|Project by AaronK||posted 09-01-2010 02:42 AM||3218 views||6 times favorited||11 comments|
Nightstand made with cherry and very wormy soft maple as primary woods, secondary wood is poplar. Sides, shelf, and drawer bottoms are frame & solid panel. Top is attached using wooden buttons. Drawers are rabbeted and doweled fronts. Joinery pretty much everywhere else are various butt joints reinforced with cherry dowels. Drawer pulls are handmade from cherry. Finish is a couple very light coats of wiping varnish and light wax, expect for the top which has multiple coats of wiping varnish to build up a little more protection.
I designed this in sketchup and tried to keep it very simple. My goal was basically taking Shaker influence with some modern touches. I also tried to make it so that two joined pieces of wood never met in the sample plane, but were slightly offset from each other – I feel that with the simplicity of the overall geometry of the piece, this helps keep it interesting.
the joinery is simple, but it will hold, since this piece will never see very heavy loads. assembly was easy, since pieces were glued in place first, then doweled after the fact. A note about the dowels: the dowel joinery on the carcass is made using birch spiral-cut dowels, then decoratively capped off with the cherry. I feel like fluted or spiral dowels provide a better joint than solid.
Woods were chosen mainly because I had them and wanted to use them up (since we’ll be moving within the year and I’m NOT carrying 6’ boards on the moving truck!) – it’s the last of the nice cherry I got a year ago from a local sawyer, and the wormy soft maple was thrown in for free at the time. The combination works fairly well, I think. The maple was extremely easy to work (expect for some hairy tearout a couple times), especially since all the worm holes and tracks made any little scratches or dents made by handling completely disappear!
Some final notes: not shown in the pics are swing-up drawer stops (to keep them from opening too far), and also the lower drawer has a secret compartment – the back is rabbeted into dadoed side panels, but not glued. if the drawer stop is flipped up (from underneath), a narrow secret compartment becomes accessible. I did that mainly because my wife loves that sort of thing, and it was a fun touch. Otherwise, I didn’t really encounter any big difficulties along the way, since everything is so simple.
Anyway, I’m fairly pleased with this one, although perhaps the multiple dowels are a bit much. My wife loves it, and as the customer, her opinion counts the most. That said, I would love any constructive criticism you folks have to offer.