How to Build a Chest of Drawers

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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If you're new to woodworking then building a chest of drawers is a perfect project to do since a chest of drawers is a big box that's filled with smaller boxes. Every drawer has the same basic parts: front, back, sides, and bottom. You can create many kinds of chests from those parts. All you need are some supplies and soon you can have a wonderful piece of furniture that you and your family can enjoy for generations to come.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pine planks
  • Router
  • Sander
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Glue
  • Screws
  • Dowel (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cut out the following grooves to build the front of your chest of drawers, to a depth of 3/8" in one of your side pieces - cut from 0" to 2 1/2" for the top plank, from 10" to 11 1/2" for the middle plank, from 19" to 20 1/2" for the middle plank, from 28" to 29 1/2" for the middle plank, and from 37 1/2" to 40" for the bottom of your chest of drawers. Do the same for your side piece and then take this process for the other side piece. Cut a 3/8" deep groove in the top, bottom and middle planks. After you've done this then glue the sides to the middle, top and bottom planks making sure that it is square.

  2. 2

    Glue the top, bottom and middle planks onto the front of the two side pieces, and then screw everything in place to reinforce it, which finishes construction of your back frame. Make sure that this unit is square and that it fits with the square from Step One. Then apply glue to the central support to the top and middle planks, and then screw it together so that it is even with the side pieces.

  3. 3

    Rout a groove along the inside edges of your sides, top and bottom pieces that is 1/2" wide and 1/2" deep. Cut a overlapping or lap joint on the outer side of the top and bottom pieces to match the other overlapping joint. Glue the top and bottom and two side pieces, and then screw them together making sure that the frame is square. Adhere the plywood sheet into the inside groove of the side frame to complete construction of the side frame.

  4. 4

    Put all four sides together now that you have them built to begin assembling your frame. Attach the sides to the two frames while making sure everything remains square. The top part of your chest of drawers should overhang the front by 1 1/2" in the front and 1/2" in the back. Glue the top to the sides, front and back, screw those pieces together to reinforce them, and then clamp then clamp everything it's completely dry.

  5. 5

    Cut a groove into the sides, back and the inner front piece that is 1/4" from the bottom and 1/4" wide. Glue the side to the back piece, and then screw it together to reinforce. Fit the base into the furrow and then glue the front board and screw it together to reinforce it to begin construction of your drawers.

  6. 6

    Attach a 16" drawer runner to both sides of your drawers. Add the front piece of wood of the drawer to the box. Attach it so it hangs over the drawer by 1/2" at the bottom and 1 1/4" on top. Repeat these steps to construct each of your drawers to complete your chest of drawers.

Tips and warnings

  • To build a clean looking chest of drawers use wood that is straight and flat.
  • Use dowels if you don't plan to paint your chest of drawers instead of using glue and screws.

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