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Cherry Nighstand (table)

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Project by McLeanVA posted 05-18-2009 04:32 PM 1745 views 5 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first project working with a wood other than inexpensive pine from the big box stores. It was inspired by the many projects I have seen on here by my fellow LJ’s. It was modeled after a walnut nightstand on my wife’s side of the bed. It was constructed of 3/4” cherry with mortise and tenon, dowel, and biscuit joints. Without a tenon jig, a mortiser, a plane, or a drill press, this tested my patience and hand tool skills. What an amazing learning process. I learned a lot about the importance of tight fitting joints and how long it takes to pound out mortises by thumping a 1/4” chisel with the pad of my hand. My toddler’s rooms are above my garage and my wife put the smack-down on any hammering or power tools after bed time. It’s laughable, but forced me to take my time. I logged countless hours listening to late-night NPR on my shop radio while shaking the sting out of my digits.

The finish was 3 coats of Watco Danish oil (thanks poroskywood – LJ), sanding with 400 in between coats, 2 coats of rub-on poly (satin), sanded to 400 in between, a light misting of spray-on poly (semi-gloss), followed by a rubbing of paste wax on #0000 steel wool. The last step was rubbing the finish out with a terry towel. And I mean seriously rubbing. The result was a beautiful finish that brought the grain to life.

Notes for next project. Invest in a mortiser or drill press. Buy a dowel centering jig. Spend more time studying the grain patterns in mating pieces. Don’t be afraid to work with new woods.

And for those of you wondering why I didn’t add a drawer to this. Total truth… I was scared to bite off more than I could chew. I need to learn/practice dovetail joints and get my confidence up before I pile up expensive scrap wood.

I’m excited to start my next project. This site is packed to the pixel with inspirational projects from you all.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.





15 comments so far

View Bovine's profile

Bovine

114 posts in 2015 days


#1 posted 05-18-2009 04:55 PM

Dude, I love this piece. Nice clean lines, looks really tight. I really like what the Danish Oil did to the Cherry, I might have to try that sometime.

One question thought—the lower shelf. I can’t tell if that’s one piece or you put a frame around a raised piece. What is it? Either way, it looks really nice! Your patience really payed off on this one.

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112299 posts in 2264 days


#2 posted 05-18-2009 04:56 PM

Great job Mclean hard to beleave it’s your first,looks super.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View McLeanVA's profile

McLeanVA

465 posts in 2121 days


#3 posted 05-18-2009 05:04 PM

Thanks guys.

Bovine – the shelf is 3 pieces edge glued together with biscuits. I had to knock off the corners so that they wrapped around the vertical legs. Took about 1/2” off of each corner. Then, to secure it in place I hit the front and rear horizontal braces with the biscuit jointer and mated them with biscuit joints on the shelf. Easiest way to picture it is that it floats in there and without the biscuits would drop to the floor. The 4 biscuits secure it in place and make it level with the top of the horizontal braces. Hope this makes sense. Tough to explain without excessive hand gestures.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2905 days


#4 posted 05-18-2009 05:16 PM

Excellent work. With a start like this, I can’t imagine how beautiful your future projects will be.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View poroskywood's profile

poroskywood

614 posts in 2051 days


#5 posted 05-18-2009 05:18 PM

This looks great! I can’t believe you pounded out the M&T joints by hand, you are a woodworking savage animal! This looks very sturdy and I like the edges. They are just softened enough instead of completely rounded over which most folks are tempted to do. This table has great depth, Danish Oil + Cherry = Sweetness but the extra work you put in on the poly really put it over the top. I’ll definitely be trying your technique on my next project.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View tmiller's profile

tmiller

103 posts in 2000 days


#6 posted 05-18-2009 10:02 PM

Great job. It looks really nice.

-- tmwsigns.com

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5178 posts in 1995 days


#7 posted 05-19-2009 05:47 AM

Your table looks reall great. Keep up the good work!

-- We all must start somewhere in our journey of doing what we love to do.

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2786 days


#8 posted 05-19-2009 06:17 AM

Nice, keep at it.

-- John

View Gator's profile

Gator

377 posts in 2363 days


#9 posted 05-21-2009 01:23 AM

Good job.. your hard work really paid off on the finish

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13342 posts in 2360 days


#10 posted 05-21-2009 01:37 AM

Nice end table.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View degoose's profile

degoose

7038 posts in 2041 days


#11 posted 05-22-2009 04:18 AM

R U shore U R not a Professional?

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3292 posts in 2622 days


#12 posted 05-25-2009 03:58 AM

McLean, Turned out real nice. Finish looks great.

I too need to do some stuff with some wood other then pine just still blaming it on the learning curve.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View ralmand's profile

ralmand

162 posts in 1989 days


#13 posted 06-04-2009 12:18 AM

I like the look! I am getting ready to try my 1st table. Still working on the exact design I want. I may ‘steal’ a thing or two from this one..:-).... Keep up the good work!

-- Randy, Allen Texas

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2509 days


#14 posted 06-04-2009 01:07 AM

This is a really nice nightstand. It is well designed, the construction looks solid and the finish is gorgeous. Cherry is my personal favorite and you did a good job with it on this piece. With the results of this build I am sure you are ready to add dovetails to your next project.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11663 posts in 2375 days


#15 posted 12-26-2010 05:36 AM

This is a very nice table and the finish looks great from here : )
Merry Christmas !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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