Maple & Cherry Nightstands #2: Nearly Finished

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 06-16-2016 05:15 AM 1198 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Legs & Plywood Parts Part 2 of Maple & Cherry Nightstands series no next part

I have been spending my time in the shop to complete these nightstands instead of entering updates in my blog.

Today I took the glued up drawer boxes and fitted them to their respective nightstand. I decided to cut dovetails for the sides where it fastens to the drawer front. I decided to go this way instead of cutting half-blind dovetails into the cherry drawer fronts. However, I made the cherry drawer fronts to match exactly the size of the poplar lumber I fitted with hand planes to the drawer opening.

This was the first time I have hand fitted drawer parts to the pocket receiving the drawer. I am pleased with the learning process and the result.

However, I do not like using biscuits in this construction. I doubt I will use biscuits for fine furniture projects in the future. The panels or boards can move too much and there is way too many things that can go wrong. Glue smears everywhere. It was a good thing that I applied my finish before gluing the nightstand together. I will cut dadoes and grooves for plywood panel fitting instead of using biscuits.

My next step will be to buff wax on the cherry hardwood top and drawer fronts. I still have to fasten the two back screws to hold the table top to the nightstand’s case. I was having too much trouble to push that task to its end this evening. I am taking a breath and sleeping on it.

If I can get good photographs of the finished nightstands, I will post their entries into the project section of this web site.

You can see the small grooves cut into the maple rails per the plan’s instructions. These grooes give the glue a place to go without getting squeeze out on the main surfaces on the panels.

Taped over glue areas so I could pre-finish this case before glue up.

I selected cherry for their grain for these nightstand’s table tops.

Gluing and clamping these cases with the use of biscuits was a nightmare.

In order to retain the light color of the maple, I used water based polycrylic for the maple panels. Danish Oil was used on the cherry tops and drawer fronts.

I cut dovetails to join the poplar drawer fronts to their respective side boards. However, I followed the plan’s advice to cut dadoes two inches away from the back ends. The drawer back board was placed into those dadoes. Also grooves where cut on my router table in order to fit a 1/4” plywood sheet for the drawer bottom. The drawer back board’s height was cut so the bottom board could slide underneath it. Two small #8 – 3/4” long flat head screws where used to hold the bottom sheet in place.

After gluing the drawer boxes and fitting the cherry fronts, I fastened the cherry fronts to the drawer box with four one inch long #8 Fh screws, countersunk. Prior to that I drilled a center hole in the cherry fronts at my drill press in order to fit the #8-32 machine screws to hold the knobs. Once the cherry fronts were fastened to the drawer box, I used the knob hole in the cherry as the drill guide to finish those holes into the box. I installed the knobs and then inserted the drawers into the nightstand. Only a small amount of hand planing was needed in order for the drawers to fit nicely into their pockets.

I plan to buff Crystal Clear Paste Wax on the hardwood surfaces: the table tops and the drawer fronts. That will finish this project.

-- --- Happy Howie

1 comment so far

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#1 posted 06-16-2016 12:25 PM

Great blog and your nightstands look really nice and well made.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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