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White pine writing table with a small footprint to fit in a bedroom. Legs are tapered on their inside faces. Bead detail on the lower edge of the apron. Hand-cut half-blind dovetails connect the drawer sides to the drawer front. Drawer slides on hardwood runners. Finish is a satin water-based lacquer sprayed over a seal coat of shellac over a custom mix of oil stains to match the colour of the existing furniture. 48" wide x 18" deep x 30" high.

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nice stain job. i would probably do more work in pine if I knew more tricks on how to finish it. could you share a little more on the finishing aspects? such as how the oil stain was applied and what you used. did you apply a sealer first to minimize blotching? what was your sanding schdule? Thanks in advance!
 

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Excellently proportioned work there! Very spare and clean. I like the knots in the wood on top and the taper you chose from the inside (my perference, too-it keeps the footprint supportive of the overall work while lending a nice grace to the piece).

How did you come up with the proportions?
 

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David Roberts asked for more info about the finishing of this piece.

The oil stain was a mix of Minwax penetrating oil stain I applied with a home made pad, which is simply a neatly rolled up piece of mechanics rag. Only one coat. Before applying it I sanded up to 150 grit. That leaves scratches for the pigments to get into and get a more uniform colour on pine. However the scratches seem small enough that the eye does not pick them up. Tried stopping at 120 grit but I could see the pigtail scratches left by the random orbit sander. I did not put a sealcoat before the stain. I put one on after the stain to ensure my waterborne finish would adhere properly on top of the oil stain.

The above was take 2. My initial try was with gel stain because I was concerned about blotching. That ended up obscuring the wood grain so much that I got rid of it all. I have never tried using the seal coat approach to control blotching.
 

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just-adam asked: "How did you come up with the proportions?"

The amount of space in the bedroom where this piece was destined for dictated the size of the top. As for the leg size and taper I simply tried a few alternatives in Sketchup and compared them to the table that was at the foot of the bed, which I had taken pictures of. In thisi specific case I wanted something slender enough that it would not look too bulky or rustic. At the same time I needed to stay within the theme of the room so a very slender leg would have looked out of place.
 

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Looks great, nice job on the design.
 

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wonderful desk nice clean design and build
 

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Beautiful work…

I'm halfway through the design and construction of a similar desk out of reclaimed white oak. What was your solution of the Drawer guides/slides? Can I beg for a picture? This is my sticking point at the moment.
 

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Chris asked: "I'm halfway through the design and construction of a similar desk out of reclaimed white oak. What was your solution of the Drawer guides/slides? Can I beg for a picture? This is my sticking point at the moment."

I did not take pictures of the drawer support system but I do have diagrams of what I built. I added three diagrams to this project to show the drawer support system. Very conventional hardwood runners, guides and a center kicker.
 

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Thank You… that was Very helpful. I
 

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Looks great. Thanks for the extra pictures you posted for Chris. I'm in the process of completing my first dresser which I should be posting soon. I am actually working on the last part which is the drawers. I have one additional question. How much clearence should the inset drawer fronts have from the frame. My drawers range from 20" w x 8.5" h to 10"w x 5" h. I was thinking 1/16 all around but would love the opinion who obviously has more experience than myself.
 

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Hello Rex,

If you have access to Fine Woodworking articles on-line I highly suggest you get Chris' Becksvoort article about wood movement in the Nov/Dec 2006 issue. It is called "Stop Guessing at Wood Movement". In there is all the info you need to calculate wood movement based on wood species, flatsawn vs quartersawn lumber and geographic location. He goes into details regarding how he fits a drawer. You can sign up for a 14 day trial so you can get the article for free.

Just to give you a taste, if your 8 1/2" high drawer is built from flatsawn cherry, it would move a little over 1/8" over the seasons in Bainsville (assuming a 6% seasonal moisture content delta). Go with quartersawn cherry and that drops down by almost 50%!!! Staying with the flatsawn cherry hypothesis, leaving a 1/16" gap around the perimeter would be OK only if the wood is not at its driest. Even though we had an unusually dry November, the wood is likely not at its driest, which should happen around Feb for us. If you had asked me this question in Feb I would have told you the gap is too small.

Hope this helps.
 

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Very elegant little table. Great job. Thanks for the direct info on the FWW article as well
 

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That helps a lot Senomozi. Very precise answer, even commented on my region. I appreciate it. BTW I am using falt sawn Red Oak as drawer fronts. I agree we are not at the lowest humidity level. It still reads at about 50% in my house. I think I'll go with a strong 1/16 - 3/32. It is for my daughter so if I have problems I can fix it. The finish shellac with no stain do not have to worry about that.
I also think I take your advise about FWW. I often buy it off the shelf but that is getting expensive for what I get.
While I have your attention. Have you ever been to the woodworking show coming up this weekend in Ottawa. I was thinking of going but not sure if it's worth the trip.
 

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Rex asked: "Have you ever been to the woodworking show coming up this weekend in Ottawa. I was thinking of going but not sure if it's worth the trip."

I was there three years ago or so. I think it is worth the trip if you are in the market for a power tool and/or accessory or if you are looking for a lumber supplier. It really depends what your expectations are. It is not a show about artisans showcasing their work. There is some of that but mainly it is about tools.

Hope this helps.
 

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I tihnk I will attend. The lumber suppliers are my main intrest but also tools. It's not easy to find things north of the border and if I can just collect a few business cards for future use it should be worth it.

Thanks again for the quick response and keep posting the wonderful projects.
 

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This is a very nice table - congrats on a great job! Could you post the overall dimensions some time?

Dave
 

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David White asked: "Could you post the overall dimensions some time?"

The dimensions are mentioned at the end of the project description. Are there other dimensions you were looking for?
 
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