Nightstands. They're finally finished!!!

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Project by Eric_S posted 06-26-2011 02:02 AM 2304 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally….after working on these on and off for about 18 months the nightstands are finally finished. This was my first fine woodworking furniture piece ever. These stands were blogged here

Through this project, I have learned many firsts for me. These techniques were learned…pinned M&T joinery, edge joining wood, flattening wood with hand planes, framing, drawer construction, hand cutting dovetails (although not perfect), half blind dovetails, template pattern cutting & routing, veneering, four corner bookmatch veneering, and some very helpful finishing techniques from Charles Neil directly.

I am so happy this piece is finally finished. Besides learning the techniques required to build these, I also had to build a few jigs to help. A crosscut sled, miter sled, mortising jig, patterns templates for the legs, and a cheap veneer press.

The drawer dovetails aren’t the best by any means but I’m happy with them for my first sets. I’ll have to be more careful with finishing next time I do them though when finishing the pins. In the dovetail pic you’ll see the amber color from the oil on the poplar drawer sides. Woops. Also the drawer bottom insert routing groove shouldn’t be visible from the sides…another woops. Actually there are lots of woops moments but I was able to hide most or redo a few pieces completely….like the top, but I’m happier with the grain in this purchased veneer than the original veneer I resawed.

Woods used: cherry, hard maple, poplar for drawers, 1/4” plywood for drawer bottoms, curly cherry veneers for the top and cherry dowels for the pinned tenons.

The finishing for these was technical for me but thanks to the guidance from Charles Neil, it went very smoothly. I used the Charles Neil Pre color Conditioner on everything just to be safe I didn’t have blotching. It was really easy to apply as well.

Then 3 coats on the carcass of satin Arm R Seal Top Coat. The top has 4 thick wet coats done with a foam brush of Semi-gloss Arm R Seal Top Coat. The body and drawers, drawer runners were then waxed with Paste wax and the top was waxed
with Renaissance wax.

Thanks for looking….Now onto the matching bed. I really hope it goes much faster since I now have the tools and jigs required.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

11 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5133 days

#1 posted 06-26-2011 02:39 AM

Those are some beautiful nightstands.

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 4782 days

#2 posted 06-26-2011 03:19 AM

Very nice man. Glad to hear you’ve completed what you set out to accomplish so long ago. I remember just how much you were frustrated with this project the last time we talked. From where I’m sitting I say it was well worth the time and effort. Any plans for the next project?

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 4024 days

#3 posted 06-26-2011 05:15 AM

love the patterns in the grain on the table tops

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View gul's profile


400 posts in 4422 days

#4 posted 06-26-2011 08:29 AM

Very nicely done.I love the legs.

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4924 days

#5 posted 06-26-2011 05:46 PM

nice work eric! glad it all came together in the end – the tops look superb.

View superstretch's profile


1532 posts in 4153 days

#6 posted 06-27-2011 06:17 PM

Very nice… Can’t wait to hear from you in 24 months when the bed is done :D

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4153 days

#7 posted 06-27-2011 06:18 PM

This is really fantastic. I love the splay and the pegs. You should be very proud of these.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4655 days

#8 posted 06-27-2011 07:28 PM

Thank you all for the compliments.

Dan, more like 4-6 months I hope… ;)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 5726 days

#9 posted 06-28-2011 03:19 AM

So many nice things about these stands- especially the legs and pegs. Good job!

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4634 days

#10 posted 06-29-2011 03:16 PM

Not only was your design exceptional, but your final result is just great !

I think the thing about night stands is that you’ll see them every day—first thing and last thing. And—if memory serves—like me—this is your first piece of furniture, meaning …. there’s going to be that mental “I MADE those” thing … darned near daily, from now on :-)

And … as to the dovetails … first of all … better than I could do with six months of practice. Secondly, drawers … close … :-)

Great job, and big congratulations !!!

-- -- Neil

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4655 days

#11 posted 06-29-2011 07:20 PM

Thank you Neil. The design though is my wife’s with a little help from an old LJ member before his abrupt leave, DaveR. DaveR helped me to correct the leg design for a softer feel. I’m glad I went with his suggestion to remove the top curve which my wife and I agreed on.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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