Stickley night stand

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Project by GabeATX posted 12-06-2017 12:06 AM 3111 views 12 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this night stand in quarter sawn white oak from a Stickley design. This was my first real woodworking project, and I learned a ton.

The quarter sawn white oak came mail order from Woodworker’s Source in Arizona, shout out for great service and good wood. When I started, I didn’t own a planer, and liked that they would ship S2S with a straight line rip in small quantities.

I set out with the intent to follow the plans exactly and do the whole thing with traditional joinery. I ended up bailing on the mortise and tenons and the dovetailed drawers, and I’m still proud of the piece. The apron is joined to the legs using pocket hole screws, the drawers are basic boxes with a false front. Top is attached with Rockler table top fasteners, and the pulls are from Rockler as well.

The one thing I changed is the piece at the rear of the table top. Stickley had it totally square, and I chose to soften it up with some curves shaped with a tapering jig and a belt sander. When the piece was near finished, I had a little mess on one of the drawer rails. I also thought the grain looked kinda rough, so I cut a little veneer for those two pieces. I like how they turned out, and time will tell if they stay put.

The finish is based on Jeff Jewitt’s recipe, sample #4.
When I first looked at this I thought it was excessive. As I learned more about the role of each layer, it began to make sense to me. I will definitely use the combo of dye/seal a cell/gel stain/arm r seal again! The finish is pretty. I believe the top got 6 or 7 coats of Arm R Seal, applied with a foam brush.

There’s tons of mistakes, especially for such a small piece. If any newbie person is thinking about taking on something like this, my $.02: Allow time, this took me a year (with many distractions and side projects). Pick your battles, there was a point I realized I just had stretched my skills/patience too far and was no longer committed to traditional joinery. I will do my first dovetails on a future project.

The design was guided by two books:
- Making Authentic Craftsman Furniture (Dover Woodworking)
- Bob Lang’s Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture
I recommend them both. Lang’s is clearer, but still leaves some mystery.

I learned a ton from folks here and on other forums, thank you!

24 comments so far

View MinnesotaHack's profile


25 posts in 2066 days

#1 posted 12-06-2017 01:51 AM

That is an attractive deisgn with great looking color. Well done.

View swirt's profile


6346 posts in 4135 days

#2 posted 12-06-2017 02:42 AM

That came out very nice. You made good choices and the results look great. Don’t sell yourself short just because you didn’t go full tilt traditional.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Blackberry's profile


150 posts in 2317 days

#3 posted 12-06-2017 02:55 AM

That came out very nice. You made good choices and the results look great. Don t sell yourself short just because you didn t go full tilt traditional.

- swirt

I agree with swift, don’t be your own worst critic. It’s a nice first project. The traditional joinery takes time, you should be proud of this piece.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4754 days

#4 posted 12-06-2017 03:30 AM

Great looking NS…I like it.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Rich's profile (online now)


7122 posts in 1753 days

#5 posted 12-06-2017 04:06 AM

It’s a beautiful table. I really like your choice of hardware. Don’t sweat the joinery. M&T really feels good to do, and impresses your friends, but in the end the table looks the same. Dovetails are more important since they are visible and that’s what everyone looks for, but you’ll get there, so forget about it.

The finish is perfect. I’m familiar with those Jeff Jewitt recipes, and they are the bomb. However, it takes a lot of skill to execute them to the level that you have done. It’s really impressive.

Now, I have to mention this. Maybe it’s the camera angle, but it looks like the taper on your legs is on the outside. If I’m wrong, ignore what I’m about to say, but when table legs are tapered on two faces, those faces should go on the inside. That gives the table a square look while lightening up the base.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View GabeATX's profile


23 posts in 1837 days

#6 posted 12-06-2017 05:16 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone! Rich, it’s unusual but the outside taper was documented in the Bob Lang book and i think I see it on the auction piece below. I read that Harvey Ellis worked for Stickley around when this came about (1903-1905) and he added tapers to designs Stickley had offered.

View Rich's profile (online now)


7122 posts in 1753 days

#7 posted 12-06-2017 05:51 AM

No argument from me, Gabe. I have Bob Lang’s book and can clearly see the taper on the No. 641 Nightstand. My bad.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View icemanhank's profile


547 posts in 3319 days

#8 posted 12-06-2017 07:22 AM

Looks lovely mate, well done.

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View Ivan's profile


16904 posts in 4031 days

#9 posted 12-06-2017 07:42 AM

Realy classic. That hardware make it more rustic.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Just_Iain's profile


331 posts in 1580 days

#10 posted 12-06-2017 12:40 PM

Looks great and quite the first project! I’ll keep your project in mind for some I need to build.

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View bubbaw's profile


89 posts in 2809 days

#11 posted 12-06-2017 01:15 PM

You did a great job. As far as the taper, it’s your table , put the tapers where you want them.

-- Isaiah 40:31

View CampD's profile


1832 posts in 4649 days

#12 posted 12-06-2017 01:36 PM


-- Doug...

View recycle1943's profile


5622 posts in 2785 days

#13 posted 12-06-2017 03:07 PM

love that qs oak – beautiful stand

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9939 posts in 3492 days

#14 posted 12-06-2017 03:10 PM

You did a very nice job and the finish looks great.

Keep your mistakes a secret…. no on will know but you ;^)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Jmdo's profile


7 posts in 1345 days

#15 posted 12-06-2017 04:21 PM

Well done looks awesome!

-- Jaime Alexandria VA

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