Introduction: Reclaimed Facade Dresser
Note: This project is from 2014 so I had to piece together photos of the build as best I could. I will try to explain in detail all the steps I took to create this dresser and try to answer any questions you might have.
I was in need of a dresser after moving, so I designed this four drawer dresser, Skinned in pallet wood, to match with the desk I built (previous Instructable). Or
Step 1: Plan, Materials, Tools
I designed it to fit into a 24" deep closet and stand right at the height of my hanging clothes. There is also just enough room underneath for shoes. I would rather bulk clothes/items into larger drawers than smaller individual drawers so I went with four large drawers using all the available space. The drawers run on tracks and lift out easily. For this project I used Oak 2x1" and hardwood for the front face of the dresser, 3/4" plywood to skin the top, 1/8" plywood to skin the back and for drawer bottoms, and 2x4s for ribs and legs. I had various pieces of pallet wood left over from the desk build. I used longer planks to skin the sides, and 12" planks for the front and top. Wood glue and pocket screws were used for the face frame, and everything else was glue and air gun nails. The stain used was Early American from Minwax I believe. and I brushed on two coats of a polycrylic sealer, including one coat inside the drawers. Tools that I had access to and used on this project: miter saw, table saw, pocket hole jig, screw gun, air compressor and air gun, clamps.
Step 2: Frame, Ribs, Sides
This project starts with the "face plate" I'm calling it, or front frame of the dresser. Three 2x1" pieces of oak run the length of the dresser and are supported on each end and in the middle by 2x1" oak. I used a pocket hole jig, 90* clamps, wood glue, and screws to assemble the face plate. After 24 hours I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to size for the top. I glued and clamped (later nailed) this to the face plate. then I lined up six 2x4s behind the face plate three per a side, and an additional two 2x4s that run vertically with the middle support. These will serve as mounts for the drawer rails as well as the structure/ribs of the dresser. 1/8" plywood sheeting is cut to fit the back of the dresser. I used some thin 1" hardwood scrap to support across the middle 2x4s. After some drying time I cut some of the longer pallet planks I had to skin the sides, after gluing and nailing these into place this thing is pretty solid.
Step 3: Drawers
I apologize for the lack of construction pictures here. When sizing take into account the clearance needed for the rails you are using (sides and up and down). After the dresser body is built next step is the drawers. I used 3/8' birch plywood for the drawer construction. I cut a 1/8" groove along the bottom of the drawer inside face and fit an 1/8" plywood bottom into the drawers during assembly, this gives a nice finished look. All sides were glued and nailed. Next is to install the rails. I found some 24" rails and we just cut them shorter to fit. Once they are installed put in all of your drawers. To plank the drawers I started by picking wider pieces or the outside edges of the drawers (they overhang), and nice and straight pieces for the center seam to get a nice fit. Use playing cards to space between top and bottom planks and down the middle. this gives the best clearance for the drawers. First I brushed glue onto the drawer face and then pressed each plank into place before adding 4 nails, two up top, two on bottom. Keep the same spacing and position of nails for a nice look. The handles I choose were from home depot, just some unfinished sanded handles.
Step 4: Finishing
After completing the drawers I repeated the same planking process on the top of the dresser. At this point you are almost done. I made feet for the dresser from two 2x4s in an "L shape". They give about 4" of clearance which is perfect for my shoes. I gave the whole thing a light sanding, I didn't want to kill the distressed look but I didn't want any splinters or chipping planks. Next I coated all surfaces visible to the outside with early american stain to match the desk. It came out a little darker but just about right. I gave the inside of each drawer a coat of polycrylic then the entire outside with two coats. Allow for proper drying times for the best finish.
Thanks for looking! I will try to answer any questions and critiques are welcomed.