Shaker dresser, tiger maple

comments (8) April 2nd, 2009 in Reader's Gallery

Chuck_Griffith Charles Griffith, member
thumbs up 26 users recommend

Drawer with strip of aromatic cedar
Back with insert of cornice sliding dovetail

Tiger maple with poplar as secondary wood. Drawer heights are graduated by percentage. Top and sides joined by through dovetails, something of a challenge as the maple's hardness means no compression. The fit has to be perfect, or else. Front feet joined by through dovetails with miter at upper edge. Drawer bottoms fitted with a strip of aromatic cedar that needs to be scuffed up every so often to release cedar aroma. Side cornices are glued at front but slide on dovetail keys in back to allow for seasonal movement of top and sides. Back panels are quartersawn poplar that was resawn and bookmatched. Metal knobs came from Horton Brasses.

Design or Plan used: My own design

posted in: Reader's Gallery, dovetails, maple, shaker, chest of drawers, poplar

Comments (8)

mrunchman mrunchman writes: Hi. Fine furniture. Could you elaborate on the base construction please. Which elements are taking the weight. And the navigation of differential movement between the dresser side and the base side.
Posted: 8:11 am on October 28th

stevenjfritz stevenjfritz writes: gorgeous
Posted: 8:00 pm on March 21st

kenrosenberg1 kenrosenberg1 writes: Hello Chuck, I am interested in making a dresser like this one. Would you be able to give me the dimensions?

Thanks, Ken Rosenberg
Posted: 7:36 am on May 7th

drllucas drllucas writes: I really like how you have matched the grain pattern, yet provided some contrast on the top. Well done.
Posted: 9:28 am on April 8th

Chuck_Griffith Chuck_Griffith writes: Thanks Baldego, but, trust me, its quality isn't perfect. A couple little cracks developed in the top, I think because I made the dovetails too tight. They showed up a few months after it was finished. Also, I should have made the drawers a little less deep. In winter when the sides shrink in width, the drawers touch the back leaving a smidge of a space between the drawer lips and the dresser's body. It's not something anyone would notice, but it amazes me how many years it takes to learn how many things, big and small, can go wrong with a piece of furniture.
Posted: 9:18 am on April 8th

BALDEGO BALDEGO writes: I am awed by the quality of this work. Beautifully done.
Posted: 11:50 am on April 7th

Chuck_Griffith Chuck_Griffith writes: Sorry I forgot to mention that. It was colored with water-based aniline dye, followed by many coats of gel varnish rubbed on with 0000 steel wool. To color it, I started with a light coat of dye which the striping picks up easily but that has less effect on the rest of the surface. Then I sanded lightly to reduce whatever color there was on the non-striped areas. This sort of jump-starts the accenting of the stripes. Then I think I did two applications of dye before varnishing. Thanks for your question.
Posted: 6:30 pm on April 2nd

ranchodiablo ranchodiablo writes: Love this piece. The use of dove tails is really smart. How did you finish it to bring out the tiger striping in the maple?

Posted: 3:17 pm on April 2nd

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