This is a continuation of the Girl’s Maple Dresser project.
Time estimate for this step: 16 hours.
The eighth step in making this dresser is to build the drawer faces of the dresser. The drawer faces for this dresser will be made from maple.
Step 8a: Measure
There are two sizes of drawer faces for this dresser, and there are three drawer faces of each size. The drawer faces are essentially raised panel drawer faces and are constructed using a center piece of maple and four border pieces. The dimensions of the finished larger drawer faces are 28 5/8 x 8 1/2 inches. The dimensions of the finished smaller drawer faces are 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches. These dimensions leave approximately 1/8 inch on each side of the drawer faces once placed inside the cabinet. The drawer faces are 1 1/8 inches thick.
Step 8b: Cut pieces to size
The next step is to cut all of the pieces used for the drawer faces to size. For the borders, we will need 3 different length pieces. The border pieces are 1 1/2 inches wide, and 1 1/8 inches thick. From maple stock, cut 13 pieces 30 inches in length. These will be used for the final three lengths of: 28 5/8 (6 of these), 8 1/2 (12 of these), and 10 1/2 (6 of these), but it will be easier to run them through the router if they are longer lengths to begin with.
For the center pieces of the drawer faces, cut three pieces of maple to 26 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches. These will be for the centers of the large drawer faces. For the smaller drawer faces, cut three pieces of maple to 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches.
Step 8c: Route drawer face borders
The drawer face borders have three sides cut using a router. The decorative inside edge (top-right in the picture) is cut using a Classical Plunge Pattern Bit (model C1674) from Grizzly Industrial. This bit is used on a router table using a guide, without using the pattern bearing of the bit. The outer edge (top-left in the picture) is cut using a 3/8 inch Core Box Bit. The inside cutout (bottom-right in the picture) for the center insert is cut using a large straight bit with several passes on the router table.
Step 8d: Route drawer face center pieces
The drawer face center pieces have all four sides cut using the same router bit. These sides are cut using a Classical Plunge Pattern Bit (model C1674) from Grizzly Industrial, the same bit used for the borders. Once again, this bit is used on a router table using a guide, without using the pattern bearing of the bit. The center pieces are passed through the router bit several times (adjusting the fence deeper each time) to reach the final border of 1 1/4 inch.
Step 8e: Cut borders to size
Using a mitre saw, cut the drawer face border pieces to size by cutting 45 degree angles at the right length. 6 pieces will be cut to 28 5/8 inches, 12 pieces will be cut to 8 1/2 inches, and 6 pieces will be cut to 10 1/2 inches.
Step 8f: Assemble and glue
Now is a good time to sand all of the pieces using 100, 150, and 220 grit sandpaper. After sanding, assemble and glue the border pieces together. Make sure to align them clamp them tightly and ensure the drawer face borders are square.
After the drawer face borders are glued and dried, install the center pieces into the back of the drawer face borders and glue in place.
Step 8g: Test fit
Test the fit of the drawer faces by inserting them in front of the drawers in the cabinet, and placing spacers between the drawer faces to hold them in the correct position.
Here is what the dresser looks like with the drawer faces resting in place.
That’s it for the drawers, and the build of the dresser. Next, we can stain and varnish the dresser.