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How to Build a Dresser

How to Build a Dresser

How to build a tall dresserI had the privilege of working with Matt Vanderlist at Matt’s Basement Workshop on this project. I took his overall design drawings for a chest of drawers that he wanted to build for his daughter. I used sketchup to draw a complete set of detailed how-to plans to compliment his video podcast. The plans are reasonably priced, and if you need any additional instruction, you can watch Matt’s videos for free as you build along. Even if you don’t need additional help, I highly recommend watching his videos; it’s always a good learning experience to see how other woodworkers accomplish a task.

The plans include measured drawings of the different components, a parts list, overall materials needed, and notes to help you understand the ins and outs of the plans.


Episode 1, Design Talk:

In this video, Matt discusses design options and how he came up with his design by using inspiration from another dresser and changing it to suit his needs and style.


Episode 2, Sorting The Stack:

In this video, Matt discusses how he sorted the stack of wood and decided which piece would be used for which part of the dresser. He also talks about how to rough cut your pieces to manageable sizes in preparation for final milling and joinery.

Episode 3, Sides, Sides, Everywhere are sides:

In this episode, Matt focuses on building the side panels.  She shows how he does the glue up of the side panels and a surefire way to cut all your dado’s in the right spot.  He also showed a trick on how to fix a glue panel that didn’t dry flat, as well as how to plane wide boards to have parallel sides without using a jointer but instead a shop-made planer sled.

Episode 4, Drawer Frames

In this show, Matt demonstrates his technique of using a router plane to clean out dados for a perfect fit with the drawer frames.  He also showed how to use a slot cutting/tongue and grove router bit to cut the joinery to assemble the web frames to divide the dresser drawers.  Finally, he finishes off by demonstrating the use of a band clamp to glue up the dresser drawer dividers.

 Episode 5, More Drawer Frame Stuff

Matt demonstrates how to cut the dados for the wood drawer glides and shows a trick on how to keep them all centered.  He also shows how to cut a stopped dado using a table saw and finishes it by hand with a mallet and chisel.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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