60 comments on “Chest of Drawers: Info Page

  1. I do not not like bending down to access drawers that are close to the ground. Do you think this design could be adapted to have longer legs? Something along the lines of an arts & crafts/shaker highboy?

  2. Paul and Crew

    I am looking forward to this project. This will be a great foundation build which I can use to make night stands and an armoire. Cherry has to be one of the best hard woods to work with.

    Thank you

  3. Very much looking forward to making this chest of draws in the Shaker design. These pieces are classic and wonderful examples of tried and true workmanship. Will probably make several for the grandchildren!

    Bill, USA

  4. Awsome. Great timing on this one as I just started preparing a small drawer cabinet project.

    Can I be a first to ask a question for the Q&A session? Namely, I’d like two top drawers in stead of one, side by side. How do I construct the now needed mid devider rail (flat and upright) and connect it to the now needed upright front devider rail and the existing horizontal front devider rail? I did some sketching but end up with a joints nightmare..


    • Hello @micr,
      You would need an additional divider rail tenoned into the panel to support the inside bottom edges of the drawers. Of the same width and thickness as the edge dividers would work. make sure not to glue the rear mortise to allow expansion and contraction.

      You would want a vertical divider in the middle, around 7/8″ x 2 or 3″ which either houses or dovetails into the middle of the top front rail and front divider rail of the divider below.

      Then a 1” x ⅞” x full depth piece between the two draws which acts to seperate and align them.

      Does that all make sense?
      Best, Phil

      • Hey @filadams,
        Thanks fro the explanation!

        This bit is confusing: “You would need an additional divider rail tenoned into the panel” – I suppose you mean “tenoned into front divider rail”?

        If so, than that makes sense. If I look at page 3 of the above PDF, then there’d be an additional divider rail in the middle. The vertical divider then houses also into the front divider rail. And then a separator that could house into the vertical divider.

        My concern is then that in the front divider rail I’ll be chopping mortises from the top and the back. Wouldn’t that weaken the front divider too much? I see the length tenons on the side dividers are more than half of the width of the front dividers. That doesn’t leave much meat for the vertical divider. Or should I use smaller tenons here? Or tenon one tenon through the other tenon?


        • @micr, the divider rail would need to be tenoned into the front and rear divider rail. The vertical divider would then house into the top of the front divider, or dovetail into the front edge of it. You would have to take this into consideration when thinking through the width, length and position of the tenon, as well as the depth of the housing. You could shorten that tenon a little.

          The separator could be glued or glued and screwed. It is not necessary to house it.

  5. Paul & The Team,
    Quite a stunning piece of furniture.My imagination is already taking me to picturing a wardrobe and two bedside cabinets all in the same matching wood. Well we can all have dream can’t we.
    Well done everybody.

  6. I get this funny feeling I call “Project Lust” when I see these;, you know a deep-seated “Gotta Have It” or in this case, “Gotta Make it” sensation. It’ll be a year or so before my skills are up to this task but Oh My. What A Beauty!!!!!!

  7. I like the detail you put into the drawings. But I have a question. Why do you not put the total board ft. needed to make the project? All the projects I’ve looked at seem to be the same in that the individual part sizes are listed, but you don’t total out the amount of board feet. Why is that?

    I do really enjoy your videos and instruction. I think I learn a lot from them.

    thank you,

  8. Questions on the drawings:

    1) On page 3 of the drawings you show the rail assembly. Everything makes sense to me except for the 3/4″ holes in the side rails. What are these for?

    2) I assume the through tenon rear-rail retention feature could be created without going through the side of the carcass. But maybe I am missing something critical with this design. Is there a functional/structural reason that this should be a through tenon?

    3) Is there a cut list for the drawers? Not that this really matters since I already have enough curly maple for this project.

    • In your point 1, I agree, there appears to me to be no structural purpose that’s apparent in the drawing for those holes, nor an explanation of their purposes in the drawing.

      However tight-fitting drawers have a piston effect that can make withdrawal difficult and pop adjacent drawers out when shoved home. Some makers provide small holes in the rear panels to overcome this.

      My reasoning is that they are intended to equalise air pressure internally and to improve the drawer action, an alternative to rear holes, perhaps……. no doubt Paul Sellers will elaborate on this point in due course. One disadvantage of the rear-hole approach is that it can introduce dust into the chest, so moving air about internally is a good idea.

      In point 2, plenty of examples of this type of furniture exists without tennons protruding through the sides.

    • I just can’t find that picture, but I saw it somewhere that he uses the holes in the side rails for clamping. When he is gluing the tenons on the side rails to the front rails, he used a small clamp, putting one jaw inside the hole, and the other against the front rail.

  9. Obviously one doesn’t need to build this project in Cherry (as more of a beginner here, I am hesitant to buy a bunch of cherry (I’m guessing that is $100-200 worth of material? Maybe I’m wrong) in the event that I make a mistake and have to buy more. So my question is, given my experience/confidence level, would this be a good project to do with a softwood like pine (with the assumption that I’d be more likely to paint it vs. shellac/wax coat)?

    I mean, don’t get me wrong–how awesome would it be to build a mahogany dresser–that seems like an incredibly awesome project. I just don’t know that I’m ready to take that leap. Of course, maybe I have overestimated that amount of stock that one needs–and maybe some shorter boards can be had for less than longer boards that would need to be chopped down to size anyway?

  10. So many projects I want to do. But I think this one is going to the top of the list, mostly because I can use two in our house now. I want to do the rocking chair also, but don’t feel ready for that just yet, but it’s still high on the list.

    This looks right up my ally.

  11. I’m a bit concerned about the drawer dividers back rail ⅛” gap becoming a step that will hit the drawer box when closed. I wonder if the back of the drawer box is shaped, rounded a little to solve this foreseeable issue.

  12. Question about the divider frames. Why the need to secure them using a tenon in the back and a dovetail in the front? Wouldn’t the housing dado be strong enough, like in a bookcase?


  13. I was very excited about starting this project until I obtained a quote for the wood in Cherry. I’m in the UK and the cost of the cherry and birch ply came to £950. So a just a word of warning before you get too excited.

    • More than £950, if you make a mistake! If only it grew on trees.
      That’s why Knotty Pine became so popular – and distressed paint to cover it up.
      I can’t source a small piece of ply from B&Q or woodyards for vice jaw liners. They’d laugh if I asked for Cherry or Birch. The Oak Furniture Store had their advert pulled because their table legs are Oak veneer. Perhaps they couldn’t find enough proper wood here in the UK either.

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