Introduction: Chest of Drawers With Hidden, Lockable Gun Cabinet

My son was getting married and I want to make them something unique. He wanted a gun cabinet but they also needed a dresser. So I combined the two and made a 7 drawer chest of drawers with lockable storage for guns and/or bows on both sides.


Step 1: Preparing the Wood

To begin this project, I picked the wood that I was going to use; recycled oak 2 x 4 x 8 that were used in box cars to shim loads. The second type of wood was 2 x 8 x 16 pine that I had picked up from a yard sale. Lastly, I purchased 1 sheet of 3/8 plywood for the dresser bottoms.

All boards were run through the thickness planner.

Step 2: Dadoes and Gluing

Once the boards were planed and trimmed, I dadoed the boards as my intent was to use no nails or screws in this project. Once dadoed, I lined the pieces up and glued and clamped them into panels.

Step 3: Building the Top

The top was built totally out of the recycled 2 x 4's. I made a 2 x 2 frame with dadoes and then ripped the 2 x 4 for to 1 x 4 for the balance of the top. I dadoed all the pieces then glued and clamped them. Since these were from very rough wood a lot of planing and sanding was required. All corners were mitered and then rounded.

Step 4: Building the Gun Cabinet Ends

Next I built the cabinets to house the guns. These cabinets were built out of the pine and were 7 inches deep, 28 inches wide, and 66 inches high. For the frame I cut rabbit joints and dadoed the sides for the back panel.

The whole cabinet has a 2 inch trim ripped from the 2 x 4's.

Step 5: Drawers

Drawers were built out of pine with 3/8 plywood bottoms dadoed in place.

I dove-tailed the pieces for the drawers first, creating open boxes, then added a pine panel face.

Step 6: Planing Box Fronts to Fit

Once the drawers were built, I cut the fronts, laid them out on the cabinet to ensure I had cut them on the correct side, then glued them to the drawer boxes.

This step went very quickly, while the final steps and planing the boards to fit just right, took a very long time.

Step 7: Sliding Doors for the Gun Cabinets

After the main part of the chest of drawers was complete, I built the sliding doors for the cabinets out of pine with a 2 x 2 door pull. The top and bottom of the doors were given rabbit cuts to slide in the dadoed frame on the top and bottom.

Door locks were drilled in at the back of the cabinet so they would not be easily noticed.

The rabbits on the doors were waxed after the finish was applied so they would slide with ease.

Step 8: Last Step Before Adding Hardware and Finishing

The last step before the finish was applied was to build feet for the dresser out of the 2 x 4's by gluing pieces together then angling them on the miter saw to give a nice finished look. I found some nice wrought iron drawer pulls at Lee Valley that help give the chest of drawers the rustic look that I was after.

The stain I used for the cabinet was 2 coats of Minwax Expresso 273 and then 2 coats of Minwax Polyurethane. On the top, for extra durability a total of 4 coats of Polyurethane was applied.

Tools used for this project included table saw, miter saw, orbital sander, thickness planer, hand planer, clamps, dado blade, dove-tail jig, and router.

Step 9: Completing the Bedroom Suite

One piece was not enough. This project continued and once complete included a dresser, 2 end tables and a cedar chest.

Furniture Contest 2018

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2018