Walnut Thomas Dresser – Drawer Boxes Built and Installed

Today was a great day in the shop! Things were definitely going well and moving along at a nice clip without problems. Tons of thanks to my wife for giving me so much time to dedicate to the project today. I’m behind on this project so I really want to put in the extra hours to get this finished and delivered. I am confident I’ll be delivering the dresser next Sunday.

The faces of the plywood used for the drawers were already finished. The tops of the drawer sides and backs are rounded over, sanded, and coated with shellac. This makes them super smooth so clothes and fingers won’t catch on them.

Here are the pictures showing today’s progress.

Drawer Lock

The drawer fronts are locked into the sides with groves, here’s a top down sketch of how they’re locked in. The grooves and roundovers were done on the router table.


Here’s what the dresser looked like at the end of the day. Eight drawers all done and installed and they pass the “can you pull it open from the corner” test.



I put a bit of shellac on the corner to satisfy my curiosity and I’m happy with how this will look when complete.


Next steps

  • Get the final faces for the drawers cut, trimmed out, and installed. I need to spend some time thinking about how I make sure these drawer fronts line up just perfectly with the face of the case when they are shut.
  • After that, it’s sand and finish. I’ll put a sand and finish just about every night this week to build up a nice coat.
  • Right before delivery I’ll install the base.
  • I’ll either install the pulls on site, or email with the customer this week to finalize their position.

2 thoughts on “Walnut Thomas Dresser – Drawer Boxes Built and Installed

  1. Will Wilson

    Hey Matt,

    Awesome job so far! I have really enjoyed following along with you posts. Thanks for sharing. Hey just out of curiosity, did you treat the top edges of the drawer boxes or did you leave the ply exposed? It is hard tell but did you use 1/2″ ply for the drawers? Lastly, how did it go when you mounted the slides? Was that a pain or pretty easy? I have never done that and always wondered how much fussing that takes. Thanks again and keep up the good work! I am sure your customer will be very pleased.

  2. Matt Post author

    Hey Will,

    Thanks for the compliments and for following the progress on this build. For the top edges of the drawer boxes, I rounded them over, sanded them, and put two coats of shellac on them. Shellac as you know is great because it dries fast and won’t make the inside of the dresser stink. It is 1/2″ ply and is working out pretty well. I would prefer solid stock all around of course.

    I used KV ballbearing slides and mounting them wasn’t that big of a paint once I figured out the right steps and measurements. As for fussing there is some fussing because these drawers are inset so I want the drawer faces to be fairly flush with the front of the case.

    Last night I hand planed the front of the drawer boxes where the sides were proud of the front, to ensure the faces fit flush. Those edges will be edged with solid walnut trim from Freud that is about 1/16th” thick and has a heat activated adhesive on the back. I don’t want thick trim on the drawer faces from a design perspective.

    Tonight I’ll make and fit the walnut faces and fuss with the flush fit. I think I’ll also put a first coat of shellac on the case. I want to get moving on the finishing so that it has time to cure before delivery on Sunday.

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