Shaker style four drawer chest

This scaled down chest of drawers was fun to build and is currently being used to store yarn and other knitting accoutrement in our living room. Like the shakers said, a place for everything and everything in its place. The chest features CVG Doug fir for the case, top and drawer fronts and flat sawn Doug fir for the drawer boxes and dust frames. To dress the piece up a bit I heavily chamfered the underside of the top and transitioned the case to some rather spindly legs with arcs and and a front stretch that is let into the case just below the bottom drawer. The top drawer is slightly shorter than the bottom three. Blonde shellac and some 1930’s enameled steel drawer pulls finish it off.

Lately I’ve been starting the design process on paper rather than in SketchUp. It forces me me to slow down and look at proportions before I put all the work into a 3d model. 

I made the case panels from glue-ups of three pieces of 1x6. I bought this material from low priced cedar in Tacoma. They carry CVG fir in what they call a D grade for $1.20 per board foot. It’s a great deal but you have to cut your material from between the knot holes, checks, splits and pitch pockets. It still beats the going rate for CVG fir at other suppliers. 

After planning down the case panels at a neighboring cabinet shop (My planer will only accept stock up to 12.5” wide) I cut out the profile that forms the legs on the cases with a jig saw.

I laid out and then cut the dados for the dust frames with a router and a 1/2" plunge cutting bit making multiple passes. The dust frames were made from 5/8” x 1 ½” stock held together with mortise and tenon joinery.

I cut the front stretcher with a jig saw and cut the corresponding mortise in the cases with a trim router and a chisel. This picture shows the original stretcher. It looked a little weak near the ends so I decided to replaced this piece with one that had a shallower arc.

 After all the joinery was cut I fit up the dust frames and stretcher in preparation for glue up.

I used biscuit joints to attach the lowest dust frame to the stretcher.

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After a bit of tweaking I got all the dust frames in place and glued up.

I sized the top and used a router to cut the chamfer on the bottom side. After attaching it I gave the whole case a couple of coats of  blonde de-waxed shellac. The top got the same treatment but a few more coats and finally some paste wax.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures while building the drawers but they are pretty standard. The drawer front is secured to the sides with a half lap joint and dowel pins. For the floating drawer bottom I used ¼”  AB fir plywood.