Dresser Class 2012


We are well into our annual dresser course with 5 students, each making a beautiful 4-drawer dresser that they will take home at the end of this 2 week class. The week started by hand planing and scraping the insides of the chest sides, then each person hand cut 8 dado joints and then 12 mortise-and-tenons that hold the middle frames together. By the fourth day, all the carcasses were assembled. Then each student, with deep focus, turned to carefully cutting and paring the front dovetail pieces that will hold the front frame together.

Here is Larry assembling the back frame complete with raised panels and mortise-and-tenon joints.

You must understand some of these are business executives, some retired and some not. One student told us his friends think he is crazy for not using his 2 week vacation to go to France or something like that. But he has chosen to spend his 2 week vacation building an heirloom piece of furniture, one that will be around for hundreds of years. Long after that trip to France would have been forgotten, the memories of the man who built this dresser will live on, as will his own memories of having built this piece! So in my opinion this is the best vacation that one could take!

Even now, this evening, as I sit and write, I hear the soft tap of a mallet as it carefully strikes the chisel and the swoosh of the chisel as it pares through black cherry, then the blow of the craftsman as he blows the wispy shavings out of the way. These are the few students who have chosen to stay late into the evening, working with their hands creating timeless furniture of beauty and simplicity, with joinery that will stand the test of time.

Stay tuned, and I will try to keep you posted with the progress!

2 Responses to Dresser Class 2012

  1. Carl May 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM #

    Frank, today we’re just past the half way point in this class but it isn’t too soon to enthusiastically recommend it to anyone whose curiosity was stirred up by your post. It is a blast, and the time just flies by. Also, the skills you’re working with us on should be very much transferrable to a wide variety of projects back in our home work shops.

  2. Dawn May 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM #

    Agreed. The skills are absolutely transferable. Upon completion of the Foundation course, I took my new found skills home and was surpised to find I could make a bookshelf, a bathroom cabinet and a table saw cabinet with drawers. With the dresser class skill set, I plan to make a hallway storage unit with shelves and dovetailed drawers.

    The class camaraderie is one of my favorite parts. Most of us work by ourselves in our home shops. It is so much fun to build furniture with such great teachers and a group of bright and enthusiastic woodworkers. Homestead Heritage School of Woodworking is a vacation with purpose.