Poplar Nightstand #2: Assembly time - almost done.

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Blog entry by mitchota posted 08-12-2013 08:31 AM 1217 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Starting off Part 2 of Poplar Nightstand series Part 3: Getting the finish on »

The weather decided to throw me a curveball yesterday and I got my first lesson in major wood movement and warpage. I milled up my parts the day before thinking I’d have time to put everything together the next day. Turns out it rained like crazy yesterday and the humidity went through the roof. I also found out that I need to look at those growth rings a little closer. I looked over one of the pieces I had and thought it would have more riftsawn grain than flatsawn, but it turns out it was pretty flatsawn and it was reacting to the humidity pretty drastically. I figured that assembly would be a good idea before the parts changed and moved to the point where they wouldn’t fit. I did some fine-tuning to the fit and everything dry-fit up square, so I figured it was a go. I did some sanding and then got to the assembly part.

I was using Titebond II for the glue-ups, but since I wanted some extra time to get things together, so I switched to Titebond III for this part of the assembly. I’m glad I did, since I definitely needed the extra time. I also found out that what Norm used to say on New Yankee Workshop is definitely a truth—you can’t have too many clamps. I ended up using all my 24” clamps on this and had to use some 36” clamps to finish it up. I didn’t think I’d get working and watch my clamp rack empty out, but it happened. I guess I better buy some fittings and make more pipe clamps. I didn’t really need the deeper reach of the bar clamps—pipe clamps would have been more useful.

Everything went together smoothly and nice and square. I have the top pretty much sized up and so I need to make the breadboard edges and put together the drawer. I’m glad this is coming together without headaches. I will have to work on putting on finish, but I’m sure that I can do that fairly quickly now that I have a process that I’m comfortable with.

2 comments so far

View palaswood's profile


996 posts in 1750 days

#1 posted 09-07-2013 08:45 PM

wow! its Clampapalooza! Its true, never enough. I just scored 4 pony pipe clamps with 4’ pipes off CL for $30 ( gave her 35 since she held them overnight for me) Havent used them yet.

So what kind of warpage did you see? I’m in SoCal so we probably don’t get too much humidity related movent I assume

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2069 days

#2 posted 09-11-2013 05:13 AM

I was starting to get some cupping on the rails of the apron. It wasn’t anything major enough where the tenons wouldn’t fit the mortises, but it was pretty visible, which scared me a bit. Considering the bulk of what I made before this was constructed of plywood, that was a fairly new thing for me to see.

I’m guessing the wood movement I was experiencing was a direct result of the rain we got here the week I was working with. It started pouring the night I had milled up the pieces, so the humidity must have easily gone up to 100% for hours. It’s usually around 60-70% during the day here, but it was definitely wet enough to make the wood start picking up the moisture with the rain.

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