Yet another cherry sideboard

  • Advertise with us
Project by jcwalleye posted 01-25-2011 05:08 AM 2644 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There’s been quite a few sideboards posted this last month and I hope this one matches up. It’s a craftsman style cherry sideboard from a plan found in issue #163 of Woodsmith magazine. The plan was thorough, accurate and detailed enough for a rookie like me to follow with good results. I departed from the plan twice, first to add a center stretcher to the side panels and second to dovetail the drawers. I’d highly recommend the magazine for those that have the desire but maybe not the vision to come up with their own design. I’ve learned enough of the style and techniques from this project to attempt designing the next.

The sideboard is built from solid cherry except for the dust panels and drawer bottoms. The legs were from 8/4 stock, the top from 5/4 stock and the rest was 4/4 machined down to ¾. The side and back panels were from 4/4 re-sawn and planed down to ¼”. I used less than ½ half sheet of both ¾” and ¼” cherry plywood. That stuff isn’t cheap.

Here’s what I learned:
• Craftsmanship in woodworking is easier to master than artistry.
• Wood selection and usage is challenging. Do you go for the perfect piece with more waste or do you maximize usage and try to hide defects? Even where I tried to use the grain, keeping track of and executing that didn’t always happen the way I intended.
• A friend’s TimeSaver truly is a timesaver.
• No matter how many times you test fit, when add a drop of glue everything goes to hell.
• There’s a lot of effort preparing for finish and some problems don’t show until the finish goes on.
• There are so many finishing products and techniques it’s hard to choose and master one.
• Pre finishing works for me.
• It’s easy to ding pieces during finishing.

All in all, this was an enjoyable project. While there are a lot of steps and different techniques involved, none of them were that difficult to complete.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

9 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4382 posts in 4199 days

#1 posted 01-25-2011 05:42 AM

Nailed it!

That is one very very nice sideboard. The cherry looks great and those dovetails are an excellent addition. Well done!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4921 days

#2 posted 01-25-2011 06:48 AM

Nice looking sideboard.

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4696 days

#3 posted 01-25-2011 08:41 AM

great looking piece… your “what I learned “section…I can relate well done

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View Armand's profile


235 posts in 4159 days

#4 posted 01-25-2011 09:00 AM

Congratulations for a very nice sideboard..very nice craftmanship.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 5030 days

#5 posted 01-25-2011 12:50 PM

You did GREAT!

Cherry is a very unforgiving wood to finish. It looks like you did just fine.

Don’t you just love wide belt sanders?

Learning as you go is part of the process. I especially like this one: “No matter how many times you test fit, when add a drop of glue everything goes to hell.”

Ain’t that the truth!


View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4315 days

#6 posted 01-25-2011 03:08 PM

Beautiful, nice job!! Thanks for sharing.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4806 days

#7 posted 01-25-2011 05:53 PM

Great project and write up! I’m ordering the plans. I don’t work with cherry, but empathize on all of your points. Please post your finish and hardware source.

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

View jcwalleye's profile


306 posts in 4321 days

#8 posted 01-26-2011 03:18 AM

The hardware was straight out of the plan sources. The drawer handles were from Lee Valley and the drawer glides from rockler. That’s all the hardware there was besides screws

The finish was two coats of Watco Natural (no color). Then 4 coats of glossy poly cut about 40% with paint thinner. Sanded with 320 grit in between. The top had 3 additional coats of thinned poly sanded with 000 steel wool in between. Finished it all up with 2 coats of Briwas applied with 000 steel wool. The steel wool took the high gloss off the top.

Thanks everybody for the encouragement.

-- Trees, a wonderful gift --Joe--

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

577 posts in 4622 days

#9 posted 01-26-2011 05:06 AM

great sideboard,,

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics