Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Vintage Fir 5 Drawer Dresser

07.14.11 By //
Project Image

This piece will handle quite a bit of your storage needs and will looks fabulous and dramatic in any setting.

Isn't it a beauty? As far as dressers and drawers are concerned this is really simple to build. I have complete faith in all of you, even if you have never constructed anything before, not to worry, you can handle this.

As a grouping with the other pieces in the collection…amazing!


  • Iron – for applying the edge banding. You can generally just use a standard iron.
  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Miter Saw – or circular saw,hand saw and miter box, or Saw and a Square. This can be done in multiple ways, a Compound Sliding Miter Saw will be the most accurate and fastest, however you are not limited if you don't own this.
  • Router – optional hand grip indentation along bottom of drawer facing.
  • 1 – 1×3 at 10'
  • 1 – 1×3 at 8'
  • 2 – 2×12 at 10'
  • 2 – 2×12 at 8'
  • 1 – 1×8 at10'
  • 1 – 1×8 at 8'
  • 2 – 1×2 at 10'
  • 5 Sheets- 3/4″ Plywood at 4'x8'
  • 2″ Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Finishing Supplies
  • 3/4″ Edge Banding for the Face of the Shelves.
Cut List 
  • 7 – 1×3 at 17 1/2″ (Base Frame)
  • 2 – 1×3 at 39″ (Base Frame)
  • 4 – 2×12 at 42″ (Top and Bottom Exterior Perimeter)
  • 4 – 2×12 at 53″ (Side Panels Exterior Perimeter)
  • 10 – 1×2 at 21″ (Cleats)
  • 5 – 1×8 at 39″ (Drawer Faces)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 39×21″ (Top and Bottom Interior Box)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 48 1/2 x 21″ (Sides of Interior Box)
  • 1 – 3/4″ Ply at 50×39″ (Back)
  • 5 – 3/4″ Ply at 37 1/2 x 21″ (Shelves)
  • 8 – 3/4″ Ply at 37 1/2 x 7 3/4″ (Bottom Drawers – Front and Back)
  • 8 – 3/4″ Ply at 19 1/2 x 7″ (Bottom Drawers – Sides)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 37 1/2 x 8 1/2″ (Top Drawer – Front and Back)
  • 2 – 3/4″ Ply at 19 1/2 x 7 3/4″ (Top Drawer – Sides)
  • 5 – 3/4″ Ply at 37 1/2 x 19 1/2″ (Drawer Bottoms)

I have decided that as far as drawers go, that I will fore go adding drawer hardware to my plans because, well, I think they complicate the process just enough to dissuade some of you from attempting to build anything with drawers. That being said, if you are a bit more
experienced and enjoy drawer tracks, please feel free to add them and modify the portion of the plans pertaining to the drawer size, by allowing for the dimension of either a bottom track or 2 side tracks for each drawer unit. The drawer face will remain the same size only the actual drawer itself will change by the overall allowance necessary for the entire track (either the height or the width depending on the
hardware you choose).

** I have designed this project so that you can merely glue the panels together and the Interior Box Frame will actually act to fasten and hold the Outside Boards in place. This project should be very easy to complete.

** Because we are skipping the drawer track hardware I have designed the actual drawers themselves to fit very snugly inside their casings, so you may need to sand them down the tiniest bit to allow for ease of opening and closing.

** You have the option of using a Router with specialized bit, along the bottom edge of each Drawer Face for creating a hand hold for opening and closing the drawers more easily as well. If you don't have this tool and don't care to rent one, you will not terribly suffer for it, and this piece will be just as beautiful.

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 Frame for the Base: Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Step 2

Step 2 

Miter the outside edges of each pair of Perimeter Boards at 45 Degrees: Glue each pair together and let cure. The image below shows the dimensions for the Top and Bottom Pair.

Step 3

Step 3 

Build your Interior Box and attach the Cleats: This will likely be done most easily by laying this flat however the images all show this vertically and upside down from how it will ultimately sit.

Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue for the box and 1 1/4″ Screws for the Cleats.

Step 4

Step 4 

Attach the shelves to the bottom of the cleats (you are actually working on the box upside down). Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Iron on 3/4″ Edge Banding to the front of the shelves. Choose a type that matches your Exterior Boards. Insert the Shelves: Fasten to the cleats using 2″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Step 5

Step 5 

Attach the Back of the Dresser: Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Step 6

Attach the Side Panels: Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue, fasten from the inside.

Step 7

Step 7 

Attach the Base Pair of Boards to the Base Frame: Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Step 8

Step 8 

Turn the Main Component over and fasten to the Base Panel and Frame. Use 2″ Screws and Wood glue. The mitered edges should align perfectly.

Step 9
Step 9

Step 9 

Build the drawers using the measurements shown above. The top drawer will be a different size than the bottom 4 drawers, however all of the Drawer Faces will be the same.

Notice how the boards fit together, and their placement, in the images below. Build the Drawer first, then attach the Drawer face from the inside.

The bottom of the drawer face is flush with the bottom of the drawer. Use 2″ Screws and Wood glue for the Drawer and 1 1/4″ Screws for attaching the drawer face. The Drawer Face will have a 3/4″ Overhang on either side of the Drawer itself, and will overhang the top of the drawer as well.

Top Drawer and then bottom drawer:

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 ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! 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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