok.
Now I'll chamfer the edges. Have I mentioned I like simple? and easy...I like simple and easy.
A friend of mine came over one day and said someone gave him an old bed frame that had storage underneath. He was going to break it down for firewood and asked if I wanted any of the hardware from it. Ahhhh....yeah!!! I'll find a use for those. I'll just clean these up a little bit and they'll work just fine.
There, use found.
I know the overhang measurements so I'll mark those. Lay the drawer on top and line em up with the marks.
Evan though I didn't get to staining I'd say she's still coming along pretty well. I'll get to that next time, maybe start adding some trim pieces and I've gotta start thinking about the top as well.
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