Build a Terrific Tall Bureau

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Here is a compact dresser that provides plenty of storage while not taking up a lot of space. Its small footprint and six graduated drawers make it perfect for a guest room or college dorm. It’s a fun build and provides a woodworker with an excellent opportunity to make and fit inset drawers. In addition, the piece is a great exercise in classic dresser construction, with its drawer divider web frames fit into dadoes in the case sides, and the drawers fit directly into their openings without commercial slides.

All of the exposed parts are solid cherry, with cherry-edged poplar used for the case bottom. I used poplar for the interior web frame members and plywood for the case back. The drawers are separated and supported by simple web frames that are joined with stub tenons in classic fashion. As for drawer construction, the cherry drawer fronts connect to the pine sides with machine-cut, half-blind dovetails. Consider adjusting the height of your drawers to suit your dovetail jig, as I explain in “Mastering Machine-Made Dovetails,” on p. 44. This might also mean adjusting the dadoes for web frames that establish drawer openings.


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