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Nightstand, Mission Style

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Project by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 1022 days ago 3105 views 9 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Nightstand, Mission Style
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SPECS

Timeframe: Jul 2010 – Feb 2011 (Idea through Final Finish)
Wood Used: Reclaimed Oak
Galoot Index: 5 on a 10 point scale. Thickness planer to remove finish on stock, stationary mortiser also used.

Hand planed leg laminations and all final surfaces. Bandsaw for arcs. Hand-cut dovetails in the drawer, #28 radial cutter on edges. RAS for cross cuts and rips, Langdon Mitre used for tenon cuts.
Cost: $7 for hardware (Van Dykes)

NARRATIVE
Common ground between LJs is an appetite for woodworking books of all kinds. My collection includes a bandsaw book, three books about workbenches, several magazines, a handplanes book and even a signed copy of Bob Vila’s Workshop. These materials are what I page through at night, before turning off the light, and sat for many months in a neat little pile (is there really such a thing?) on the floor. Drove me nuts, needed a solution. Enter The Nightstand Project.

I like the mission style and knew it to be something I could build so the search started and ended there. Three different on-line pics looked good, but weren’t exactly what I wanted. So with a bit of mod to them I had the plan.



Materials would come from a chifferobe that came from an auction a couple / three years before. If you’re curious, a chifferobe is one of those pieces of furniture that really pre-date built in closets, typically including a row of drawers down one half of the front and a shallow, hinged closet along the other half. Mine was $5 and was machine made. No veneer, though, so I bought it for material. And since Mission is typically oak, this was a Match.

DETAILS
The legs are each glued up from three individual pieces that I planed to eliminate (as much as possible) glue lines / seams. Making the legs was slow, because at that early stage I wasn’t sure of many details of the build. Once they were done, sorted through stock that would become the aprons of the nightstand and cut those. The curved pieces were a key to the look, and it was fun doing those. Would have been more fun (maybe?) with a #113 compass plane, but alas. By the time the project had gotten this far, the drawer slide “mechanism” was a total unknown to me and the project sat. It was September.

By this time I had a copy of Robert Wearing’s The Essential Woodworker and with it came the solution for the drawer. The nightstand reappeared on the workbench

and a support structure for the drawer was built and put in place.


One big dovetail key joined the front to the mortised-and-tenoned sides and back.

The top is attached to the aprons via buttons screwed to the top that in turn ride in small channels cut to the inside of each apron piece, ala Wearing. The bottom shelf consists of a single board with each end set into dadoed stretchers that are mortised into the legs. This shelf floats, and this part of the assembly works primarily because the dovetail key shown above really locks everything together.

Nothing fancy re: glueup, but I did spent a good amount of time going over the piece removing all traces of glue out. Didn’t use sandpaper but for the arcs, so all was cleaned up by converting my #93 shoulder to a chisel plane that removed residue real well. Also touched up the radii on each leg with a #100 squirrel tail.

January of 2011 is when I brought the stand inside the house and applied a coat of Minwax Stain, Early American #230. Also dovetailed an oak drawer front to oak drawer sides (no fun), but it went well. Final fitting of the drawer was also a challenge, in that smoothing old oak, no matter the sharpness of the plane iron, places a lot of stress on the joints as well as the method of holding the drawer. But ultimately is came together.

Finish is five + coats of wipe-on poly.

The nightstand has been in place since Feb this year and has been a wonderful addition. Building this gave me confidence to tackle other projects, too, like the Roubo Cabinet. Just took me awhile to get it posted to Lumberjocks. Thanks for reading!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive





19 comments so far

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1219 days


#1 posted 1022 days ago

Nice job Smitty! Just a couple questions about the drawer.

What type of bottom did you use? This question is purely out of ignorance – when you don’t use a drawer slide mechanism ( ie ball bearings) how do you lubricate the bearing surfaces?

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9571 posts in 1214 days


#2 posted 1022 days ago

Thanks!

Drawer bottom is a piece of 1/4” plywood that came out of said donor chifferobe and contained on all four sides within dados. It floats and is stable. Drawer itself slides in and out without effort, contained within a couple of filler pieces not shown in the pics above that were screwed to the top of the ‘yoke’ piece that is pictured. Wax is all that was added; not much slop at all (to the contrary, it was quite a chore because I built it to be ‘tight’ but didn’t anticipate all the planing I’d have to do to get it to work well.)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View j_c's profile

j_c

64 posts in 1039 days


#3 posted 1022 days ago

Very nice nightstand! Good to see the process too.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14596 posts in 1163 days


#4 posted 1022 days ago

Nice job Smitty! Its amazing to me what a coat of wax will do for wood on wood slides. I use them all the time.(to cheap to buy commercial ones)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9571 posts in 1214 days


#5 posted 1022 days ago

Thanks, fellas! (ditto on too cheap, add ‘too complicated’ to the list as well)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3146 posts in 2419 days


#6 posted 1022 days ago

Hey Smitty nice work on this Mission style table. The uses of the recycle lumber really gives it the antique look. The Shaker would finish all drawer slides with a coat of sealer and then wax the rails, it was call the hundred year finish. If done properly with the right fit this constructed draw slide will out perform any mechanical glide with a very smooth running motion with little effort opening and closing. With my Incra positioning fence and a dovetail bit I can achieve this remarkable mechanical draw glide. Great work Smitty thanks for posting…BC

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2154 days


#7 posted 1022 days ago

Great project, and an especially great write-up. Thanks for sharing.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9571 posts in 1214 days


#8 posted 1021 days ago

Hey, BC, I’m with you on wood slides. And like Don and you both know, with the addition (and periodic refresh) of wax it’s really amazing how smooth the action is.

There are just so many ways to ‘do’ drawers, it boggles the mind. I’ve done them with slides / mechanism, but really prefer wood on wood because sizing the drawers to the openings is just so much more straightforward to me. I’ll use glides when I ever have to make, for example, vanities or kitchen cabinets, but otherwise it’s wood.

And Captain, thank you for the feedback. I’m prone to putting alot of words in the projects; check out the project and blog entries for Roubo Cabinet if you’re at all interested in hand tool work. I say this because I’m not sure I’ll do that level of documentation again. :-)
Click for details: Roubo Workbench Cabinet

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3260 posts in 1409 days


#9 posted 1021 days ago

Nice work, I really like this style.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View mafe's profile (online now)

mafe

9433 posts in 1685 days


#10 posted 1020 days ago

Really nice work, and nice story.
I also smiled when I saw your workbench.
Thank you for sharing this travel with us.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9571 posts in 1214 days


#11 posted 1020 days ago

@Pinto – Thanks!

@Mads – Good to hear from you. There’s really nothing special about the build, but I posted it to show what can be done with salvaged wood in a build-as-you-go project. Compared to many of the tables / stands our fellow LJs have completed, this is a blip. But for those starting out, apprehensive about what’s do-able, hopefully this settles the nerves.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View mafe's profile (online now)

mafe

9433 posts in 1685 days


#12 posted 1020 days ago

I’m still impressed.
Big smile,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4779 posts in 1219 days


#13 posted 1020 days ago

Well, after seeing this build, now I’m nervous.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)

Smitty_Cabinetshop

9571 posts in 1214 days


#14 posted 1020 days ago

Oh, it’s so nice to have Buddies. Thanks, guys. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2269 days


#15 posted 1018 days ago

Beautiful nightstand.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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