Dovetailed Cherry Bedside Table

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Project by Friendlysb posted 04-26-2015 03:28 PM 1162 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a fun project for me. Most of the furniture I have made in the past year or so has had Dovetails incorporated into them. I have been trying to hone my skills with hand cut dovetails. Each time I work on a new project I learn something else. I came up with this design from a table I made for my den about 2 years ago.

This project used the following;
- 6/4 cherry for top/sides/drawer front.
- 4/4 Cherry for the shelf rail and shelf on the bottom and back.
- 4/4 poplar for the drawer sides and back.

- 1 coat of BLO on all surfaces
- 2 coats of dewaxed Garnet Shellac on all surfaces
- 2 coats of Arm R Seal Semi-Gloss
- 1 coat of Arm R Seal Satin.

The one thing I wish I could truly improve upon is the finishing. I like the ease of application of Arm R Seal but I am getting so frustrated and I am not quite sure on what to do or what to use. As I apply with a old tshirt it leaves streak/dragging marks inside the finish. I stir up the can for a while before I start to use and try to stir it up while in use. But it doesn’t seem to matter. I can’t tell if these marks are left because of uneven pressure in the application process or not. When you watch people use this on Youtube they don’t seem to have the issues I have. Any thoughts from other LumberJocks would be greatly appreciated.



4 comments so far

View Pat3's profile


114 posts in 2114 days

#1 posted 04-26-2015 04:17 PM

The table is awesome, great workmanship, congrats.

I also struggled in the past with getting a good finish, tried several different finishes until I used Liberon Wipe On Finishing Oil. Since then, it or Shellac are the only two finishes I use anymore. Before the wipe on finish, I will use either Danish Oil or Tung Oil. Then I will follow with as many coats of Liberon as I want to get the desired look. It goes on thin and dries fast. I will scuff up in btwn coats and have always gotten great results.

View oltexasboy1's profile


250 posts in 1939 days

#2 posted 04-26-2015 04:53 PM

I think all of us have problems with finishing, I always end up with streaks that need to be fixed. I use minwax ultima urethane and have found that I can fix a lot of the issues with 0000 steel wool and wax. I rub down the surface between every coat after through drying time. I think that not leaving the surface long enough to cure properly was part of my problem , after the final coat of finish is applied , I apply the wax with steel wool and take it off with tee shirt material and have been having better results lately. As you say however BLO or shellac is a very good alternative and I have used it a lot myself.( I have never used Arm R shield)

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View djg's profile


160 posts in 2397 days

#3 posted 04-28-2015 02:01 PM

Nice hand work. I have been moving more towards this methodology myself. As for finishing….arghhhh. drives me nuts.

-- DJG

View CharlesA's profile


3358 posts in 2032 days

#4 posted 04-28-2015 02:08 PM

The secret to Arm-R-Seal, IMHO, is to make a pad with a t-shirt or similar, dip it into some Mineral Spirits, and then do several very light coats (2 is not enough), and make no attempt to fix anything (like going back over places you’ve missed). You can scuff sand between, but the beauty of Arm-R-Seal is that it will fix mistakes for you as you use 4+ coats, but you need to be able to live with the fact that it won’t look great after 2—that’s were folks sometimes get discouraged. It’s pretty foolproof, but the first couple of coats will make you think that claim is crazy.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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