Revisiting an Old Friend

If you’re new to this blog, then you may not have heard the saga that is The Dresser. You might’ve seen it in the background of nearly every picture since April of 2014. For the past six months I’ve been picking away at the drawers (seven of them) in between other projects. I’ve made lots of progress updates on IG but nothing over here on the blog. I hope to remedy this today.

Back in September I had some time after finishing up my little girl’s adirondack chair. At the time, and still to this day, I needed get started on a Dining Room table for us but I’m not completely clear on my design. Tom Buhl and I have started a dialogue on this and I plan to draw upon his vast design and build knowledge (thanks Tom). Anyway, it was September. I was hesitant to get started on the drawers because I’ve never cut a dovetailed drawer, let alone seven. Furthermore, I’ve only ever fit a drawer once and now I need to do it seven times.

Fortunately, I got over my fears and started cutting wood. I didn’t want to set up the dado stack because I have two different sizes of plywood for the bottoms so I just used the regular combination blade. This is one of those times where I can’t believe how easily things went. It only took about an hour to cut the bottom grooves in all the parts.

This post is long overdue as the work’s been done for many months. I makes me wonder: maybe, secretly, I don’t want this project to end. After all, it’s been a fixture in my shop for so long I’m not sure what I’ll do with all the space. My oldest was in utero when I bought the wood. Alas, I need to make room for the Dining Room table build, which is next (ish). All the dovetails are “cut” but I need to fine tune them and glue up the drawers. Hopefully I’ll have some gumption left in the tank after all this yard work I’ve been doing for the past month. Wish me luck.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
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8 Responses to Revisiting an Old Friend

  1. For me there’s always a moment of inertia where a project either grinds to a halt or picks up speed. Sounds like you’re on the downhill now. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tombuhl says:

    I had to interrupt my current build for almost two months. Sort of scary to jump in again, especially knowing that I’ll soon have another two-three break for my annual Detroit visit. I just have to find a few positive steps, then it usually flows along fine. At least that is my hope.


  3. Brian Clites says:

    Without getting to psychoanalytic, I think you might not want this project to end because you don’t want your girls to grow up. They are both so beautiful, kind, and sweet. (And I’m confident they will continue to be as young adults.)

    This is a special project, with the most special recipient imaginable. So there’s also a high bar on doing the most perfect work you’re capable of. And — as we’ve talked about — there’s really no rush. One day this chest of drawers will live in the home she shares with her husband. And a few years after that it might be used by your granddaughter. Hopefully a great grandson will eventually find himself noticing the lines of your half-blinds as he rumagges through his sock drawer.

    This chest isn’t a chest. Its life. Its literally the stuff that dreams are made of. I’m glad you’re taking your time with it. And your persistent turning-down of my offers to help finish it remind me just how intimate and special it is to you. Enjoy it. Cherish it. They will. For years, and years, and years to come.


  4. Parawood says:

    Though it sounds like progress on this project has been slow, it seems that the end result will be successful and worth the time you put in. All of the photographs are always very helpful for understanding the details of your work. I find the wood you chose, as well as your work on the grooves, to have a very nice appearance, and I hope to someday see the final product. There are always new things to try with that extra space that will be clear!


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