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A Chest of Drawers

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dzj

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I built this chest of drawers over a period of a few months, when I had nothing better (more lucrative) to do in the shop.
I thought it might be interesting as a broad-stroked summary of steps necessary to build a traditional (5-6-7-8) CoD. It’s not a historically accurate reproduction, as the construction of the drawers is of a later date and the drawer dividers are also a more ‘modern’ take on the matter.
Regarding wood, I used European Walnut for the carcass, Spruce and Poplar as secondary wood.
The drawer fronts and feet are Walnut veneer on Walnut substrate. Cedar of Lebanon would’ve been nice for the drawer bottoms, but unfortunately, none was to be found.
I used machines, power and hand tools, whichever got the job done with greater speed and less effort. Sadly, I had to cut the drawer and carcass dovetails by hand.
 

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dzj

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The photos could’ve been better and I certainly missed photographing a step or two, but on the whole, I think it’ll be a good enough deterrent to anyone considering making something similar. :)
 

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AndyT

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Wow, that's lovely! Proper construction, carefully selected real wood.

May I ask if it's for yourself or as a commercial job? Over here I get the impression that the market for a new piece like this is tiny - we still have so many good old pieces that can be bought for less than the cost of the materials.
 

dzj

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A commercial job. Rare as hen's teeth.
There's a lot of Biedermeier, Alt Deutch, Viennese Secession, but few pieces like this.
Often times, as you say, can be bought for less than the cost of the materials.
 

John15

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Many thanks for this dzj. A beautiful piece of furniture. Just by coincidence I'm in the very early stages of building one myself and am uncertain of certain elements of the design. The details you show in your photos are a huge help.

John
 

woodbloke66

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Nice job, well constructed. On a piece like that, I would have used oak as a secondary timber for the less 'showy' interior parts, particularly for components that wear such as drawer sides and runners - Rob
 

dzj

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woodbloke66":2xyd6dku said:
Nice job, well constructed. On a piece like that, I would have used oak as a secondary timber for the less 'showy' interior parts, particularly for components that wear such as drawer sides and runners - Rob
I had offered to use Oak, but this was what the client could afford.

Regarding the use of Oak for drawer linings. Historically, it was done on upper-end pieces, although, a quick search of online galleries, will show that there's a few deal-lined pieces still around.
It is interesting though, this question of wear you mention.
If both the interior and exterior wood is of a harder variety, there would be less wear, but it would be equally distributed. Over time, this would mean 'saddles' might form in the corners of drawer openings and they are a pain to repair. On the other hand, when Pine meets hardwood, the drawer sides will wear and that's an easy fix.
Can't say what's better. If I was making the piece for myself, I'd probably go for Oak. :)
 

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