Tag Archives: Thomas Walnut Dresser

Thomas Walnut Dresser: Trim is Done!


Well tonight in the shop I definitely had the flow. My oldest daughter Katie was actually out in the shop helping. She had the easy jobs: rip pieces of tape, sweep, and hold things in place. The front of the dresser now has solid walnut 1/4” thick trim on all the horizontals and verticals. the pieces fit tight and look good. No pictures though, the camera was missing an SD card. I’ll take pictures when I take the tape off tomorrow or Wednesday. I plan on taking a day off this week to make progress on the drawer boxes.

Remaining Work

  1. Build the drawer boxes
  2. Install the drawer boxes
  3. Cut and trim the faces for the drawers
  4. Install the drawer faces
  5. Install drawer pulls (see below)
  6. Finish
  7. Deliver

Drawer Pull Test

I’ve decided I’m going to make a jig to install the handles, but I won’t install them until I conduct a test. The customer would like the pulls in the top corners of the drawers, and I want to make sure that’s going to work before I drill through the faces. If my test fails, I’ll contact them to see what they’d like to do. I’m confident it will work because I’m using some high quality slides, but I want to be sure. I may install the drawer pulls on site when I deliver.

I think the test will go like this:

  1. Use tape to create a pull in the top corner of the smallest and largest drawer
  2. Load the drawer with some weight
  3. Have my wife or daughter open and shut the drawer 20 or so times

Delivery Date

I’m officially four weeks behind, and now I’m shooting for April 25th for delivery. I completely underestimated the complexity of the build, the amount of hand work involved, and the amount of time I’d have to dedicate to the build. Luckily, my wonderful wife has been really supportive, and the customer has been great.

Thomas Walnut Dresser: Assembly Continues

Today with the help of my nephew Joshua I got the top drawer dividers, back, and top on the dresser. If you’ve ever heard a woodworker say “you can never have enough clamps” believe them. I had a ton of clamps and cauls on the case today to make sure everything was protected, had even pressure, and was held together flat and straight. Without all these clamps this would never would have come together.


Here’s the dresser from the back. I love it! It fits into a groove in the sides, bottom, and top. I am really glad I took the time to pick the right wood and make sure that the sides are matched.



The last view was the back right corner, here’s the front right corner. You can see the drawer dividers set into the top, and the inside of the case.

So here’s what’s left:

  1. Trim it out with solid walnut.
  2. Build the eight drawer boxes. Those pieces are already rough sized and prefinished.
  3. Install the drawers, trim out the faces.
  4. Install the bottom.
  5. Sand and finish.
  6. Install the pulls.
  7. Done – deliver!

Tomorrow is shop night with GAKMAN and I’ll post another progress update soon.

Thomas Walnut Dresser: Assembly Begins!

I’m pretty excited after this week, I definitely feel like I’ve turned a corner on this project. Today I assembled the web frames together into a sub assembly.


Here’s a view from the top – yes I was standing on my bench. From left to right: top web frame, drawer divider, middle web frame, drawer divider, bottom web frame. If you look closely at the left edge of the leftmost web frame you can see the dados for the drawer dividers for the top bank of drawers. Those will have matching dadoes in the top of the dresser.



Here you can see the sides clamped on as well. Woodworkers always say you can never have enough clamps, well there are 13 clamps on this thing right now. This glue up was a real pain as a one man job, but taking it a subassembly at a time, using a glue with good open time (and plenty of it), and doing a dry fit and clamp rehearsal helped. Everything is pretty square so far. Next I’ll set it up and start to trim it out. I might not put the top on until the drawers are all installed – might as well make it easy for myself.

Here’s one trick: I don’t just have this sitting on the clamps because there isn’t enough surface area to keep it from falling through the bars. It would be a ballet of frustration trying to get that to work. I glued this with the front face down because the bottom is not flush with the web frames. So, I needed a surface that ran perpendicular to the clamping bars to support the project and give the fronts a flat face to register against. If you look really closely, it’s probably easier to see on the right side of the picture, the piece is resting on a strip of ply wood that lays across all the clamping bars. To keep that piece from sticking to the glue it has a generous coat of beeswax on it.

Take the time to do the little things that will save you a lot of frustration. Doing those little helpful things doesn’t slow you down in the long run, makes your hobby more enjoyable, and your projects turn out better.