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The 16-Drawer Apothecary Chest



Here's a great piece of furniture that will solve a BIG storage problem - where to put those sewing supplies, scissors, decks of cards, cassette tapes and dozens of other “odds-n-end” items that seem to keep cluttering up the house. Designed to resemble the chests used in old-time drugstores, this Apothecary Chest has 16 generous sized drawers to accommodate lots of things.

We built our chest out of #2 common pine throughout, except for the hardboard back and drawer bottoms...but poplar, cherry, oak or virtually any wood will look great. If you like, you can even save some money on materials by using particleboard for the partitions and plywood for the drawers.

1: Cut out the Sides (A), Top (B), Base Pieces (G & H), and Drawer Fronts (K). This will allow you to select the most attractive wood for the visible parts. Be sure to cut the drawer fronts (K) to about 1/8" oversize, since the finished drawer sides and bottoms are sanded flush after final assembly.

2: Cut the remaining stock to size, according to the list of materials. We glued-up the 14" wide partitions (C) out of solid pine, but you could also make these partitions out of 13-1/4" wide particleboard or plywood, then glue and nail a 3/4" x 3/4" strip of pine (or matching wood) facing to the exposed edge.

3: Form the 1/4" deep by 3/8" wide rabbet in the back edges of the sides (A) to accept the chest back (J). You can do this by making two cuts with an ordinary saw blade...or by using your Dado Set.

4: Attach the drawer guides (E) to the partitions (C) with 4-penny finishing nails and glue. Mount the guides flush with the back edges of the partitions, being sure to leave a 6-1/16" spacing between each guide. We temporarily positioned a 6-1/16" wide piece of scrapwood between each guide during assembly to maintain the exact distance. Attach the 3/4" x 3/4" filler strip (D) to the top partition.



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