Introduction: How-To: Build a Small Chest of Drawers
So a while back I decided I needed a chest to keep my more delicate tools, as well to aid in the general organization of the shop. Being as that I was a complete novice to this sort of cabinetry I decided to take the opportunity to explore with some design and construction techniques.
There are a few details I left out in order to keep the post succinct--If you are curious, I recommend watching the short video I made covering the construction.
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Thanks for looking!
Step 1: Cutting the Panels
The first step was to cut out the panels for the carcass. I used 3/4" maple plywood.
Step 2: Cutting the Panels to Width
Rule of keeping thumbs: Never cut a board wider than it is long on the table saw, it can bind and cause kick back. Here I'm using a cordless circular saw to crosscut the back to length.
Tools pictured: DeWalt 20V cordless circular saw.
Step 3: Assemble the Carcass
Kreg pocket hole jig. I'm using the coarse fasteners for 1.5" material.
Tools Pictured: Kreg K4MS Pocket hole system
Step 4: Install the Rails
Installing the rails, using a spacer block on both sides to keep them level. The rails add support to the carcass and provide a surface for the maple veneer between the drawer fronts.
Tools Pictured: DeWalt 20v Drill
Step 5: Cutting the Legs
I used 3/4" Mahogany for the legs, but I had to laminate two pieces together to get the thickness I needed.
Tools pictured: DeWalt miter saw.
Step 6: Cutting the Taper in the Legs
With the two pieces of 3/4" mahogany glued together, I cut the taper in the legs with a Rockwell Bandsaw.
Step 7: Attaching the Legs to the Carcass
After cutting a 3/4" recess in the legs on the table saw, I attached the legs to the carcass. Note the carcass is upside down as the feet protrude slightly beyond the bottom.
Step 8: Assembling the Drawers
I made the drawers from 3/4" thick supreme pine. Again, these were assembled using pocket screws, which are quick, strong, and simple when wood movement is not an issue.
Tools pictured: DeWalt 20v drill
Step 9: More Pocket Screws
I cut a dado in the bottom of the drawer frame on my table saw to accept the drawer bottom. The drawer bottom is 1/4" pre-finished hardboard.
Tools pictured: DeWalt 20v drill
Step 10: Instal the Drawer Slides
Installing the drawer slides, again, I find the best method is to use a spacer block in order to achieve equal spacing. In this build I am using Blum full extension drawer slides.
Note: I've found the slides can be purchased much cheaper at a local cabinet shop, or big box store than online.
Step 11: Install the Drawer Fronts
So I skipped a couple of repetitive steps here. This picture shows the carcass with the drawer fronts installed. If you would like to see the process, it is included in the video :)
Step 12: Make the Drawer Pulls
I made these drawer pulls out of 3/4" mahogany. I then routed the recess, and installed some threaded brass inserts.
Step 13: The Top
Here I am using a hand plane to flatten the top, which is made of 3/4" soft maple, which I glued up.
Tools Pictured: Wood River 4-1/2" plane
Step 14: Put Your Stuff in It!
This was a really fun build and I really learned a lot in the process. It was actually much simpler than I had expected. My advice is as long as you have it planned out well before you begin, it should be fairly straightforward.
Thanks for watching guys! I look forward to your questions and comments.
Tools & Materials used:
Wood River #4-1/2 bench plane
Boiled Linseed Oil
3/4" Maple plywood
3/4" Soft maple
Blum full extension drawer slides