Ash Night Tables

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Project by Everett1 posted 02-06-2012 06:23 PM 2649 views 7 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our guest room had some really old plywood based furniture, that stuff from the 60’s that was sort of milk painted that light yellow color. I figured it was time for a nice bedroom set in there, and it would be my first project with Mortise and Tenons, and I made it out of Ash which is relatively inexpensive, so having to deal with errors is less costly, being it is what I consider my first attempt at something more complicated as this (vs the bookshelves I made for my first project).

It’s all Mortise and Tenon. I think there are 26 Mortise and Tenon joints on each table. Funny how something this size can take so many friggin joints!

I made two of these. Funny I never took a picture with both of them in it though…

Drawers are made of Aromatic Cedar, and in the drawer photo, you can see at the bottom of the sides of the drawer, i used a 1/2” piece of Hard Maple since it slides on runners which contact the bottom of the drawer, with the runners made of Hard Maple as well. They slide very well and I didn’t even have to grease up the runners with anything.

For the finish, I first filled the grain with Timbermate. I bought the Natural version with no tint to it, and tinted it with Transtint Golden Brown dye. I mixed it up with a cheap hand blender I bought, so applying the filler with a paint brush was silky smooth. It was the consistency of gravy. I think the darker color added something to the Ash that came out nicely. The stuff has a funny plastic-ee smell though.

I didn’t do the credit-card smoothing method for the filler, i just sanded it. Man, dry timbermate just EATS up sanding discs!

I have been on a huge kick on reading up on Sam Maloof lately, so i used his finishing method.

4 coats of equal parts Poly/Tung/BLO/Mineral Spirits.

2 coats of equal parts Tung/BLO with some Beeswax melted it. Stuff has the consistency of heavy cream, so it applies almost like a polish. I bought a small cheap crock pot to use just for making this mixture.

When applying the first 4 oil blend coats, i layed it on thick and used those red oil rags that you can buy in a big package from BJ’s/Costco/Sams Club to wipe off the mix about 15 minutes later. They absorb a lot which helps get rid of build up in spaces where it might be prone to build up and make a sticky spot.

For the wax mixture, i rubbed it in really hard (fingers are sore after) then wiped them all down with the soft towels they sell at BJ’s/Costco/Sams Club for wiping your car off after washing it. They came in neon Green, Yellow, and Orange. They buff the surface really nice, and I cut circles of it for my Random Orbit sander for the table top, and they stick to the hook and loop and buff it really nice on the top.

For brands I used Old Master’s Semi-Gloss Poly, Old Master’s 100% Pure Tung Oil, Kleen Strip BLO, and Kleen Strip Mineral Spirits. Old Master’s typically only distributes through Mom and Pop hardware stores, so I like feeling I’m giving a little to keep that nostalgia going.

The Maloof method of finishing takes a lot more work then throwing some thinned poly on, but wow, what a silky smooth difference that extra effort gives you.

-- Ev

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118263 posts in 4825 days

#1 posted 02-06-2012 06:45 PM

Good looking night stand, good job.


View Branlon's profile


44 posts in 4719 days

#2 posted 02-06-2012 07:28 PM

I like the way you featured the darker ash heartwood. I’m planning something similar for a bench to match my ash dining room table.

-- Branlon, Board Director, South Central Indiana

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 3592 days

#3 posted 02-06-2012 11:11 PM

Great work! Cheers!

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3553 days

#4 posted 02-07-2012 03:39 AM

Nice job! I think they came out really good, maybe time for me to try Ash.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View bobthebuilderinmichigan's profile


130 posts in 4279 days

#5 posted 02-07-2012 04:07 AM

Very nice. You did a great job on the finish. I think I will try that on my next furniture project.

-- Bobthebuilderinmichigan

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4322 days

#6 posted 02-07-2012 05:30 AM

Great job!

I find this particularly interesting because I am currently building a couple of night stands that are quite similar. My night stands are roughly based on project 55587. They feature one drawer, a shelf at the bottom and 3 slats on the side. Mine are being done in walnut. Mine should be posted as a project in 2-3 weeks.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3753 days

#7 posted 02-07-2012 05:31 AM


View Rickterscale's profile


167 posts in 3608 days

#8 posted 02-07-2012 05:28 PM

Very well done. The finish looks great. Thanks for posting.

View KentB's profile


25 posts in 4294 days

#9 posted 02-07-2012 06:27 PM

Very nice. I like the finish.

-- Kent B

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4114 days

#10 posted 02-07-2012 06:51 PM

This table looks really nice. Congratulations.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Walnutz's profile


27 posts in 3712 days

#11 posted 02-08-2012 02:19 AM

Very nice job on the tables. I like the look of the Ash. Have seen it in the stores but always wondered how it would turn out when finished. Wow, it turned out really nice. May have to try it. Sounds like you put some effort into that finishing method but it paid off.

View gillyd's profile


136 posts in 3894 days

#12 posted 02-08-2012 03:11 AM

Cool, add that to another favorite :)

View Glenn Huovinen's profile

Glenn Huovinen

66 posts in 4188 days

#13 posted 02-18-2012 11:50 PM

Great looking table. I bought some ash and did not know how to finish it…now I do!

-- Glenn Huovinen

View bkap's profile


343 posts in 5505 days

#14 posted 03-01-2012 06:48 PM

The Maloof finish also has a long tern benefits. You can repair scratches, chips or worse damage with a perfect match to the old finish unlike commercial lacquers etc.

-- Rocking Chair Guy

View Mosquito's profile


11291 posts in 3540 days

#15 posted 03-01-2012 06:54 PM

I really love the look of the grain on these tables. All the effort put into the finish was well worth it!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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