Nightstand, my second project

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Project by Antti posted 04-04-2011 06:01 PM 2068 views 5 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Encouraged by the success with my first project, I made this nightstand for my 6 year old daughter. Learned some lessons, as in my first project: I couldn’t wrap my brain around the structure of through dovetails, so I only put glue on three surfaces. There are actually four in each tail-pin combination, I understad. Was afraid the pieces wouldnt go back together, if I pulled the joint apart, so I left a gap, and later tried to fix it with some sanding dust and glue.

Another lesson for me was that using half blind dovetails adds to the length of the drawer: My drawer turned out to be too long as I measured and cut the sides to the exact length of the the frame. Contingent lesson was that adjusting the length afterwards by sanding is VERY slow and laborous.

The last lesson might be delivered with a delay. I’m not sure if I allowed for the wood movement, as the frame underneath the drawer is done with mortice and tenon joints, and sliding dovetails which are all glued together. Might be that the sliding dovetails wont be so flush after a year… another mistake to be avoided in the future.

Anyway, I think it turned out OK, with the secret compartment and all (which my daughter proudly shows to everybody, defeating the purpose… well, I suppose her joy was the primary purpose).

White oak, and maple. The maple front had a nice color “defect” which was why I bought the board in the first place.

2 comments so far

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 4219 days

#1 posted 04-04-2011 07:22 PM

I’m sure you can see all of those defects, but it looks great from here. As you point out, with respect to wood movement it might have been better to do something a little different with the runners under the drawers since the grain of the runners is perpendicular to the grain of the sides. I also like the streak of heartwood in the drawer front.

-- Greg D.

View RockyBlue's profile


273 posts in 3776 days

#2 posted 04-04-2011 08:08 PM

I agree with Greg, only you will know all the mistakes in a project. Most people would never know were it didn’t come out perfect, unless they are fellow woodworkers who look too close. As long as you don’t point out the flaws, I’m guessing everyone says it looks great. I like the through dovetails in the top and sides. That is a neat way to attach a shelf also. Do not be afraid to try anything, thats the only way to improve on your skills.

-- I haven't had this much fun since hogs ate my little brother.

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