Here is the second woodworking plan today. I would class this plan as medium difficulty. If you have seen the picture below, right off the bat, your thinking, "what is wrong with this ding bat? That is clearly an advanced project." It certainly looks it, but that is mainly due to the quality of the wood and it's age. The picture is of a well aged antique worth $18,000 in 1985.
If your looking for a outstanding project to please the lady of the house, this should do it. Nick Engler created the plan from the original. This was published in the 1985 Popular Science Supplement.
I call it a medium difficulty project because it is a relatively straight forward project. Nick designed all the joinery to be completed with mostly a router and table saw. By large the joinery is all lock-joints and dadoes, and can all be made on your table saw or with common router bits. The drawer fronts have router dovetail template made dovetails, as Nick states, you can replace this with a simple lock-joint if you don't have a dovetail template jig.
The most difficult part of this project is probably the arched raised panels in the book case doors, but you can get router bits for that too. Material is mostly furniture grade plywood and that is why you can get away with the relatively simple joinery. Be careful to match up your plywood with the small supply of similar solid wood you will need for some aspects of the project and for edge banding. In the North here Oak, Maple, and Birch are the most common types of furniture grade plywood available. If you can find Walnut or Cherry, then you really would come close to the look of the original.
The project requires lots of cutting of dadoes and small parts. This is not difficult but you have to pay close attention to measuring and cutting. The old adage "measure twice, cut once" applies. In fact measure twice, mark your work out, and then verify the measurement again, before the saw switch is turned on.
The other aspect of this piece, that gives it that outstanding look, is the hardware. This to is easy, Lee Valley Tools in Ottawa stocks a wide selection of period hardware, you can find a link to their site on my links page. In the States the sources listed in the article are probably still valid.