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Pair of nightstands - first furniture project - insight appreciated

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Forum topic by Spur posted 08-08-2013 01:14 PM 755 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spur

82 posts in 750 days


08-08-2013 01:14 PM

Going to start a pair of nightstands for the master bedroom in the next 2 weeks, once the master bath remodel is complete. I have in mind approximately what I would like to do but I am hoping someone has some rough plans they can link me to, and suggestions of pitfalls to avoid (I would rather not firewood anything).

I have the walnut veneered plywood ready for the sides and will be picking up the walnut in the next few days for the top, drawer fronts and rails/stiles. I have an idea of how drawers are supposed to work, but pictures of assembly in addition to the flashlight I am using to peer into existing furniture would probably not hurt :)

I am thinking of a sort of 3 drawer shaker style with a little bit of flair. I am very worried about the solid walnut for the top warping due to humidity change. I am not sure if in a house that is an issue, but I want to make sure to do it right.

Finally, I want to do a nice glassy smooth finish. Suggestions for type of finish to use and how to apply would be excellent :)

I know I can probably dig up a lot of the stuff I am curious about in the forums here (I have done a lot of digging) so if you feel I am being a pest by not searching the forums here (which I have) please know that I have already imagined the angsty replies and choose not to respond instead. My reasoning is I am looking for insight with specifics to my project, all in one place, with potential for stuff I have not found in the forums. Thanks folks!!!

-- Henryk, South Carolina


4 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15714 posts in 2941 days


#1 posted 08-08-2013 01:56 PM

I’ll chime in on a couple of your questions.

First, warping of a solid walnut top should not be an issue if you are buying kiln-dried lumber from a dealer. You do want to use a tabletop fastener that allows for wood movement when you attach the top to the skirt. I like these, but there are other types out there as well.

Second, for a glassy-smooth finish on walnut, you are going to want to use a grain filler. I like a product called CrystaLac, but again, there are many other types out there. It’s a thick, clear-drying substance that fills the wood’s natural pores, which you then sand flat to give you a smooth base for top coating. My suggestion for final finish on a nightstand top would be oil-based wipe-on poly. It may take a half-dozen coats or more to get a really smooth finish. If your surface does not look as smooth as you would like after a good number of coats, sand pretty thoroughly with 400 grit and add another coat or two. If you really want to go the extra mile, give it a final rubbing out with automotive polishing compound.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1573 days


#2 posted 08-08-2013 03:32 PM

Just one design comment, Henryk. When I’m building a nightstand I try to figure out a height that makes it easy to read the clock radio numbers when one needs to. Bed heights vary lots so there’s no real “typical” nightstand height.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Spur

82 posts in 750 days


#3 posted 08-08-2013 03:57 PM

Thanks guys!

What’s the shelf life on CrystaLac? Is there a brand of oil based poly I should lean to or away from?

-- Henryk, South Carolina

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15714 posts in 2941 days


#4 posted 08-08-2013 05:17 PM

I don’t really know about the shelf life on the CrystaLac. I bought some for a project and went back and used it again at least a year later without a problem.

As for wipe-on poly brands, I use Minwax just because it is readily available and I have no complaints with it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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