Arts and Crafts Dresser project

Charlie Buchanan

Corporate Member
Recently completed a 7-drawer dresser for my son. I had built him a A&C style spindle bed and night stand about 9 years ago and he wanted to have a matching dresser. I had saved the templates I used on the original project corbels and incorporated that shape into the new design using cherry as before. I used a photo of a Harvey Ellis dresser to come up with the drawer and pull arrangement but added the corbels from the bed design to help tie it together using dimensions my son furnished for his space requirements.
Did not make a bunch of photos this time but a few showing the finished project and some construction details as the project was underway.
Finished project installed. The earlier bed i made is partly visible in the lower left corner of the image. I think the finishes match pretty well for being 9 years apart.

Construction progress showing the frame and panel or post and panel structure in progress.
Frame work together ( on a platform behind the bench)to begin fitting drawer fronts.
Drawers lined up on the bench for finishing the fronts. I used cherry knobs attached by wedged through tenon and dyed a shade darker than the drawer fronts.
Detail of the bottom drawer showing the slips and the red cedar bottoms.
Bottom drawers showing the red cedar drawer bottoms.
Finally the dresser asembled on my assembly platform which I had to stretch a little to accommodate the 5 ft dresser.


Senior User
X2 what Ron said! The grain matching was the first thing I noticed and really sets off the dresser design. The knobs you made are better looking than many commercially available options.

Charlie Buchanan

Corporate Member
Grain is beautiful. What did you use for your finish Sir
Sand 220. Sealcoat shellac 1:1, sand 320, then Watco Danish oil equal parts cherry and natural. To match older pieces. Topcoat with Minwax satin polyurethane 1:1 wiped on. Light Sand 320 before final coat. Rub out 4x and paste wax. Nowadays I usually go with shellac all the way, but my son wanted a more water resistant finish and I needed to match the older pieces from years ago.
I did hit the knobs with some dilute cherry dye to darken them before gluing them in.


Senior User
Thats' some excellent craftsmanship & very well constructed.

What sets it apart is the quality of wood you've got there and the grain matching.

I absolutely love to see traditional techniques to build furniture.

Again - I congratulate you on a wonderful piece of furniture. You've created a family heirloom!!

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