Bedside tables

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Project by tbone posted 12-19-2011 08:49 PM 1684 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project veers of the ‘Arts-and-Crafts’ path that I’m usually on. The warden and I saw some tables similar to these on a home tour in Austin a couple of years ago. She liked the size of them, I liked the open sides with the exposed drawer runners and the native pecan wood. So I built these by memory since photos were not allowed on the tour.

The top shelf angle detail was stolen from a fellow Lumberjock and it eliminated the need for a pegged tenon (which I thought might be a little too close to the top).
The wood here is also pecan, and instead of trying to hide the natural discolorations, I decided on a clear finish—a few applications of BLO topped off with 3 coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal wipe-on poly.

On to the headboard.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

7 comments so far

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 12-19-2011 08:59 PM

Nicely done! That top-shelf joint might show up in one of my projects soon :)

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

326 posts in 2636 days

#2 posted 12-19-2011 10:13 PM

Design and joinery beautiful. Thanks for posting

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2409 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 01:42 AM

I’m diggin the joinery too. Thats neat. Like the open sides with the exposed runners as well. Very nice work there tbone.

Did you say warden? :)

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View Antti's profile


77 posts in 2610 days

#4 posted 12-20-2011 08:59 AM

Very nice!

I have a similar design in my nightstand, where the horizontal stiles are fixed, and so is the top (amd in this case also the bottom?). Somebody was commenting that I might get a problem as the top will expand but the rails will not. Actually I’m not sure if “rails” is the correct term, I’m referring to the horizontals below the drawer. Are you worried, or is the design somehow compensating for the movement? I’‘m not criticizing, I’m just trying to understand the dynamics for my future projects.

View tbone's profile


276 posts in 3685 days

#5 posted 12-20-2011 04:47 PM

Good questions, Antti.
Having never worked with pecan before, I’m a little worried about that myself, but I glued up the tops and let them acclimate for almost six months before I assembled the tables. I brought them inside for awhile, then I left them out in the shop for awhile—trying to encourage wood movement. Once I was satisfied that the tops would be stable, I went on with the assembly. I also was careful to select the wood for the tops to be as close to quartersawn as I could find—with the end grain perpendicular to the face of the boards. There’s much less movement across the face of quartersawn boards.
Anyway, the table is so small—20” x 20”—that any wood movement would be minimal, and hopefully manageable. I would be more concerned if the tables were much larger.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View dorran's profile


140 posts in 3235 days

#6 posted 01-16-2012 07:13 AM

Great build. That pecan looks rich.

-- Life is about choices. You can spend a lot of money on furniture and have really nice furniture; Or you can spend a lot on tools and have even more expensive, crappy furniture. I made my choice.

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#7 posted 01-16-2012 07:19 AM

I like the design and joinery of these bedside tables,super work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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