Chest Of Drawers With Butler’S Desk
My son’s room is on the small side so by combining this Mike Pekovich-inspired chest of drawers with Chris Becksvoort’s plans for a desk hidden in a drawer (AKA a “butler’s desk”) I was able to give him plenty of storage along with a workspace.
We went with cherry to match the furniture in his room. Also, it’s a great wood to work with both hand tools and power tools.
The legs taper slightly as they reach the top and intersect with this cove detail.
The top is just two boards and have a gentle arc on the ends and an undercut curved bevel on the edges.
Half-blind dovetails in the front and they dovetails in the back on all the drawers in this piece.
Instead of using plywood for the rear panel, I used some thin cherry I had laying around. It is shiplapped and set into grooves.
The sides of the piece are frame and panel construction. All solid cherry.
The desk slides out partway before it hits stop blocks.
Here you can see the button catches with keep it closed.
When the button catches are pressed you can fold down the drawer front 90 degrees to give yourself a writing surface, room for a keyboard and access to the cubbie drawers.
All brass hardware is from Ball & Ball in Pennsylvania. Tricky but fun to install.
The router was put on a swivel to rout out a smooth arc on the side for the quadrant stay to fit into.
More dovetails. All handcut.
I saved a certain board to get a nice grain match across the four cubbie drawer faces. Interesting grain but still not too loud.
Secret drawer #1 is revealed by sliding out a second drawer in the back.
Secret drawer #2 is a small mitered box that tucks away in the back of the drawer pocket and looks like a back panel as it’s plain. There is a magnet mounted on the inside that allows you to slide it out by using another magnet. These were a blast to design and build!
My boy and I. He loves it and we got to spend quality time together designing it and planning out parts together. Needless to say, his favorite part is the secret drawers!
Here’s the frame of the case. A combination of traditional mortise and tenons and Domino joints were used.
Putting a chamfer on the leg bottoms.
I tried this technique, tapping a sharpened card scraper in the kerf, to cut the half blind dovetail waste. Still not sure if it saved enough time to justify it.
Putting the curved bevel on the table top edges.
For the desk case I used the specially ground table saw blade to cut the tails.
Dry fitting the desk case into the opening.
Using this neat router jig to precisely rout the 1/4 dadoes for the desk case dividers.
The desk case and drop down lid had to meet precisely to open correctly.
Using a jig to rout the curved mortises for the quadrant stays.
Cutting the button catch stay mortises by hand.