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An elevated chest keeps the bad back straight.

To save the bad back of his client, cabinetmaker Loy D. Martin of Palo Alto designed this bird's-eye maple chest on an L-shaped, 16-1/2-inch-high stand. She can reach even the lowest drawer with little or no bending. The top drawers are at a convenient height for her 6-foot 3-inch husband.

The supporting bench turns a corner to create a dressing alcove. A pillow on the slightly lower, shorter arm of the bench invites sitting to don shoes and clothes.

This ensemble combines practical design with handcrafted joinery and custom details; Martin's use of hardwood and dovetailed joints makes it especially sturdy. The chest measures 49 inches high and 27 inches wide. The bench's long and short arms span 65 and 45 inches respectively; each arm is 20 inches wide.

You could build a similar, simpler set by adapting the design to conform to your woodworking abilities and equipment. Make sure the bench you devise can support the weight of your dresser and its user. If you plan to use softwood, choose one of the harder kinds, such as vertical-grain Douglas fir or ponderosa pine. Reinforce softwood stands with metal or wooden brackets, girders, or gussets for strength.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1984
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