Grain orientation on nightstands top?

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Forum topic by Tim Pursell posted 01-30-2008 06:05 PM 1417 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3749 days

01-30-2008 06:05 PM

This is the first design of a pair of Nightstands I am building.

Nightstand 1

As drawn, the lower shelf was solid with the grain running front to back, I just planned to make the top with the same orientation. Then I got creative and changed the shelf to spindles, as I have on other tables (all square). Now I can’t decide which way to make the top. Ideas??
Here’s the final drawing:

Night Stand version 2

Sorry about the photo size—for some reason I cannot get it to the same size as the first version.
Also,I’m using Quarter sawn white oak, so the grain is really going to be noticed.


4 replies so far

View waylan's profile


5 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 01-30-2008 06:51 PM

Well, from the second image it appears that the stand is narrower (side-to-side) that is is deep (back-to-front). While running the the long way often makes sense, you will then have end grain on the front, which I would generally try to avoid. I’d run the grain side to side. Just my 2cents.

-- Waylan Limberg, Warren PA

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3906 days

#2 posted 01-30-2008 06:54 PM

Personally, I’d have the top grain running side to side, I’m not found of looking at the end grain right in the front of the table. But, if you make the top spindles like the shelf, it really doesn’t matter. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4141 days

#3 posted 01-30-2008 07:14 PM

Eh, if you sand your endgrain enough, that shouldn’t matter as much, either! ;) Don’t need to sand it with a higher level of sandpaper – just need to sand it a bit more with the same level sand paper. Try it on a test piece – it works. I was able to get endgrain on santos rosewood to not be any darker than the long grain just by making sure I’d sanded the endgrain enough.

But that’s just me stirring the pot. I prefer the grain running side to side, too. :)

-- Ethan,

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3891 days

#4 posted 02-01-2008 01:21 AM

My choice would be side to side, I like the spindles on the bottom. Are you going to use white oak? Your other option could be to make it a bit shorter (what ever looks good) and run a board across the end grain. When I use walnut I like to use maple to add contrast but I dont know how that would look on oak or cherry if you use them.

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