February 19, 2007

Woodworking: Girl’s Maple Dresser (Step 6: Top)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anthony Park @ 5:15 pm

This is a continuation of the Girl’s Maple Dresser project.

Time estimate for this step: 6 hours.

The sixth step in making this dresser is to build and install the top of the dresser. The top of the dresser will be made from joined maple, and will extend one inch out from the sides and front of the dresser. The back of the top will be flush with the back of the dresser.

Step 6a: Cut pieces to size

The top of the dresser is 21 inches deep and 49 inches wide, so we will have to join several pieces of maple to make the full 21 inch depth. I decided to cut three 7 inch pieces to make this depth. Cut three pieces of 4/4 maple to 7 inches wide. Plane all of the pieces so they are identical thicknesses. You might choose to use a jointer to make the edges square and straight, but I typically just run them vertically through a planer. Cut each piece to 49 inches long, and make sure they are all exactly the same length before joining.

Step 6b: Join the top pieces

After the pieces have been cut, it’s time to join them together to make our 21″ desired depth. First, dry-fit your pieces together to make sure the pieces fit together well, and that the grains match nicely. If you have some joinery clamps, those would work well. I don’t, so I just use alot of clamps, and also clamp the pieces to a table. Put glue on the edges of both pieces and join them one piece at a time, making sure that the edges are flush with each other.

Step 6c: Router edges of top

I have decided to router the edges of the top using a 1/4″ radius RoundOver bit. Router all four edges on the upper-side of the top, and only the front and side edges of the bottom-side of the top. The back side of the bottom-side of the top will not be routered, since it will be flush against the back of the dresser.

Top Side

Bottom Side

Step 6d: Attach the top to the frame

The top is attached using 9 screws, which are are inserted up through the top of the frame, and into the top. Drill holes for the screws and countersinks. Screw 3 screws into each end of the top (left and right), and 3 screws into the middle of the top.

Step 6e: Cut the moulding

The top will have decorative moulding underneath it to match the design on the decorative base. Cut one piece of maple to 49 inches by 3 inches, and router the two sides of it using the same Roman Ogee router bit used in Step 4.

Cut the moulding in half length-wise to create two pieces. One piece will be used for the front of the dresser, and the other piece will be used for the sides.

Step 6f: Install the moulding

Cut 45 degree angles on the ends of the moulding, making sure to dry-fit and check the lengths. Cut one piece of the moulding into two pieces for use on the two sides. Glue and clamp the moulding to the underside of the top.


And, here is what the dresser now looks like with the top installed.


That’s it for the main portion of the dresser. Next, we can start working on the drawers.

tags: woodworking, dresser, maple

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