Rather than building a single “mule chest” I opted to build two chests. This design makes it easier to move the pieces, though both are fairly large (37″ wide x 53″ tall x 18″ deep) and not light.
I again got my lumber from The Hardwood Store in Gibsonville, NC, where I was able to pick through the stacks of Quarter Sawn White Oak and find pieces to match my first chest.
Speaking of matching the woods, I spend quite a bit of time going through the lumber once I have it in my shop, trying to select pieces with grain patterns that compliment each other. Since the top and drawer fronts are most prominent, I take care to pick pieces that work together aesthetically. Unfortunately, this means a project takes more lumber – sometimes you have to cut a piece from the middle of the board in order to get the needed grain pattern, leaving more waste. With the smaller pieces, perhaps I can undertake some smaller projects in the future.
Once I had completed these pieces, it was obvious that the next piece to design and build would have to be a matching king size bed. Our bedroom was beginning to look a bit better with the old chests gone, but the metal bedframe sitting on wooden blocks looked even worse now.