Cherry sideboard #1: Uh-oh, the water is deeper then I thought!

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Blog entry by SFDCapt posted 01-21-2014 11:10 PM 1914 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cherry sideboard series Part 2: She's got legs, and she... »

Ok, so there is no actual water. It’s just a phrase that comes close to describing how I felt trying to figure out my wood needs for this project.

Now that the holiday gift projects are behind me now I wanted to start a project that would take a bit of time to complete, but also would push me to improve my skills. One of the books I received as a Christmas gift from my wife was Robert Lang’s “Great Book of Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture”. After flipping through 300 plus pages of drawings I settled on the Gustav Stickley No. 800 Sideboard. For those that don’t have have the book, it is 54” long with six drawers of varying size and a shelf between the lower stretchers.

I chose to use some more of my wife’s Great-grandfathers cherry that we found after buying the family property a few years ago. It is all rough cut and 30-40 years old. The boards are mostly clear cherry, they have some small holes from insects. The holes are about ⅛” in diameter and are random throughout the wood. Most boards have either none or very few of these “blemishes” while others have more. So while the final product will not be made of “perfect” clear cherry I think that these features will give the piece an aged/rustic look to it’s classic craftsman style.

The first step was to figure out what raw boards are to become the various parts, that is when I began to feel overwhelmed. I took the cut list found in the shop drawings and as I selected the boards for a particular piece that board got marked on the end grain as to what piece would be made from it. Once I got into the swing of it, the feeling of being overwhelmed quickly faded. Once that was done the boards were laid out on the work bench, grouped by what piece they would become.

Then were to start, hmm….

Well, I chose to begin with the legs. Their finished dimensions are 1 ¾” x 1 ¾” x 38 3/16”. I had one piece of cherry that was large enough to make a leg from. However, after milling the piece of wood revealed are high number of these holes. Unfortunately I don’t have another piece large enough to match this leg. So I am going to glue up some ¾” boards to create the legs. I was careful to make sure that each leg came from one board, that way there wouldn’t be a noticeable difference in the grain/color of the leg.

And that’s all folks…. for now anyway, stay tuned for more!


-- Making dust and taking names!

6 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5949 posts in 3228 days

#1 posted 01-22-2014 12:05 AM

I did a glueup like that last night, cherry no less. I like the design you chose, and that sideboard will look splendid in cherry. What’s the plan for the drawer dividers – edgebanded cherry plywood? I chose to use solid wood edgebanding attached with tongue and groove.

Speaking of drawers, are you using metal hardware of wooden slides?

Here is a similar blog I did on a sideboard…
I will be following your build, as it’s always nice to pick up a few new techniques.
Thanks for sharing.

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

View Roger's profile


21006 posts in 3219 days

#2 posted 01-22-2014 12:53 AM

Ohh, this is gonna be nice.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View SFDCapt's profile


82 posts in 2116 days

#3 posted 01-22-2014 12:58 AM


That looks good.

the drawer dividers and rails are solid cherry (¾” x 2”) front and rear. It looks like the drawings call for a wood slide on the drawers. I am contemplating using modern slides, but the thought of any metal in this project just makes me cringe!


-- Making dust and taking names!

View SFDCapt's profile


82 posts in 2116 days

#4 posted 01-22-2014 01:13 AM


Well the plan is for it to be nice! we shall see how it plays out. This is definitely above any level project I have done in the past. Thanks for following!


-- Making dust and taking names!

View Karson's profile


35192 posts in 4815 days

#5 posted 01-22-2014 03:52 AM

I picked up a program a few years ago that calculate the boards that you need for a project. It’s called It’s an executable that you enter the pieces and also the available boards and it will figure out how to make the best use of the boards.

The only real problem that I’ve found is that it doesn’t like a large number of parts. That’s because if there is over a million possible combinations it stops at a million.

The program also doesn’t do the calculations for pieces that are bigger than any board. If you need a top for your Sideboard that is 19” and you don’t have any 19” boards then it will probably fail. That’s also the situation if you were making raised panels that you would make out of Ply or glued up boards. Do them also as separate runs of the program.

I did one the other night with 45 pieces and it died after running for 15 minutes. I broke it down to 28 pieces and 8 pieces and left 6 pieces to be done manually. The 28 pieces will fit on 3 10 X 132” boards and the 8 will take one 13” X 40” and the other 10 X 132.

If the software won’t figure it our automatically you can move the parts onto the planks manually.

It will them print your cutlist and a board diagram.

It’s pretty cool.

if you want a copy you can search on the web for cutlist343 or send me your email address and I’ll mail you a copy.


-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View SFDCapt's profile


82 posts in 2116 days

#6 posted 01-22-2014 01:51 PM


Thanks for the tip. The biggest issue I was running into was avoiding cracks and a couple knots. There were only a few to work around, so it wasn’t too bad, just didn’t want to waste too much.


-- Making dust and taking names!

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