Nightstand for my kids

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Project by Laurent posted 03-30-2009 10:27 PM 1915 views 20 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m a beginner woodworker. I thought nightstands would be easy enough first projects. It was also the first time I was using hardwoods and finishing products. Was too scared to add drawers (my first attempt w/ drawers on my router table was epic!).

The bulky one is for my boy and the more feminine is for my daughter.

Please do not hesitate to criticize my work, I’m here to learn!

One question though: I finished my son’s one with shellac for the legs (walnut) and lacquer for the top (white oak), and I’m not satisfied with the lacquer: the white oak has turned yellow and my son has to put is nightstand 3 feet from the bed because it smells too much. That is really defeating the role of a nightstand, don’t you think? So will lacquer stop smelling after a while? What should I have used?

Thanks for your help,

-- Laurent

16 comments so far

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2570 days

#1 posted 03-30-2009 10:44 PM

Those are really nice. Great designs, beautiful!!!!!!!!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View TimberMan's profile


113 posts in 2507 days

#2 posted 03-30-2009 11:46 PM

I love the design. That is one of my favorite style leg. Great work.

View PGreene's profile


114 posts in 2473 days

#3 posted 03-31-2009 12:12 AM

Looks great…yes, the lacquer will stop stinking after a while but depending on what kind you used, how many coats, temperature when you applied and how long it set between coats, it will vary greatly. Basically, expect weeks to a few months. They yellowing will happen with just about any oil based product. I personally prefer wiping varnishes a lot more (General Finishes has a great line), but if you want NO yellowing at all, go with a water based product. That will also eliminate the smell.

-- Patrick

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2488 days

#4 posted 03-31-2009 02:40 AM

Great looking nightstands and well done on your first project. Thanks for sharing

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2517 posts in 2635 days

#5 posted 03-31-2009 03:50 AM

Very nice!!! Clean & crisp.

-- Dennis Zongker

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

448 posts in 2559 days

#6 posted 03-31-2009 04:02 AM

You can also seal the lacquer with shellac…but it is not as durable. Shellac is supposed to be excellent for sealing odors. If you decide to go this route, try it in an inconspicuous place first.

-- jstegall

View Laurent's profile


41 posts in 2388 days

#7 posted 03-31-2009 04:09 AM

Thank you all for your encouragements!
And thank you Patrick for your advise on water based finishing. I started w/ oil ones are they are the first ones you stumble upon as a beginner.

I obviously see a lot of problems in these 2 nightstands but I loved building them. I started a new bigger project: a desk for my daughter in Padauk & Hard maple. The top is in padauk and the breadboard in white maple. Same for the drawers (front: padauk, sides: maple).
How do you avoid color leakage from the orange / red padauk onto the white maple?
(should I take some pictures and present it as a new project?)


-- Laurent

View Laurent's profile


41 posts in 2388 days

#8 posted 03-31-2009 04:15 AM

John, I (bee)waxed the top but it did not remove the odor. What could happen sealing with shellac (why trying on an hidden spot)? Discoloration?

-- Laurent

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2716 days

#9 posted 03-31-2009 04:42 AM

Cool looking night stands.

View woodworm's profile


14144 posts in 2633 days

#10 posted 03-31-2009 02:28 PM

Beautiful piece of night stands. Great effort!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Skee's profile


84 posts in 3071 days

#11 posted 02-04-2010 01:09 AM

How did the desk project go? The nightstands are awesome. I actually like the yellowing / aging.

Great wood choices.

-- -- Skee from MN

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2620 days

#12 posted 02-04-2010 01:10 AM

Wow that’s some cool design love it.

-- Custom furniture

View Laurent's profile


41 posts in 2388 days

#13 posted 02-05-2010 12:23 AM

Thanks Jim, the through tenon idea came while I was showing the wood selection to my wife:

Skee, the desk was a present for my daughter’s 10th birthday. She was happy, but no thrilled. Maybe because she got her present 3 months late ;)

-- Laurent

View stevematis's profile


54 posts in 2394 days

#14 posted 11-20-2010 07:10 AM

Very nice, I like it, the legs are great.


View DocSavage45's profile


6607 posts in 1885 days

#15 posted 06-15-2011 05:59 PM

Well done. Stay a beginer! You seem to have a very good sense of design. Any trainning? Very good movement throughout the pieces you have built. James Kenov is an inspiration for me. He has a number of discussions through out his work of the present piece but also the future piece. Colors will change over time. He likes to use the metaphor of building a piece as a symphoy. :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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