Oak Chest of Drawers – 2010

Chest of Drawers

Chest of Drawers, Quartersawn White Oak

Our bedroom furniture was a mismatched hodge podge of old pieces, none of which matched at all. I have always liked the look of mission or arts and crafts style furniture, and this was my first real attempt to design and build something in that style. I began by making a trip to The Hardwood Store in Gibsonville, NC where I picked through stacks of rough sawn oak. From the photos you can see that they had some excellent lumber. Quarter sawn wood provides several advantages: it is more dimensionally stable, cups and twists much less, and it can have very interesting grain patterns, with lots of fleck.

The sides are made of resawn 1/4 inch panels riding in a grooved stile and rail assembly. The drawers are each made with dovetail joinery, with oak fronts and poplar sides. The internal assembly is mostly poplar. Each drawer rides on a wooden center dovetailed rail and is supported at the front corner by nylon “buttons” which make for a very freely moving drawer.

The piece is finished with a Behlen stain and an oil and urethane top coat made by General Finishes. About 6 coats of semi-gloss oil and urethane are hand-rubbed with a light sanding between coats.The drawers are finished on the inside with shellac.

As I was building this piece, I knew that I would be making an identical companion piece next. While the second chest of drawers looks identical on the outside, there were some significant structural changes in the design, just to make things a bit stronger and to use a bit less material.

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