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Designing A New Dresser for Our New Son

Posted by on July 30, 2008
This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Boy's Cherry and Walnut Dresser

A few months back, we learned that we were expecting our third child. My wife, the youngest of five kids, is adamant that this child have their very own crib and dresser. Who am I to argue? A couple weeks ago we learned it was a boy – so, I set off to design and build a “masculine” dresser.


My first step was to review some of my favorite projects on I’ve added references to these projects at the end of this post. They’re all excellent…check ’em out!


With those pieces in mind, I set out to design the new dresser. Here’s my current Sketchup rendering:

The light colored wood represents cherry and the dark, walnut. I spent some time debating reversing the side panels, that is, using walnut for the frame and cherry for the raised panel. This seems somehow more “right” since it more closely echos the drawer/face frame arrangement of the front. Howver, I just didn’t like the look as well. Feel free to tell me if you think otherwise! Also, since I enjoyed the “hand cut dovetail” process so much on the kid’s bench project, I figured I’d do a whole bunch of ’em for the drawers. I’d never really considered using through dovetails for drawers, but I liked the look of them so well on the design references below, I figured I’d give ’em a try here!

Decisions Remain

I’m still unsure what I want to use for pulls. I’m nearly positive that I will be crafting them in the shop out of hardwood…but I’m still looking for just the right design. Anyone have any ideas? Also, as with most of my pieces, I intend to customize this one with an inlay or two. I’m still unsure of the “what” and “where” at this point. I’m considering a pattern that cuts across a number of drawer fronts — but with the child due to arrive in early November, that may simply be too much to finish in time!

Google SketchUp!

Here’s my SketchUp drawing for anyone who’s interested in playing with it.

I’ve yet to cut my first board and wholeheartedly welcome any suggestions, comments or criticisms (preferably constructive 😉 ).


Design References

There are many examples of inspiring design and craftsmanship on Here are the ones I used while working on my design. Thanks, guys!

Click for details: Michael Colca designed table

Click for details: 7 Drawer Maple and Cherry Dresser

Click for details: Mahogany Sofa Table

Click for details: Cherry Shaker Bench

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Series NavigationLegs shaped, sides assembled and Ouch! >>

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