Free Furniture Plans to Build a Hudson Tall Dresser Part 1

07.20.11 By //
Project Image

If you are in need of storage, this is the piece for you! I love the height of this piece and while it appears to be a complicated build, it really isn't. For those of you who are scared of drawer slides…this was made with you in mind. For the rest of you..I am pretty sure you will enjoy this for it's back to basic furniture building techniques reminiscent of the days when furniture was made well, and by hand with no metal hardware other than drawer handles.

The overall dimension are below.  We will be tackling this in 2 parts, and not because it is long and tedious or difficult.  Only because it has been drafted for amazing ease of building, however, in this instance it means that we have a few steps for building the components, and then we have the assembly.  I will be dividing the plans up accordingly, with day 1 on constructing and day 2 on assembly and trim.  We shall keep it simple!  Click here for the assembly plans.

Estimated Cost 


Dimensions for This Project

  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • **Miter Saw- Optional for Mitering trim on drawers, top and base.
  • 4 sheets- 3/4″ Plywood (only the 2 Sides and the Dresser Top are seen, so 1 of these 4 sheets should be a higher grade, the rest can be as inexpensive as you like).
  • 2 sheets – 1/2″ Plywood (1 sheet containing the pieces for the Drawer False Fronts should be a higher grade)
  • 2 sheets – 1/4″ Plywood (you actually need 1 plus a half sheet sized 2'x8' if your store will sell it this way, this is for the back and can be a lesser grade if you like.)
  • 37 linear feet – 1/2 x 3/4″ **Solid Hardwood for this! May be called Trim or Dowel (hardwood). If you aren't able to find this size in a hardwood, choose a 1/2 x 1/2 if necessary and change the space between them on the drawer bottoms to 5/8″
  • 37 linear feet – 3/4 x 3/4″ Square Trim
  • **54 linear feet – 1/4 x 1 1/8 to 1 1/2″ @ 10' (might be labeled as solid lattice board or another similar name, you need an actual thickness of 1/4″ the width doesn't matter as much. Could actually range from 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ and still work, the measurements for the drawer face trim won't change unless you are not mitering, then you will need to account for whichever width you end up with).
  • 4 – 1×2 @ 10'
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 10'
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 8'
  • 1 – 1×3 @ 6'
  • 6 – 1×4 @ 10'
  • 1 – 1×4 @ 8'
  • 1 – 1×4 @ 6'
  • 1 – 2×3 @ 6'
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 8'
  • 1 – 2×4 @ 6'
  • **I have designed this plan in a more traditional fashion by using wooden drawer slides that you will be constructing. If you prefer to purchase metal drawer slides, or plan for this piece to take a lot of abuse, then choose an under mount drawer slide with 1/2″ clearance and none of your measurements will be thrown off. You will need 10 if you choose this route.
  • **10 Drawer Handles of your choice. Or if you prefer to use a smaller knob, then you will need 20 (2 per Drawer)
  • **Kreg Jig Owners: 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Screws
  • 2 1/2″ Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Finish Nails (you can also use the 1 1/4″ Screws for the if you prefer not to buy this or don't have a finish nail gun and aren't so handy with a hammer and those tiny little nail heads)
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List 
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply @ 57″ x 20″ (Base Top and Dresser Top)
  • 3 – 3/4″ Ply @ 50 3/4″ x 19 1/4″ (Side and Middle Panels)
  • 2 20 – 3/4″ Ply @ 19 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ (Side/Middle Panel Inserts)
  • 20 – 3/4″ Ply @ 18″ x 7 3/4″ (Drawer Sides)
  • 10 – 3/4″ Ply @ 24 1/2″ x 7 3/4″ (Drawer Fronts)
  • 10 – 3/4″ Ply @ 23 x 6 3/4″ (Drawer Backs)
  • 10 – 1/2″ Ply @ 23″ x 18″ (Drawer Bottoms)
  • 10 – 1/2″ Ply @ 24 1/2″ x 7 3/4″ (Drawer False Fronts)
  • 3 – 1/4″ Ply @ 55 3/4″ x 16 11/12″ (Back)
  • 10 – 1/2″ x 3/4″ Solid Wood Trim @ 19 1/4″ (Runners)
  • 20 – 1/2″ x 3/4″ Solid Wood Trim @ 18″ (Runner Tracks)
  • 4 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ Trim @ 19 1/4″ (Cleats at the Top of the Side/Middle Panels)
  • 2 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ Trim @ 58 1/2″ (Front Trim, for Base Top and Dresser Top)
  • 4 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ Trim @ 21 1/2″ (Side Trim, for Base top and Dresser Top)
  • 2 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ Square Trim @ 24 3/4″ (Bottom Rail of Face Frame)
  • 2 – 3/4″ x 3/4″ Square Trim @ 50 3/4″ (Side Panel Trim toward Front)
  • **20 – 1/4″ x 1 1/8 or 1 1/2″ The measurements will remain the same regardless if you are mitering (see drawer instructions) If you aren't mitering, please account for the difference in width.
  • **20 – 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ Trim @ 7 3/4″ (Drawer Front Trim, Sides)
  • ** same as above 4 – 1×2 @ 19 1/4″ (Bottom Side/Middle Panel Insert)
  • 10 – 1×2 @ 24 3/4″ (Rails of Face Frame)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 50 3/4″ (Side Panel Trim)
  • 3 – 1×3 @ 50 3/4″ (Stiles, Face Frame)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 24 3/4″ (Top Rails, Face Frame)
  • 4 – 1×3 @ 17″ (Top/Bottom Trim, Side Panels)
  • 22 – 1 x 4 @ 26 3/4″ (Front and Back Drawer Supports)
  • 22 – 1×4 @ 12 1/4″ (Sides of Drawer Supports)
  • 6 – 2×3 @ 4″ (Legs) 4 – 2×4 @ 15 3/4″ (Side Support Cleats)
  • 2 – 2×4 @ 25 1/4″ (Front, Support Cleat)
  • 2 – 2×4 @ 19 3/4″ (Back, Support Cleats)

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Step 1 

Build the Base: Fasten the Plywood Insert to the Legs, with the edges of the legs and base insert flush. Then attach the trim to the insert. Miter the front corners if you like (not required) and the trim on the sides will end at the back, with no trim around the backside. **While you are on this step, you can build out the Dresser Top as well. It will be exactly the same as the Base Top, with plywood insert and trim on 3 sides, mitered in front the corners if you prefer.

Step 2
Step 2

Step 2 

Build your Drawer Supports. The Bottom and Top Drawer Support will be different than the rest. The bottom will have support Cleats (Shown below in 2nd Image), and the top will not need a runner (not shown). Using your Pocket Hole system, attach the the Sides of the supports to the front and back. You will set your system for 3/4″ Stock and use 1 1/4″ PHS. The cleats for the bottom support will be thicker than the actual support and are set back 3/4″ from the sides (this will mean they overhang 3/4″ in the center), but flush with the front and back. Fasten the cleats with 2″ Screws from underneath. Attach The Runner with 1 1/4″ Screws, be sure to countersink so there isn't any interference when it slides between the Runner Tracks. Drawer Support, Bottom Drawer Support with Cleats:

Step 3
Step 3

Step 3 

Construct 2 Side Panels and 1 Middle Panel. The Side panels will mirror each other, with Inserts on the inside only, and the Middle Panel will have inserts on both sides. The bottom insert is a 1×2, the top is a 3/4 x 3/4″ Square Trim piece, the rest are plywood. Simply fasten them to the panels at the appropriate dimensions shown below. This form of construction is meant to mimic creating Dadoes , but will allow those of you who don't have a table saw, to build this as well. If you typically have your local lumber store cut your pieces for you, this version will save you a lot of time as well. Just glue and screw and you are on your way! Fasten with 1 1/4″ Screws and fasten through the inserts and into the Side Panel from the insert side. This will hide your fasteners. Side Panel (don't forget you need to make 2 of these…), Middle Panel, respectively:

Step 4
Step 4

Step 4 

Build your Drawers. Each drawer will be exactly the same size, and you will need to construct 10 of them! The Front and Sides will extend beyond the drawer bottom 1/2″ to accommodate the drawer slides. We are using wooden drawer slides that you are building to remove some of the anxiety from building drawers. Construct your Drawers using Pocket Holes for 3/4″ stock to build the box and 1″ Screws from the inside the fasten the False Front to the Drawer Face. Use 1 1/4″ Finish Nails to fasten your Trim. **If you prefer to use a metal drawer slides, you can do so by choosing an under mount slide with 1/2″ clearance and will not need to adjust any of the drawer measurements. You will not need the runner on the Drawer Supports in the step above, your slides will come with their own runner. It is very important that you space the Runner Tracks 7/8″ apart and placed 7/16″ from the midpoint. This needs to be as precise as possible for proper alignment with the runner from the step above. You can test them prior to assembling your dresser and sand where necessary to ensure a smooth glide. I am recommending that you consider rounding the edges a bit to ensure they have proper paths to travel and that you consider purchasing hardwood for the Runner Pieces. Hardwood on hardwood tends to glide a bit more easily and retain it's strength and function for a longer period of time.

Step 5

Step 5 

Build the Face Frame: use your Pocket hole System to build the frame, and place your pocket holes in the rails (horizontal pieces) set for 3/4″ stock. Space the Rails 8″ apart. The Top and Bottom Rails are flush with the top and bottom of the Stiles, and the Bottom Rail will be comprised of 2 pieces, a 1×2 and a 3/4″ Square Trim Piece, you can attach them both to the Stiles and to each other if you like. I would probably just use finish nails to join together and Pocket Holes for attaching to the Stiles. If you have a table saw and you prefer to rip a 1×3 to get 2 1/4″ width, rather than combine the 2 pieces, you are welcome to do that as well.

You will cut the remaining pieces that we will be using in Part 2 for this piece, and when we meet again, we will put this baby together!

Finishing Instructions 

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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