Pine Nightstand

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Project by mitchota posted 04-03-2014 03:50 AM 1808 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a story, I guess, about some thriftiness and also some practice with skill repeatability. This nightstand originally started off as a screw-up with the chest of drawers you see behind it. The drawer fronts I originally made for the chest of drawers were pretty messed up since the stock wasn’t nearly as straight or flat as I needed it, so I scrapped those fronts and tried to salvage as much of the pieces as I could for later projects. Four pieces became an edge glued panel that I made into the top for this table.

I built this using pretty much the same techniques that I used on the poplar nightstand I built a while ago. The apron rails are connected to the tapered legs with mortise and tenon joinery and the drawers are made with 1/2” that I was able to do myself with my DeWalt 735 planer that my fiancee bought me last year as a birthday present. I finally got to use it for something!

The finish is J.E. Moser’s aniline dye in Cherry Rosewood. I started the finishing process with a 5:1 water to Elmer’s glue-all mix for glue size, and then applied the dye after that dried up. Protective coats were done by wiping on some gloss Varathane poly thinned 50:50 with mineral spirits.

There are some small mistakes here and there, but this is my nightstand, so only I have to live with them. Considering there will be books, a lamp, and a clock on it most of the time, I can live with it.

13 comments so far

View Paul Maurer's profile

Paul Maurer

162 posts in 2355 days

#1 posted 04-03-2014 04:49 AM

I have yet to try dye. Your results make it look promising. Overlook “mistakes”, it looks good!

View Ken90712's profile


17888 posts in 3989 days

#2 posted 04-03-2014 10:10 AM

Nice job, Dyes are fun but sometimes can get tricky… Enjoy

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2624 days

#3 posted 04-03-2014 11:00 AM

Very nice night stand…and the dye has given the stand a great look….well done.

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

View MadeinMT's profile


287 posts in 2961 days

#4 posted 04-03-2014 01:22 PM

Can you elaborate on the 5:1 water/glue part of the finish?

-- Ron, Montana

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16791 posts in 3419 days

#5 posted 04-03-2014 02:27 PM

That table has a very nice look to it, kicking up a big notch from pine. Good job on the finish.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4377 days

#6 posted 04-03-2014 03:01 PM

This is very nice that’s a great looking finish ,Glue sizing under a finish is a new one on me,is it used as a blotch control ?


View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3285 days

#7 posted 04-03-2014 03:06 PM

Hard to believe that’s pine. Wow.

-- Brian Timmons -

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2870 days

#8 posted 04-04-2014 01:51 AM

MadeinMT and JIm: Yes, the glue sizing is used as a blotch control. I think it’s a very low tech version of Charles Neil’s Blotch Control, which from the posts I’ve seen is a doctored version of glue sizing with some better ingredients to make it foolproof. I’ve actually been meaning to try some of the Blotch Control out, but I had such good luck with the straight glue sizing on the pine I decided to just do it again.

For the sizing, I just mix up 1 part Elmer’s glue-all and 5 parts water and shake or stir it until it’s all combined. I paint on a coat of it and let it dry all the way before I apply any dye or stain. My guess is that this works by sealing up some of the more porous spots on the pine so the dye covers a little more evenly. I still have some color variation near the knots and where there’s a lot of grain figure, but the amount of reversal and unevenness is way less than an untreated piece of wood.

I’m glad you guys like how it turned out. I don’t get to turn out projects very frequently, so the fact that I can still make decent stuff with months in between projects is very encouraging to me!

View barringerfurniture's profile


224 posts in 2512 days

#9 posted 04-04-2014 03:14 AM

That’s really nice! Like others have said, I’ve never seen pine look so good. I love Pine if it’s used in the right way.

How are the breadboard ends constructed?

Checked out your Chest of Drawers too and that’s amazing as well. I love the really big knobs on that chest.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3306 days

#10 posted 04-04-2014 03:19 AM

Very we’ll done on the construction, and on the finish.

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2870 days

#11 posted 04-04-2014 03:32 AM

Scott – the breadboard ends are just made from a 2” wide piece of pine. I routed a stopped groove in those pieces and then cut a tongue on the main part of the top that the ends slide over. I left most of the slot dry and only glued them up on a very short length to lock it in a couple of places.

I’m really happy with how the finish looks on this. I’ll admit that all of my color choices have been very experimental and I’ve been lucky that they’ve come out well. I’m very impressed with the aniline dyes. I love how deep the color gets and I also like that it’s very well behaved on pine. It really does save me from headaches with the finish.

View Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB's profile

Fr. Thomas Bailey, OSB

79 posts in 2454 days

#12 posted 04-04-2014 05:06 AM

You did an excellent job finishing that pine.

-- Fr. Thomas,

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3183 days

#13 posted 04-05-2014 03:34 AM

Nice piece. Well done.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

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