Space-Saving Three-Drawer Chest Inset Into Plasterboard Wall

Materials: Hemnes 3-Drawer Chest, Hand Saw, Plasterboard Saw, Circular Miter Saw, Hammer, Power Screwdriver, Level, 2″ Wood Screws, 3″ Wood Screws, 3″ Nails, Utility Knife, 2″x3″ Framing Studs, Plasterboard Hand Sander, Shims, Hand Level, 1″ Finishing Nails, Spackle, Painter’s Tape
Chest Prep Work
1. Assemble Hemnes 3-drawer chest unit using instructions provided in package. Leave out drawers until unit has been installed into wall. Lightly screw in top panel. It will be removed later for trimming.
2. Cut off 4 legs using hand saw or circular saw so they are flush with bottom panels of unit.
3. Trace outline of front and sides of unit onto underside of top panel.
4. Remove top panel, invert onto flat cutting surface and draw straight guide lines across outline marks from previous step.
5. Trim side and front overhangs of top panel with circular saw.
6. Mount top panel onto unit.

Wall Prep Work
1. Measure height and width of chest unit. Add 1/4″ to each dimension.
2. Mark off width and height of unit onto wall. Draw outline of unit on wall.
3. Scour outline on plasterboard using utility knife. Drill hole at corner and insert end of plasterboard saw.
4. Cut away plasterboard. Position saw horizontally when you encounter studs and break off plasterboard pieces from studs.
5. Use hand saw to cut away unwanted studs. NOTE: Some studs are load-bearing. If you encounter them you need to find way to transfer the load from stud you remove on to adjacent studs. You can do this by first cutting unwanted stud and nailing double horizontal header studs onto adjacent studs. Then, nail vertical studs on top of the double header studs.
6. Smooth edges of plasterboard using hand-held plasterboard sander.

Side Frames
1. Locate top and bottom studs that can be used to nail vertical framing studs to hold unit.
2. Measure appropriate length of 2″x3″ and use 2″ screws to fasten top and bottom of each stud onto horizontal studs located in previous step. Make sure outer edges of each stud are flush with left and right plasterboard edges.

Base Frame
1. Measure base of unit and construct frame of sufficient height for unit to rest on using 2″x3″ studs. In my case the bottom of unit was “U”-shaped with ends screwed to bottom left and right of wall. The “U” frame rested on short vertical 2″x3″ legs. Legs were further screwed onto floor framing panels using 2″ wood screws.

Installing Unit
1. Slide unit into wall. Use hand-level level to check horizontal and vertical level of unit. Hammer in shims to set unit in place. Check that front edge of unit is flush with wall.
2. Drill 3 pilot holes for each side of unit.
3. Use 3″ screws to fasten unit to vertical 2″x3″ framing studs.
4. Drill 2 pilot holes for front and back bottom members of unit. Use 3″ screws or 3″ nails to fasten unit’s bottom to base frame.

Framing and Finishing
1. Cut molding in sufficient lengths to cover space between unit and wall. In my case, I used 1-5/8″ white molding. These were cut to size using a circular miter saw.
2. Fasten molding using 1″ finishing nails. Drive in nail heads further using 3″ nail.
3. Fill in nail head holes with spackle. Fill in molding corners. Lightly sand molding surfaces.
4. Mask around wall and unit and paint molding.
5. Assemble drawers and install into unit.
6. Admire your handiwork!

~ Mac Flores IV, Oak Lawn