Cherry Nightstands

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Project by Dekker posted 10-11-2007 04:54 PM 2570 views 5 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built 2002 – 2006

This pair of nightstands was taken from Woodsmith Magazine #76, however I modified it for hight since the original was only 22” tall! I started the project while living at a house that had a double-car garage for my workshop (ah, nice to be spread out), but then I moved mid-project, then got married, and never picked it up again at the new house that only had a single-car garage and hence no real workshop. The project gathered dust, and I was actually ashamed that I had started since it was always one of those projects that I considered a failure since it was never finished…

Of course, about 3 years later I decided enough was enough, and in a flurry of activity I finally finished the project!

And since finishing this project, I have bought a planer… I got tired of hand-planing the nightstand tops and I was dreading having to do the same to the dresser I wanted to make next (still haven’t started…)

Wood: Cherry
Finish: Tung oil, then shellac, then wax
Hardware: handles from Lee Valley Tools
Techniques: The only really interresting technique were the half-blind dovetails on the drawers… router cut

The first two photos show the finished nightstands from different angles, one showing off the dovetails. The last photo shows the drawers all aligned in a row, in-between coats of shellac. I had to dry these in my basement since it was too cold and humid (it was late fall).

-- Dekker -

15 comments so far

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4840 days

#1 posted 10-11-2007 04:57 PM

Beautiful work, Dekker. I have a few projects that have spanned more than a calendar year. They came out nice!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 4684 days

#2 posted 10-11-2007 04:58 PM

Thanks. Now if only I could convince the Ms. that buying wood for the dresser is a good investment… ;)

-- Dekker -

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4901 days

#3 posted 10-11-2007 05:21 PM

Very nice. You just have to keep after her and I’m sure the wood will come.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4964 days

#4 posted 10-11-2007 05:44 PM

well done! Congrats on completing the project

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 5077 days

#5 posted 10-11-2007 05:45 PM

Wonderful looking, the finish really turned out nice as well as everything on them. Great project…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4727 days

#6 posted 10-11-2007 05:49 PM

Nice job! I love the finish.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 5022 days

#7 posted 10-11-2007 06:33 PM

Beautiful! I agree with sandhill…the finish is exceptional.

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

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 4684 days

#8 posted 10-11-2007 07:19 PM

Thanks for the praise, everyone.

Another reason for my having “shelved” the project for so long is because I was honestly scared of the finishing process… I did not want poly. I wanted something that still left the impression that I could touch the wood and I was afraid of screwing up… In the end, there are only minor problems, and only I would notice.

-- Dekker -

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4880 days

#9 posted 10-11-2007 07:38 PM

All I can say is that they are absolutely gorgeous!

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5114 days

#10 posted 10-11-2007 08:32 PM

Excellent work. Beautiful dovetails.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4869 days

#11 posted 10-11-2007 09:53 PM

Nice looking night stands.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 4737 days

#12 posted 10-14-2007 05:45 PM

Beautiful work Dekker. Now if you can show the wife how cost effective the wood for the dresser will be you might get that extra tool youve always wanted to help finish the project. (hint, hint). Lol

-- bryano

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5204 days

#13 posted 10-14-2007 10:55 PM

Great set of side cabinets

-- 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 Dekker's profile


147 posts in 4684 days

#14 posted 10-15-2007 12:19 PM

Hey BryanO, unfortunately the cost of the wood is the same (or more) than the cost of a dresser from a retail store made of pressboard. The selling point for my wife is that she can actually stuff my drawers (excuse the pun) and they won’t break, while the retail drawers have always burst their bottoms from her packing ;P

There’s something to be said for solid bottoms, or even plywood bottoms. Hardboard (which they use alot in retail furniture) just won’t stand up to the abuse. Of course, since I know my wife’s habits, it’s easy to design extra strength from the beginning!

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. It’s always nice to hear someone else say something nice. Significant others are duty-bound to say they like it.

Actually, the next project is the bed frame. For my wife, it’s the daunting investment of $1000 or so in wood, with nothing to show for it until a month or more later… There’s that natural fear that I won’t finish the project at all, and all that $ will be wasted! Of course, that wouldn’t happen… ya gotta sleep somewhere!

-- Dekker -

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4476 days

#15 posted 05-15-2008 05:27 PM

Thats a very nice night stand.

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