Asian inspired koa nightstands

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Project by cathyb posted 09-15-2013 05:55 PM 3798 views 10 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a pair of Asian-inspired nightstands that I made for one of my recent fairs. They are for a smaller space, measuring 25 1/2” tall by 14” deep and 19” wide at the base. The doors are constructed almost like a cutting board with pieces of koa edge joined and then two strips across the face for visual interest. The flared legs add to the Asian theme. They are solid koa. The finish is General polyurethane and hand polishing to 3200 grit with the micromesh sanding paper.

Thanks for looking…....

-- cathyb, Hawaii

22 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4209 days

#1 posted 09-15-2013 05:58 PM

You did a great job on these, Cathy. They are beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3236 days

#2 posted 09-15-2013 06:08 PM

Whoa!!! This is really cool. Absolutely beautiful. Living in East TN, we dont have Koa here, but a fellar from Hawaii sent me a box of scrap Koa many years ago, and I have used it on pens and some inlay. I LOVE the Koa, and working with it is a dream. This piece is awesome! Love the wood and design. Great job.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View R_Stad's profile


451 posts in 3186 days

#3 posted 09-15-2013 07:03 PM

Very beautiful. The design is great- simple yet elegant- and the wood is outstanding. The flared legs are particularly pleasing – not too much or too little. To my eye just right.

-- Rod - Oregon

View shipwright's profile


8783 posts in 4141 days

#4 posted 09-15-2013 08:41 PM

Very nice Cathy.
In the first photo, up close and personal as it were, I didn’t like the composite appearance of the doors.
Then I looked at the pair together from a little further off and quickly changed my mind.
How could I ever have doubted you?
You really do do justice to this regal wood.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View mbs's profile


1719 posts in 4283 days

#5 posted 09-15-2013 08:55 PM

Very nice, Cathy. I’m fond of the Asian look.

I had the same thought as Paul initially.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4587 days

#6 posted 09-15-2013 09:08 PM

Hmm, I didn’t think of that Paul. I guess you are right, as usual with your incredibly keen eye for detail. I am always trying to use up my off cuts. When I made that tansu a few years ago, I just loved the extra dimension that the strips of wood create. I always have that concept in the back of my mind. To be sure, something else will be coming out of my shop this year with that influence.

Thank you all for your comments. Have a wonderful day.

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3761 days

#7 posted 09-15-2013 10:33 PM

beautiful nightstands. Super design and the wood figure and colouring is so nice!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 4136 days

#8 posted 09-15-2013 11:03 PM

Really nice work!

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View shipwright's profile


8783 posts in 4141 days

#9 posted 09-15-2013 11:13 PM

On second look I think it’s the fact that the door is open in the first and they are all closed in the other one.
With the door open the cross strips seem out of place and awkward but closed (as they are normally seen and as you would have visualized them) the continuity across the front unifies the piece nicely.
Bottom line: ........ I like the pieces, pay no attention to my initial impression.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View fredj's profile


187 posts in 3160 days

#10 posted 09-15-2013 11:27 PM

Very nice to say the least !

-- Fredj

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4587 days

#11 posted 09-15-2013 11:30 PM

Paul sometimes a first impression is the only one you’ll get. I am always appreciative of your insightful and honest critiques. Your comments always make me take a second look. You know when you are in the throws of making a piece and caught up in the elements involved an honest appraisal at the end is difficult. Thank you so much for candor, it is gratefully welcomed.

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View mmh's profile


3701 posts in 5065 days

#12 posted 09-16-2013 04:41 AM

Beautifully designed and executed pieces! I do love the Koa and since there is so much happening with the different grains, I wonder if you could have made two separate sets by using the doors on a different set matched with a more subdued, straight grained wood such as Sapele or Mahogany to allow the doors to take center stage?

Lovely set none the less. I can only hope to have your expertise in furniture making!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4587 days

#13 posted 09-16-2013 05:21 AM

Meilie, I see your point. I was thinking about designing some pieces with that in mind. When I was asked to make a rocking chair out of a less expensive wood for my current commission I selected sapele. I’ll be posting that project soon and I did make some observations: Sapele does have the same red/brown tones of some koa. Since sapele is so much less expensive to design the legs out of sapele and let the arms, back rest, head rest and seat have that wow factor with koa is not only practical but smart. Back in college my first art class taught “focal point” over and over again. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that concept, but it is extremely important. I want to try to be a better designer and keep upping my game. So thanks so much for the comment, your wise counsel is always appreciated.

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

340 posts in 4421 days

#14 posted 09-16-2013 09:52 AM

Beautiful nightstands Cathy! 3200 grit!!! Must be smooth as glass that a fly landing on it would slip! I still hope to be able to work with koa in the near future. Congratulations on a good build!

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, Instagram benji reyes

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3167 days

#15 posted 09-16-2013 10:15 AM

Beautiful nightstand Cathy, that Koa wood is just awesome looking. The Koa and your creative touch makes for some awesome furniture.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

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