Small Dresser (cabin collection) turned changing table

Saw this on Ana's site just in time to make it for a changing table for baby number 4. This was our most difficult plan to take on so far, but it turned out to be pretty straight forward. The details on the plan were a great help - using the spacers to make the drawer openings perfectly spaced, and attaching the drawer fronts on after attaching the rails were great tips. We also used dowel drawer slides for the top 2 drawers, which we really ended up liking.

Estimated Cost
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Finish Used
white spray paint - Krylon primer, rustoleum paint in semi-gloss, krylon clear coat in satin.
Recommended Skill Level


Kathy B. (not verified)

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 01:15

Did you just use a router for the channels in the top drawers? If yes, what bit? If no, how did you do them?

Beautiful work! Your baby is very lucky! :)


Sat, 03/17/2012 - 03:04

Those grooves are probably made with a dado stack on a table saw, but your could easily do it with a router and a guide. Table saw is easier though.

If you don't own a dado set already, don't buy the cheapest one you can find. I made that mistake, and wasn't overly happy with the results of the cut. When I bought a better dado blade set, I was a lot happier with the quality of my cuts.

That turns out to be generally true: I'm always more happy with the result of a better blade. I also needed to tune up my saw to make sure the blade was properly aligned with the guide slots, and that my fence was parallel to the blade. If you don't do that then the best blade in the world won't help. Also, buy full-kerf blades, not the thin kerf blades they sell at the home improvement store. The full kerf blades wobble less and give you cleaner cuts.

In reply to by rob (not verified)


Sat, 03/17/2012 - 06:33

This is a community, there's no need to be rude. Sometimes the authors don't know there are comments, and it's nice to hear more than one solution to a problem. So let's please just appreciate the contribution from all the members, yes?

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 14:56


I can appreciate where you are coming from, and I appreciate your kind suggestions.

I can also identify with Rob's comment directed at Clay. Which I did not find rude.

Clay tends to comment on nearly almost every post on Ana's site with a dismissive and know-it-all attitude, giving outdated advice and rude corrections. It has gotten pretty old. Obviously I am not the only one who sees this.

Remember, one person's authoritarian advice on how to do things isn't the only way or even the best way to approach a project. It is simply their experience and their own personal way of doing things.


Sun, 03/18/2012 - 12:16

I'm grateful for all the help on this blog! When it comes to woodworking, there always seems to be more than one way to do things, and I want to hear EVERYBODY'S ideas; it makes me a more knowledgeable woodworker and helps me overcome planning obstacles I would otherwise not get passed.
Clay, I've read many of you posts and appreciate the wisdom you share. And to the complainers: sometimes our thoughts are not always conveyed on Internet discussions. Some personalities can come across as abrasive/arrogant unbeknownst to the author simply because of their writing style. I've seen it time and again on blogs and forums. I know what I want to say, but it doesn't always come across *quite right* when I'm typing it out.
Either way, I want to hear more about these drawer glides! Clay, you posted a great link on the original plan that suggest always using hardwood for drawer glides or at least a hard/softwood combo. Makes sense, any other want to chime in?

rob (not verified)

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 12:39

Just because I asked him to let Mollie answer the question doesn't mean I was calling him rude. I just think it's common courtesy to let someone who is asked a question to speak first. I definitely appreciate Clay's wisdom and I agree that there are many ways to do something.

What if it were in person though? What if someone kept asking you a question but someone standing off to the side kept answering it before you? Sure they answer correctly every time and give credible insight but after getting cut off over and over, don't you think it might get annoying?

Don't you think the teacher gets a little piffed when that one kid in the back raises his hand and belts out the answer every time and doesn't let any of the other kids answer the question? Sorry for the rant...

anyway the issue isn't about good or bad insight. The issue is just manners. I'm sorry if that comes off brash, but let the person who actually built it answer first.


Sun, 03/18/2012 - 13:18

Lucky for us, we're not in person and we can just "scroll down," lol. I remember recently, one of the blogs I regularly read posted about just this. Her article was spot-on and amusing at the same time...partly because she describes these notorious commenters, and because I know I've been guilty of "thread dumping " myself. There are personalities that clash online and in the real world too. It's worth a glance for a little perspective-and a laugh.


Sun, 03/18/2012 - 16:30

I seem to have stepped on some toes, and for that I'm sorry. I'll certainly take your points in mind in the future. I'm afraid that's distracted from the main point: this is a really amazing piece of furniture. Molly, your house must be pretty amazing if you're building furniture like this. I'll bet your children grow up to be pretty amazing if they've got a mom who builds their furniture.


Mon, 03/19/2012 - 12:44

Beautiful changing table! I have only been building a little over a year and I always appreciate the advice on this site. Thanks for sharing so much Clay:-)

Mollie (not verified)

Sun, 07/29/2012 - 21:13

I just saw there were comments here on my brag post. So, Clay, thanks for answering for me.

We used our table saw - although we don't have a fancy blade. We should probably get one. My husband just ran it through the table saw several times to get it the exact right width. The blade was lowered so that it would only cut 1/4 inch into the wood. And the slides were hardwood - square dowels you get get at a home improvement store.

little stuf

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 08:08

I love the plans for this piece, to begin with. Great job on your build. I LOVE this in white! Especially for a baby room or a little girl's room. Thank you so much for sharing your pics and ideas!

Green Granny (not verified)

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 20:45

Fantastic job on this piece! I think this would be perfect in an adult's bedroom also, with the bottom shelf for a blanket or quilt. I would love to make this.


Sun, 03/31/2013 - 16:01

I was wanting to do the same thing...make this for using as a changing table. What are the dimensions of your dresser? Did you change the size of the drawers (did you use something different than a 1x8)? At what measurement did you place the lower shelf relative to the ground and how much space is there between the top of that lower shelf and the bottom of the 1x2 that frames the bottom drawer?

Any help / details that you can give would be so appreciated!


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