Allyson's Nightstand #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by Thomas Keefe posted 05-19-2009 01:06 AM 1601 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Allyson's Nightstand series Part 2: Dry Fit »

My five year old daughter Allyson was complaining one night that she had no place to set things when she went to bed. As I was getting ready to begin a woodworking class I offered to build her a nightstand. She enthusiastically accepted. I showed her some pictures of different types of nightstands that I thought I might be able to build. Immediately, she began giving me requirements including that it had to have two drawers and a shelf on the bottom. I have been working on it now for a little over a month and she has pretty much lost hope it will ever be finished. But, it is coming along. And in this Blog I will detail my progress.

I began with the bedside table design by Joseph P. Zeh ( I liked the looks of the table and so did my client (Allyson). Of course, it needed to be modified to allow for two drawers and a lower shelf. The modified plan is done in Sketchup as is the original. I have changed some of the joinery and some of the dimensions, but it is largely the same. If anyone is interested, when I finish I will make the Sketchup files available. Here is what the table looks like:

I am constructing the table from plain sawn white oak. It is my first large project and my first time using mortise and tenon joints. The woodworking instructor provides a lot of advice and direction which has been very helpful. The shop where the class is held has some very nice equipment that makes many things easier. However, I am trying to make use of only those tools that I have available in my own workshop at home. Of course, if I come across a tool that I really like at the woodworking class, I have a good reason to buy one for home.

My Progress: I have milled most of the pieces (e.g., legs, apron, upper and lower rail). I have cut about 24 mortises. Well actually, I have cut a lot more. But 24 of them are done correctly. There is about four more left to do. I have fitted about 18 tenons so far. I have not really done much planning for the drawer slides or the drawers themselves. I also have not started work on the table top.

3 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#1 posted 05-19-2009 01:08 AM

Looks like a great plan I wish I could make drawings in sketchup

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4096 days

#2 posted 05-19-2009 06:16 AM

Very nice plan.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View CoolDavion's profile


458 posts in 4330 days

#3 posted 05-25-2009 02:09 PM

I can sympathize with the “lost hope” I started a wall unit in August and it is now May, and it is not done yet.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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