Reclaimed 6 Drawer Dresser (TECHSHOP BUILT)!!




I was asked by a friend to make her a dresser...the only thing that she mentioned is that she wanted it to look old. Old is not that easy for a novice like me, but I said yes, and she gave me a idea of what she was looking for, and I got started.


Step 1: Reclaimed WOOD

First I found out about a guy in Half Moon Bay with a sort of reclaimed lumber yard. I went there, and stumbled upon a relatively rare wood called IPE. (EEPAY). It is a rock hard hardwood similar to teak and is a really impressive wood. I bought the whole stack for like 60 bucks.

I used a lot of it for a playhouse for my kids, but I had a bunch left...It took a bunch of planing and cutting, but I milled it down to usable planks. 

Step 2: Glue Up for Drawer Fronts and Top...

First, I used the TECHSHOP jointer/planer to get the planks down to sized I could work with. I wanted to have an old looking dresser, so I only planed one side, and left the dirt/weathering on the other. These were going to be used for the Drawer Fronts, so I made them as square as possible so I could face-glue them together.

Step 3: Building the Frame....

I used the TECHSHOP tenoning jig to create some good strong tenons for the frame of the dresser. I used some long solid pieces of IPE (EEPAY) for the framework., and glued them up with some plywood for the inside to mount the drawer glides on later.

Step 4: Making the Drawers.....

So I am no expert on drawers, and I didn't figure this for a dovetail-needed project, so I just built the drawers with a sort of half lap. I cut a groove for the drawer bottom to slide into, and glued them all together. TECHSHOP has a dovetail jig, so you can use that if you need to.

I knew that I wanted to do the fronts of the drawers without traditional pulls, I cut the drawers with cutouts on the front, so the drawers could be grabbed and pulled with one hand. I used the TECHSHOP router with a following bit, to make the cutouts all the same.

The woman I build it for wanted 6 drawers, but the top four to be offset and increasing in size, so each drawer is actually unique. 

Step 5: SHOP BOT for the Back.....

I chose to have a solid thin piece for the back of the dresser, and each of the drawers have really nice self closing drawer glides, so I used the TECHSHOP SHOPBOT to cut out the back of the dresser. The holes allow for the drawer glides to be adjusted or disconnected if necessary from behind.

Step 6: She Also WANTED STENCILED NUMBERS on the Drawers...

The woman I build this for also thought stencils on the front would be nice, so using the TECHSHOP vinyl cutter, I cut out some nice stenciled words to use to paint the front of the drawers. 

First you cut out the vinyl, then cover with a not stretch plastic sheet, then transfer the vinyl to the workpiece. This way I could paint right on it.

She loved it, and I loved making it. 




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    8 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 4

    I love this project. Could you tell me how you cut the grooves to make the drawers and also created the half lap? I would like to make some similar ones. Thanks!

    4 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 4

    Basically, you can do it the lazy but wrong way, (which is how I usually do things) or the correct way. Most people will set up a Dado Blade in a tablesaw that is the perfect width of the 1/4 inch groove for the drawer bottom to fit in. They will do the same for the half lap, with a larger width Dado Blade, or sometimes even use a router table with a 1/2 inch straight bit in a router and run the wood vertically with a fence.

    I just kept the normal blade in the table saw, and made more than one pass on the table, moving the fence on each pass. Not the correct way, but it requires less adjusting and changing blades or using other tools. Hope that helps, and makes sense.


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 4

    Great! Thanks! I might do it the same way since I'm not sure about using/ setting up Dado blades at techshop. One other question... to do the drawer pulls you said you used a router. Did you use the CNC router or is there a way to do it by hand with relative accuracy on the table router. I'm guessing you just drew the shape on the wood and then used the table router to get the radius the same at the corner of the shape. CHeers!! Thanks again!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I just cut the shape that I wanted using the Bandsaw on a scrap piece of wood. Then, I clamped that template to each of the drawer fronts, and cut them on the router table exactly the same with a following bit..(you know, the one with a bearing on the end, and a straight cutting bit below). That way, the bearing rides on the template, and the cutter cuts the shape identical to the template. Hope that helps.

    Not enough comments. Looks great.

    I would have sanded and stained it just a tad to make it look more uniform.


    6 years ago on Step 2

    besides glue, did you use any biscuits or dowels or ? ?