Life got in the way again and it took me a few weeks longer to get a lot more done with the nightstands. I hope to have the stands finished by first or second week of November now. All thats left are the tops and fitting the drawers.
There are a few lessons I learned along the way, as always.
1) Don’t plane veneers thinner than 1/8” or you’re asking for trouble.
2) Before chiseling half blind dovetail pins, its best to sweep up the surrounding area in case you chip a pin it will be easier to find.
On to the pics :)
The original figure/curly cherry boards I chose for the ‘stands tops. I have lower quality veneer to use on the bottomside of the tops.
Resawing the veneers to approx 1/8”
...I said approx 1/8”
... after planing them just a bit.
Top of Nightstand #1
Luckilly I wont need that part of the veneers for the top. Thats from putting it through the planer. I raised the bed which helped, but only till it reached a certain thickness, then all hell broke loose. I ruined a few pieces but luckilly I managed to save 8 lucky tiles that matched for the most part. They don’t match perfectly because of the thicknessing but they still look nice :) Since I stopped thicknessing them all the way because of the blow out, they are not all the same thickness and will require sanding before I put them in a press.
Top of Nightstand #2
And now for the half blind dovetailed drawers. This is the first time I’ve done dovetails, so half blind was going to take me some extra patience. I think I managed to do each drawer side of pins in about 30-45 min per side. The tails were much easier. My marking gauge was very dull though so you can see it looks bad on the poplar. I think thats also why they didn’t join together as cleanly. The later ones I used an exacto knife since my marking is dull. Also I managed to chip some of the pins but luckilly was able to save the pieces and then glued them back during the drawer glue up. Front is cherry sides and back are poplar.
Cutting the drawer side tails together
After cutting tails, I put the drawer front in the vice lined up with the side of a hand plane so that I can rest the tail piece on top and mark the pins. The pins were then chiseled out by hand.
...and the chips from chiseling
First set of dovetails… not great
Second set…getting better
7th set…much much better
Drawer pieces finished
..glued up. You only see 3 because I ran out of clamps and had to wait. The backs were joined to the sides with a rabbet. Nothing fancy.
Test fit of one stand while the 4th drawer was being glued up. The drawers need a little cleaning up but not bad for my first drawers ever. I was super happy when they slid in very smoothly.
So next time i get in the shop, I’ll be pressing the tops and adding 3/4” maple edging to frame them. And then its more sanding and finishing. I wanted maple for the drawer pulls, but my LOML outvoted me with metal drawer pulls that match the curves. Now we just have to find them ;)
Thanks for looking.
-- - Eric Noblesville, IN