For the rail & stiles we used pine.
For the rail pieces, using his table saw, Justin cut a dado (the groove along the length of the board), wide enough for the tenon and panel to slide into (1/4").
Here's a quick snapshot to show how the rail and stiles should fit together.
Then he cut the panel to size for the height of our newel post. We chose to use MDF because it paints better than wood, and is pretty cost efficient.
He then rabbeted (aka. the edging you see around the piece) the panel out so it fits snugly in the groove in the stiles and rails. Be sure to only rabbet out the back side of the panel.
Note: You could also use 1/4" MDF and skip this step entirely. Our lumber store only carried 1/2" MDF, so we had to thin the edges down to fit.
Place space balls into the dado to keep the panel centered and snug over time.
Then glue together all the pieces! Taking your panel, glue and secure your Stiles in place, then your Rails. Clamp tight and use 5/8" brad nails to secure.
Then taking the drawers you already have built, pre-drill holes in all four corners of the front of the drawer box. You'll need these holes in a later step.
Justin painted each of the drawer fronts white using our paint sprayer. Lay your drawer front face down and place the drawer on top. We built our drawer fronts with a 1/2" overlay over the dresser frame, so Justin measured that and marked it out on the back side of the drawer front.
Using 1" screws, secure the drawer box to the drawer front using the pre-drilled holes from earlier.
We needed to uninstall our drawer guides so we could spray the drawer box with poly. If you do this in the same order, take this time to reattach your drawer guide to each side of the drawer box.
After we got all drawer fronts screwed on, we checked to make sure that they all fit properly within the overall drawer frame. Once it looked good, it was time to attach the drawer pulls which I purchased from the kitchen section at Ikea.
First, measure out the center of the drawer front and mark out where your holes should be drilled. Justin marks out these spots on a piece of blue painters tape so we don't have to worry about marks on the wood. Start by pre-drilling holes using a drill bit slightly larger than the shaft of the screws that come with your chosen drawer pulls.
Then slide your screws through the back side of your drawer front and attach your drawer pulls.
And here's how our completed built-in dresser looks! Love, love, love. And we extra love it because it means that we don't need to go downstairs to the guest room to find our clothes anymore!
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