Shaker Cherry Nightstand - Handtool heavy

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Blog series by Bertha updated 03-27-2011 02:31 PM 11 parts 26591 reads 111 comments total

Part 1: Entry One: Starting off

03-03-2011 06:59 PM by Bertha | 14 comments »

I’m new to the blog series, so I’m afraid some of this will be redundant: I want to build a Shaker-style cherry nightstand for my fiance’. It’s going to be as handtool-heavy as it can be until my shoulder gives out. She’d like it to be 21”W x 19”D x 22”H. I’m going to construct it entirely from 1” rough cherry stock that was given to me (free!) by a friend. I’m using the “design as I go” approach & will size ...

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Part 2: Part 2- top & aprons

03-06-2011 05:11 PM by Bertha | 9 comments »

OK, now I’ve planed the top flat (Stanley #7 , #6, and #5). Getting rid of the cup cost me quite a bit of wood & I’m approaching 3/4” thickness now. There are some deep gouges left by my #5 that my #4 can’t quite reach but I’d like the project to retain its hand-hewn character. I uncovered wormholes along the way that I’ll try to feature prominently. Plane lovers (non-plane lovers, please forgive me for going on about them) will probably spot that #8 in...

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Part 3: Part 3: Mortise & Tenon

03-07-2011 02:24 AM by Bertha | 8 comments »

Time to mortise & tenon the aprons. I considered doing this by hand but I’ll save that challenge for another day. These are cut with a tenon jig on a dedicated old tablesaw. Here are the tenoned aprons off the jig. A little Stanley bullnose is investigating. I’ll shoulder the tenons by hand: I’m going to dovetail the upper drawer rail and tenon the lower drawer rail. When cutting half blinds that will be relatively hidden, I like to extend the ha...

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Part 4: Step 4: working out the drawer supports

03-10-2011 03:33 AM by Bertha | 6 comments »

I debated over this and many LJ’s were quite supportive of my plight. Feeling guilty over machining my aprons, I decided to address the drawer guides with a saw & chisel. As it’s a small drawer on a small piece, I figured the lower support might need the most support; the upper simply for tracking & anti-tip. I want to assemble the carcass front-back, then sides. I also wanted some allowance for shelf adjustment, so here goes: I’m going to split the lower guide be...

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Part 5: Step 5: assembly (pre-drawer)

03-14-2011 12:43 AM by Bertha | 6 comments »

I completed all the drawer guide joints and turned my attention to assembly. I glued up the front of the case; the tenoned lower rail and dovetailed upper rail made it a snap to glue up (a curious woooden skew looks on): I need some method to attach the top that allows for movement. I also need a good excuse to pull out the plow plane. I’ll place a 3/8” dado in the side aprons using the Stanley #45. Sharp nickers & some paraffin make for some fun planing: Now...

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Part 6: Step 6: Fitting the drawer for final assembly

03-15-2011 02:03 PM by Bertha | 12 comments »

My fiance’ selected a length of cherry for the drawer front/rear and some very wormy maple for the sides. I’ll address the French bottom in maple as well. Here’s the case waiting to be fitted; very simple, as promised. a molder checks in:(the top is yet to be attached, hence the skew :) ) Here’s the selection of very wormy cherry destined for the drawer sides: Here it is rough fit with a 1/16” reveal: Here are the assembled components (wit...

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Part 7: Step 7: Fitting and constructing the drawer

03-17-2011 02:11 PM by Bertha | 10 comments »

First, to fit the drawer front using the No. 5 (set thick) and the No. 7 (set thin). I left the top & bottom of the drawer 1/16” oversized, so I shouldn’t have to take off much wood: Here’s what I mean by thick & thin: I’m quite pleased with the fit. My fiance’ specifically chose this drawer front for the grain pattern. The rear is fit in the same manner and I’ll then fit the sides: Moving on to fitting the sides: ...

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Part 8: Step 8: drawer and French Bottom assembly

03-20-2011 02:43 PM by Bertha | 15 comments »

I’m getting started on the dovetailed & French Bottom’d drawer. For a discussion of the French Bottom, see: Mine will be a bit of a Modified French Bottom, as I’m not going to raise a significant panel on the drawer bottom. As promised, this project is fit-as-you-go, so I need to take some measurements and make some markings. Many will disapprove of my dovetails, as I prefer them coarse with very visible saw marks/marking gauge ...

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Part 9: Step #9: Final assembly-stop, guide, and button

03-22-2011 03:07 PM by Bertha | 19 comments »

Time for final assembly. My fiance’ will turn a knob and install it as a celebration when the project is complete. First, I need to mount the free lower drawer supports over a spacer. I made the drawer supports so I could control the levelness of the drawer and the reveal once all the parts were together. First I cut the spacer oversized & will trim it later: Tack it in place with glue & brads (a consequence of waiting to the end for a final fit means I have to resort to ...

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Part 10: Finishing (Boring)

03-25-2011 05:08 PM by Bertha | 3 comments »

I resisted the urge to K+dichrome or tint this project (with approval from the fiance’). I’m not proud of the sanding but what’s done is done. I’m going to employ a basic LJ tenet of 1) BLO, 2) Shellac 1# seal, 3) Poly. I’m at the BLO part & I’m pleased so far. I’m aware that some hate to show end-grain forward but I’m in a different camp. I’ll use a darker knob to tie in to the dark red end-grain. I left the deeper scrub plane marks a...

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Part 11: Step #11: Turning knob and moving into house!

03-27-2011 02:31 PM by Bertha | 9 comments »

Onto the celebration! The case lacks only wax. Flood BLO, #1 Shellac sealer, Poly x 3. Turning a knob out of rosewood on the lathe. Spindle work, no chucks here! (lazy) Freehand tapping for the screw; the pillot was done on the drill press (honesty). The knob. Notice my turpentine/beeswax jar customized by my fiance’, complete with little bees buzzing about. Installed! It’s an unusual choice of wood but I love it. Steakums (dog) approves of it in his n...

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