Pine Nightstand #3: Making the Top, final assembly, and starting the finish

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Blog entry by mitchota posted 03-28-2014 07:07 AM 1304 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Base and Drawer Construction Part 3 of Pine Nightstand series no next part

After the drawer was finished, I put together the cleats for the drawer to run on and also the cleats to attach the top. I keep forgetting to cut a dado on my apron pieces so I can try to attach the top with little wood clips instead. I’ll have to try that next time I make a table. The top for my nightstand is made up a few pieces of pine edge glued together, just like my poplar nightstand. I actually saved the top pieces from my chest of drawers—I had messed up those drawer fronts pretty badly but I salvaged the better pieces and glued them up to make a panel.

I used my router and a 1/4” spiral bit to cut my breadboard edges, and fitted them nice and easy. It only took a little sanding to even up everything, and that got attached with very little incident. I then took some time to sand up everything nice and smooth.

I was thinking about the finish I wanted to use for this. A while back, I had picked up some water soluble dye powder. I used the pilgrim maple color for my chest of drawers and I was very happy with how it came out. I had also purchased a bottle of cherry rosewood dye, and I was trying to find a good reason to use it. I decided this piece would be a nice way to test it out. I first coated the entire piece with glue sizing that I made from from regular Elmer’s Glue-All diluted with water. I brushed on a couple of coats of that and let it dry overnight.

Today, I got to work on actually dyeing the piece. I had mixed up a batch of the dye to test it out on some samples a while back, and that dye was still good to use, so I got the piece dyed up and now it’s drying. I have a pretty good system worked out to apply some wipe-on finish that I make using poly, mineral spirits, and BLO. I’ll put that on over the weekend and hopefully get this into my room soon after that.

2 comments so far

View Greg Guarino's profile

Greg Guarino

50 posts in 1551 days

#1 posted 03-28-2014 03:49 PM

Talk to me about this “glue sizing”, if you wouldn’t mind. No matter how much I read, there’s still something I’ve never heard of just around the corner.


View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2092 days

#2 posted 03-29-2014 01:52 AM

Hi Greg,

I make my glue sizing with Elmer’s Glue-all and water. I mix 1 part of the glue with about 5 parts of water. After giving it a good shake/mix, I use that as a pre-stain treatment on woods like pine. I usually put on a couple of coats of the glue sizing and let it dry overnight. I find that doing that really helps to control the blotching that can be a real problem with pine.

If you want something more advanced than just a glue/water mix, you can try Charles Neil’s Blotch Control. It’s a modified version of straight glue sizing that I have seen awesome reviews on here. Here’s a link to one of the reviews here on LJ:

I haven’t tried the blotch control partly because I found the regular glue sizing worked for what I was doing, but also because I never got around to buying any. I haven’t tried regular glue sizing with anything other than pine yet, but on the two pine pieces I made, it worked like a charm. Hope this information helps!

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