Nightstand in cherry and maple

  • Advertise with us
Project by AaronK posted 09-01-2010 02:42 AM 3656 views 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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.

11 comments so far

View R.A. Ray's profile

R.A. Ray

19 posts in 3170 days

#1 posted 09-01-2010 03:05 AM

Very, very nice. This is something I would welcome in my home.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4058 days

#2 posted 09-01-2010 03:07 AM

Nice design, and exceptional wood grain on this piece…should age wonderful…job well done Aron…BC

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1904 posts in 3906 days

#3 posted 09-01-2010 03:37 AM

Very nice!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3908 days

#4 posted 09-01-2010 05:32 AM

Nice job on the nightstand.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3302 days

#5 posted 09-01-2010 02:29 PM

Great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3430 days

#6 posted 09-01-2010 02:33 PM

Very nice nightstand Aaron. If you have any pics of the secret drawer we’d be interested in seeing them :)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3173 days

#7 posted 09-01-2010 06:25 PM

Really nice night stand …........................................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View Stephen's profile


19 posts in 3065 days

#8 posted 09-08-2010 12:53 AM

Interesting design, beautiful drawer fronts. I like it.

-- Stephen, West Virginia

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3538 days

#9 posted 01-16-2013 04:58 PM

i came across your table here and think its a real beautiful table, built very well , i like how you jointed the drawers, and the wood is just so right for this, i think the only thing i would have done different is use some walnut in a few places, like your drawer pulls, they would look really good with a darker wood there..but this is a great table really good job..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3101 days

#10 posted 01-16-2013 05:06 PM

That’s a very clean build and looks great.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View AaronK's profile


1507 posts in 3699 days

#11 posted 01-16-2013 09:48 PM

thanks guys. the cherry has gotten quite rich in the time since I built this. the pulls are still one of my favorite parts. they feel really nice :)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics