Monday, June 9, 2014

Building a Dresser - Part Two

Happy Monday. First up, don't forget that The DIY'ers link party has moved to Tuesdays and is bigger and better than ever. So everyone come back tomorrow to link up their latest projects, ok?!

Today, Justin & I are here to share Part Two of our How to Build a Dresser series. Last week, we shared Part 1, which was how to build a dresser frame. Today we're here to show you How to Build Dresser Drawers.  It's muuuuchhh simpler than Part 1, I promise.

How to Build a Built-In Dresser

Using a miter saw, Justin cut four pieces of plywood for each drawer which will be used to build the box of each drawer. Each piece needed a dado cut for the bottom piece to slide into. The side pieces also needed a rabbetted edge for the front and back of the drawer box to set in to.

He then cut the bottom piece of each drawer using a table saw. These pieces were also plywood, and were cut large enough to slide into the dado of each side piece.

Plywood Drawer Parts

Slide the bottom piece of the drawer into the dado that's been cut in each of the side pieces.

Putting the Bottom into the Dado
Building the Drawers

Then using a nail gun, Justin nailed all of the edges together using 5/8" brad nails.

Nailing the Sides to the Face of the Drawer

Here's what our completed dresser box & bottom looked like.

Finished Drawer

Then came the part where I could actually help! Using wood filler, I filled all of the nail holes as well as the cracks in between each piece along the top edge.

Puttying Holes

After allowing that to dry, I sanded everything down smooth using our orbital sander.

Sanding Putty off Nail Holes

Then it came time to install the drawer guides. We purchased these 14" drawer guides from Home Depot. HD has many different quality levels of these. We bought the middle quality guides - not the expensive ones, but not the super cheap ones either.

Drawer Guide

Justin started by measuring our where the drawer guides should be attached for each drawer on the inside edge of the dresser. He then cut a spacer block of wood (from some of our scrap) to use as a leveling guide. He was able to rest the back edge of the drawer guide on this block while installing.

Then he screwed the outside piece of drawer guide in place.

Screwing in Drawer Guides using Block

Then he attached the inside piece of the drawer guide to the drawer by first measuring a straight line where the guide should be placed, so he could easily pre-drill (using a self-centering bit) and screw on the drawer guide.

Marking the side of the drawer for the guide

Predrill using Self Centering Bit

Screwing on the Side Drawer Guide

Then it was as simple as sliding the drawers into place! The two pieces of the drawer guides need to be pushed into place. Note: You do have to push fairly hard to get the drawer guides to connect properly.

If there's too much stuggle, we'd recommend checking to ensure that all pieces are level. Even if they're just a little off level, the drawer will have a hard time sliding in and out of it's frame.

Installing the Drawer

After getting the hang of it with our first drawer, Justin installed the following three using the same technique.

Installed Drawer Guides

Here's how our drawer looks after Part Two of our tutorial. The Dresser Frame is built and attached to the wall as a built-in, and the drawers are built.

Finished Drawers

Later this week, we'll share how Justin built the drawer fronts and I'll show off the drawer pulls I chose to get this puppy to look like this.



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  1. Wow, looks awesome guys! Great idea to hide your television inside the closet. Love the sliding door too. I must say building drawers intimidates the heck out of me but you two make it look easy. Will have to pin this post for future reference if I get the courage to attempt making drawers.
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

  2. This is awesome! I can't wait to see the post on the drawer fronts too {and show this to the hubs!} Pinned :)