Here’s an update on the progress I’ve made on my nightstand.
I completed the draw with the proud finger joints. After some e-mail back and forth with Darrell I’m holding off on the handle and will mount that after finishing.
I completed the bottom shelf. I think this design is pretty interesting because from a distance the shelf seems to be attached to the lower rails of the table. However, the shelf floats on a support mounted to the bottom of the end rails with a space all around as shown here:
In the background you can see the draw with the proud finger joints (click the link if the picture is cut off on the right).
I also glued up the core of the top, and milled the breadboard ends. I’ve never had good luck with bread board ends, I’ve never been happy wth the way they’ve come out. For this, I followed Darrells book and got a slot cutting bit for my router:
Now, in the past I’ve been leary of using the router handheld as I tend to tip the router, or the wood moves around and I get poor results. This time I remembered the old workmate (a.k.a $8 router table stand) has bench dogs so I used them to clamp the breadboards and it worked great (well, after drilling new holes in the workmate to match the size of the breadboard).
The core of the top was easier as it is big enough to clamp to the bench:
Once the groove was cut, I made the spline. This genius idea came from Darrell; the spline is glued to the core, so you want the grain running the same way. Easy enough if you have a board the right size. The simple solution is to mill a board with the grain running cross ways, and slice it up like scrabble pieces and glue them in individually:
Next I need to mortise the breadboards for the screws. However, after digging out my drill press mortise attachment and downloading the directions, I remember why I put it away years ago: it sucks. Really – you plunge the chisel into the workpiece and it sucks the piece back up with the chisel. I had to use the mallet to get this test piece off:
It seems the drill bit itself is catching on the wood, it protrudes from one side of the chisel. At this point I’m either omiting the ebony detail on the breadboards, or going at it by hand with a chisel, but I’m worried about ruining the part.