Das Dresser

John MaguireBoulder, COAdded on September 10, 2015

I’m a 26 year old living in Boulder, Colorado. I first started in woodworking two years ago when I bought my first house and couldn’t afford to buy furniture. I dedicated a small corner of my basement to a miter saw station, next to the ping pong table, and slopped together enough construction grade boards to have a place to eat and to hold up my TV. Somehow I was bitten by the itch to try to do better and my miters-saw-station grew into my entire basement and my ping pong table was evicted. I went through 3 table saws in the first year realizing that each one of my craigslist finds, although better than the last, couldn’t produce the cut quality that I needed. At some point I found Marc and The Wood Whisperer site and began pouring through the free content videos. Some of my friends took notice as my skills started to develop and I sold enough dining tables to build up the rest of my shop. I also used some of the profits to join Marc’s Guild.

A few months ago I got a request from a customer to build a custom dresser. This was a whole different type of project, in terms of quality from what I had previously built. I’ve always struggled personally with slowing myself down and having patience to maintain the quality required for such an elaborate piece. I took on this job to prove to myself that I could conquer some of my own personal faults and step up my game to deliver truly high quality work. Before this project I had never cut a mortise or tenon or a reinforced rabbet. In fact, I had never even held a hand plane!

The construction of “Das Dresser” is based off of Marc’s Chest of Drawers, but has been dimensionally modified enough to cause confusion all along the way. The construction maintained Marc’s haunched tenons, web frame layout and center guide drawer slides. The case is made from walnut, the drawers spalted maple and the webframes poplar. The entire project is finished with 100% pure tung oil with a mineral oil/beeswax treatment on the sliding components (same as my cutting board treatment). The drawer knobs are from Restoration Hardware.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to call myself a woodworker yet, but I’m getting more comfortable with that notion. I feel like I really conquered some of the personal limitations I’ve always dealt with through this build and I’m really happy with the results.