Allyson's Nightstand #3: Finally finished

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Blog entry by Thomas Keefe posted 10-21-2009 09:17 AM 3804 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Dry Fit Part 3 of Allyson's Nightstand series no next part

Allyson’s nightstand is now complete. I had a few problems with the finishing. But other than that I am very happy with the way it turned out. I think that Ally likes it as well.



The drawers are made of quarter sawn white oak (QSWO). They feature hand cut through dovetails (my first attempt). The top is also QSWO. I had a lot of trouble with tearout on the top. But based on advice I recieved here I was able to clean it up with a cabinet scraper. In the end, I think it turned out fine.



The nightstand is stained with General Finishes oil based stain (Candle Light). It is finished with four coats of Waterlox. I think I applied the Waterlox too soon after the stain. This caused some Waterlox runs to darken. When I scraped/sanded the runs a light spot was left.


Well here it is for your enjoyment and comments.


9 comments so far

View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3852 days

#1 posted 10-21-2009 09:49 AM

very nice , tom .

the details on the drawers really make the piece .

as far as finishes go ,
i wonder these days if any of the company’s that make them ,
have ever even used them ?
ever since mass marketing ,
a woman in a three piece suit ,
in high heels , can finish a piece of furniture while
she cooks dinner , then serve it on the table she just
did , ( according to the t.v. ads ) !

i’m sure allyson will love that you did this for her .

well done !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4101 days

#2 posted 10-21-2009 10:51 AM

That’s beautiful night stand. The varing wood grain patterns and sizes is really appealing and an endorsement that this piece is from the real hardwood.
Great work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4013 days

#3 posted 10-21-2009 11:34 AM

You did a really fine job on this Tom. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m really partial to Oak, it’s strength and overall “warmth”. I’m sorry I didn’t follow this Blog from the beginning, only just saw it. Too much to see here on LJ’s… Again, Great Job!! You’ve well-rewarded Allyson’s patience!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4333 days

#4 posted 10-21-2009 11:37 AM

Tom, this turned out well. And if Ally likes it what more needs to be said. For future reference one thing you can do to alleviate the stain bleeding into the topcoat is to seal the piece, after letting the stain dry, with a coat of 2 lb shellac. This also provides a smoother base on which to apply the topcoat.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3677 days

#5 posted 10-21-2009 01:28 PM

Nice lines, Oak is also my favorite. Ally will cherish it.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View stefang's profile


16748 posts in 3845 days

#6 posted 10-21-2009 09:04 PM

This piece came out really well with a lot of nice handwork detail and a good design. The finish looks great too in spite of the problems you had.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3675 days

#7 posted 10-22-2009 04:22 AM

Simple honest construction. You didn’t spare much, I don’t see any secondary woods. Very clean, but somehow, in spite of the thickness of the wood in the drawer construction, the feeling is quite elegant. The modern pulls says you are not making a knockoff. I like it.

If I had any critique, it would be in the placement of the shelf, and this is an artistic, so totally subjective observation. I would have moved it up higher. Of course, a lower placement is more practical for the younger user, who might have very unusual objects there.

I don’t normally say much, I am a newbie to woodworking as a hobby, but this strikes me as something I would be very proud to have made. Especially since you probably had a finicky client…...............

Great job…..........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4088 days

#8 posted 10-22-2009 07:23 AM

So well done beautiful

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 3920 days

#9 posted 10-22-2009 08:46 PM

Thanks very much for your comments.

David: I enjoyed cutting and fitting all the pieces. It was great to see the piece come together after the glue up. I really didn’t mind the scraping/sanding. However, I really did not like doing the finishing. Perhaps it will be easier next time.

Jim: I don’t remember how I chose the height of the shelf. I don’t put a lot of thought into it and it wasn’t determined by considering my client’s needs. Although, after I was finished she suggested that she would put all of her extra blankets on the shelf. So maybe it was a bit low ;-)

Again, thanks for all of your comments and encouragement.


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