Today, I took the rough parts and managed to achieve a few dry fits. The first one was to make sure the dadoes and tenons fit. The second one was to see how it looked with the bow cut out of the bottom piece and with the pre-finished panels installed.
A couple of thoughts: be sure your table saw is waxed properly when cutting tenons like this. It helps if you don’t have to use force to push the piece through the saw. I realized I’m already using some of the stuff I learned from watching TheWoodWhisperer’s videos on the “Gadget Station”. Anal retentive grain-matching being one of them.
As my own worst critic, I will say that I could’ve done a better job backing up the cuts to prevent chip-out. To make the night stands match the crappy job I did a year ago with the dresser, tear-out wasn’t an issue. From now on, in order to take things to a higher level, I will be dealing with this issue better.
I finished the panels with two coats of TransTint Reddish Brown #6003. It’s what I used on the bed and dresser, so it’ll complete the set. I might be tempted to go over everything with the Mission Oak gel stain that polymerizes into a relatively tough coat. This should brown it down and “antique” it. That would be a major undertaking, but would assuage my angst over such an immature finish as just aniline dye in alcohol.
The next step is to sand all of the parts, and possibly finish them too. I had problems with wiping the finish on the structure without making a darker section on the panels. I will be sanding these to 220, like I did the others, but from now on, I will be sanding to 150. If you’ve ever felt a 100+ year old Stickley, you can feel the grain. I’d like to go for that tactile faithfulness.
BTW, I beefed up the legs from 3/4 to 1 1/2 (which is where I got my boo-boo). I think this lends a lot of mass to the night stands. I felt it was very successful on the dresser. Why spend so much money and effort on building something with flimsy legs. The way I glued up the legs, you can’t even tell that they’re two pieces of wood.
Here’s where the wax is helpful:
A backer board will help with chipout:
Notice the labeling (inside, part, etc.):
Alcohol based aniline dye:
All parts need sanding:
-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails