My husband’s Bedside Bachelors Chest is complete.
I like it but I don’t completely love it. If you remember, it was supposed to look something like this…
But with this antiquated hardware. I use the word antiquated in a good way because I think it looks really nice.
I’d seen several bloggers make these knock off antiques. I knew I could get those “T” plates and “L” brackets at the hardware store and spraypaint them the exact color I wanted.
What I didn’t anticipate was how darn difficult it would be to get my hands on the recessed handles. I searched every brick & mortar store that would possibly sale these and came up empty. I was able to find them on Rockler and Amazon but the price was too steep and the finish was a polished brass which would make spray painting very difficult. I wanted an antiqued brass and I found it at Ansaldi & Sons but with a price tag of $25/ea.
The cost of the hardware alone would exceed $150. 🙁
Note to self: Buy the hardware before you build.
When we last left off, I had cut, stained and finished most of the lumber and was ready to assemble. If you are just joining me you can check out part 1 here.
I started with my bottom piece good side down on my work surface. I countersunk three screws in each side of the leg using 1- 1/4″ SPAX screws and wood glue.
I flipped over the bottom and I had a little coffee table.
Next I attached the sides with glue and more pocket hole screws.
I used an assembly square to make sure everything lined up perfectly. I wiped away any excess glue that oozed from either side. Since these pieces are pre finished, I don’t have to worry about messing up the stain.
I moved the dresser to the floor to make assembly easier. It was time to put the back piece on and I realized there was a BIG problem.
My back piece was a little short, 1/8″ to be exact. At that moment I knew exactly what happened. I’d forgotten to measure the thickness of the plywood sheet when I bought it. When I did measure it I found that it only measured 5/8″ thick and not 3/4″ thick.
At this point it was too late to trim a little off the side. I thought long and hard about how I would solve this issue and then it hit me. What if I glued a slither of wood in this 1/8″ gap and stained it the same color as the rest of the bachelors chest? It could work since this piece would not be visible once the bachelors chest was complete.
It worked like a charm and all was good in the world again.
To attach the top of the bachelors chest, I flipped it back over on my work surface. I attached my assembly square and attached with more pocket hole screws.
Now I was ready to attach my drawer slides. I used 16″ soft close ball bearing full extension slides. These were the pricier option but I could imagine my husband sliding those drawers open and closed at 5 am while I’m still sleeping.
My drawers will be inset so I needed to install the slides so that the fronts line up perfectly with the front of the bachelors chest. I created a jig by nailing two 3/4″ thick boards together with one side overlapping the other. Then I slid the cabinet piece right up against the jig while it was siting on top of the drawer mounting jig. Since the cabinet is 1/8″ wider than it should be, I had to shim the drawer slides with another 1/8″ x 2″ wide piece of wood on one side.
Once the drawer was successfully installed, I used two 1/8″ spacers to place the first stretcher. I placed them across the top of the drawer then sat the stretcher on top of them.
I clamped the outside of the frame so that the stretcher would not move while I screwed in the pocket holes from underneath.
I removed the bottom drawer and screwed the stretcher in place.
I installed the second drawer slide the same as the first placing my jig on top of the stretcher and using a level to make sure placement was perfect. I had to clamp the jig in place while I screwed the drawer slide on.
To add the drawer front I shimmed all the sides then clamped the drawer front to the drawer box.
I used 1-1/4″ SPAX screws drilled from inside the drawer box to attach the drawer front.
The original plans for this bachelors chest call for a second stretcher and another drawer. I decided on a shelf instead so I once again used my 1/8″ spacer to provide the perfect amount of space between the top drawer and the shelf.
I placed the shelf on top of the spacer to make sure the gap would be consistent with the rest of the chest.
I measured the space between the top of the shelf and the inside top of the bachelors chest. I needed a way to precisely secure this top shelf to the bachelors chest.
I ripped some scrap wood to exactly 5-13/16″ w x 17″ l.
I removed the drawers to lighten the load and then the hubs helped me flip the chest over again. I let gravity do most of the work and placed the shelf on top of the two pieces of scrap wood.
Then I secured from the underside with pocket hole screws.
Note: Don’t clamp the shelf too tight or you won’t be able to remove the spacer boards. I’d suggest only attaching a screw in each corner then removing the spacer block before adding the remaining screws.
I should have done this much earlier but I stained the visible pocket holes to make them less noticeable. From this angle you can still see them but when standing, you cannot see them at all unless you are Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones 🙂
I added the tape so that I would be able to open and close the drawers while I searched for hardware.
I wasn’t very lucky in the hardware department so I settled on the Varnhem 16″ long handles from Ikea. I spray painted them in the same Pure Gold spraypaint from Rustoleum.
I applied two additional coats of polyurethane to the outside of the bachelors chest and the top surface got 4 coats.
After I let things cure for a few days, I buffed the surface with wax. The hubs likes to keep a glass of water at all times so I figured the wax would be an extra layer of protection.
I snagged this lamp and shade from Target but I’m not sure it’s tall enough.
So how much did it cost?
|(2) 1” x 6” Poplar @ 6′||$37.62|
|(2) Sets 16” Soft Closing Ball Bearing Full Extension Drawer Slides||$29.97|
|(1) 3/4” Full Sheet Birch Plywood @ 4′ x 8′||$23.98|
|(1) 3/4” Birch Plywood @ 2′ x 4′||$20.67|
|(2) 3/4” @ 25” Birch Veneer Edge Banding||$12.94|
|2 Pack of Drawer Pulls||$12.99|
|(2) 1” x 2” Poplar @ 4′||$6.23|
|(1) 2” x 2” Poplar @ 6′||$0.00|
|1-1/4” Pocket Hole Screws||$0.00|
If I used the inexpensive Euro Slides, it would have cost
One thing I will certainly do different from here on out. I will build my drawers out of 1/2″ stock and secure the pocket holes on the front and back of the drawer boxes. The 3/4″ stock makes for a heavy ass drawer and adds unnecessary cost. If I’d used 1/2″ plywood I could have saved about $20 additional dollars. I will try that on my bedside table.
Even though it didn’t turn out exactly as I planned, I still like it and the hubs loves it.
I’m going to keep my eye open for the hardware I really wanted. If I find it then this bachelors chest is getting new drawer fronts and an upgrade.
What do you think? Does it make you want to tackle drawers? Now that I’ve done it I’m excited to try again. I think it’s great practice for our closets!