Nightstand (Mesquite/Oak)

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Project by PflugervilleSteve posted 05-22-2010 05:29 AM 3046 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Top is 18” x 14”
Total height is 25”.
Frame is red oak: rift sawn for legs, quarter and flat sawn for rails.
Drawer is mesquite face, poplar sides, 1/4” plywood bottom using half blind dovetails.
Door is oak rails and stile with a raised mesquite panel.
Hardware is Home Depot my three year old daughter saying “OOOHH – I want that one…)
Finish is a coat of Zinsler dewaxed shellac (aka Sanding Sealer) followed by a coat of Satin Minwax Polyurethane. (I love oil finishes, but nightstands get a lot of drink/condensation abuse, so poly is a must here).

On a whim I decided I needed to build a small project from stock in the shop. I’ve got a nice chunk of riftsawn red oak that’s been lying around a while (7” wide 8/4 and 12 feet long – it’s purty). I’ve also got some live edge mesquite slabs (can’t tell I live in Texas, huh?) that are 4/4, so hmmm – let’s make something… The kiddo needs a nightstand for a lamp and stuff, so, there we are.

I wanted the top to be a solid single piece of mesquite, but for those of you who’ve worked with it before, finding a clear 14” x 18” single board can be tough, especially since I was trying to just work with stock in the shop. I managed to pull 11” wide by 18” out of one piece, so I added some oak to the front and back edges. Overall I like the look. I could have epoxy filled and sanded the cracks in the top, but they don’t seem to affect the structural integrity, and I kind of like the way they look as is.

This was my first nightstand, I spent a couple hours looking for design ideas, ended up putting together a plan then went and winged it. It turned out pretty well. Joints are mortise and tenon. Panels on sides and back are 1/4” glued up book matched (as much as possible) mesquite. This was my first time using the rail/stile router bits, and I suspect I’m going to have to tweak something because those end grain cuts are a beast. Coping sled plans anyone?

I really like the grain patterns on the mesquite. I think I did a so so job color matching the oak, and I need lots of practice on my mortise and tenon joinery, sigh. But, overall it’s a solid piece and hopefully it will make it many generations.

Oh, and sorry about the flash reflection on the door shot, camera phone is pretty good now, but…

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118333 posts in 5069 days

#1 posted 05-22-2010 05:41 AM

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 4422 days

#2 posted 05-22-2010 05:43 AM

nice work. loving the drawer face and door.
nice figure

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View ianlee74's profile


153 posts in 4440 days

#3 posted 05-22-2010 07:03 AM

Very nice. Every time I see one of these mesquite pieces I wish we had it in my area…

-- Ian, Tennessee

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 5050 days

#4 posted 05-22-2010 03:29 PM

Shore is purdy!

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View ugoboy's profile


144 posts in 4526 days

#5 posted 05-24-2010 04:57 PM

Nice maybe you could give me a private viewing. ha ha

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

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