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Thread: Project: Nightstands for Guest Room

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    60,549

    Project: Nightstands for Guest Room

    The guest room in our new place needed a pair of nightstands that were sized to fit the space. We previously were using a pair of old IKEA Malm three drawer nightstands that originally had a particular storage purpose at the old house, but they were too large for the new guest room and honestly, not in line with the style of the room. So it was time to make replacements.

    These tables are based on the same design that I've been using for years which stems from Thos Moser's design published in one of his books of shop drawings. It's a typical Shaker influenced table. I've used this design for square end-tables as well as longer and narrower hall/sofa tables, etc. It's very adaptable. Some have drawers; some have shelves; some, like these just have a simple apron all around. Most have the underside of the table top beveled to lighten the look, but I did not do that on these. The very first iterations of this table years ago were made with mortise and tenon, but honestly, I haven't done that since. While some may scream bloody murder, I just use pocket screws and glue for the aprons to legs and for this kind of small stuff, it's more than strong enough for my purposes. I've detailed the construction multiple times her in previous projects, so I'm not going to repeat that. It's easy.

    For this project, I chose to use some leftover VG Douglas Fir, both because I had just the right amount available for two tables and because it was an opportunity to see what the results would be with dye for coloration. I didn't use any coloration previously on this species but wanted to match the tables to other elements in the room; primarily picture frames. It worked. The other thing about this project was I'm back to a cabinet saw in the temporary shop, rather than the slider that I'm used to, so it was necessary to create a crosscut sled for some component cutting and re-jigger my leg tapering jig back to its original form to run along the fence. The nice folks up in Buffalo NY had just returned the two 10" WW-II blades I had them recondition, so cutting was very clean and there was not a whole lot of sanding necessary prior to finishing. Dimensions are 400mm x 400mm for the tops and the height is just over 700mm. Aprons are 100mm tall. Finish is transtint dye in water, SealCoat barrier to help with grain raise and because top coats would be brushed on and Varathane oil based polyurethane brushed on; two coats on the bases and three coats on the tops. (No spraying in my temporary shop due to space, etc.)

    I did take a few photos along the way and will post them here along with shots of the finished work. Enjoy!

    Quick and dirty working out the apron dimensions on a scrap of MDF

    IMG_0250.jpg

    Tapering jig doing it's tapering thing...I made this back in the early to mid 2000s specifically for this design...

    IMG_0251.jpg

    Components sanded and ready for assembly

    IMG_0254.jpg

    Base assembled and legs leveled. Only a very slight adjustment was needed

    IMG_0255.jpg

    "Beauty shot" pre-finishing

    IMG_0256.jpg

    Assembling tops to bases after finishing is complete

    IMG_0287.jpg

    Done!

    IMG_0288.jpg

    Installed!

    IMG_0289.jpg
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKinney, TX
    Posts
    1,916
    Nice and clean. I like
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Clarks Summit PA
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    1,333
    New guest room, new tables. Practical and pretty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
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    27,917
    Simple, clean design and a great execution! Well done Sir!
    Ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
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    1,368
    The dye worked well and the table looks great in the new room.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    The dye worked well and the table looks great in the new room.
    Yes, I was very happy with the results...I mixed that dye up awhile ago for "something" (I forget) but it's in the same general hue I've often used for projects. The D-Fir took it pretty nicely. It would have been better sprayed, but alas...wiping was what I had to do.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    8,116
    Doug Fir never looked so nice, Jim. Well done.

    Those nice folks up in Buffalo, NY must be Dynamic Saw, correct? They do an excellent job sharpening saw blades, router bits, and more, at very reasonable prices. If you are ever up in the Buffalo area let them know (let me know, too) and I'm quite sure they'll be happy to show you their operation. Not a fancy building but the automatic sharpener inside definitely is and is a real treat to watch do its job.

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Yes, Dynamic Saw, John. First time I used them. I had a pleasant conversation with "the boss", too, when he discovered my finished blades just sitting there waiting for payment as someone in the office inadvertently forgot to reach out. They did a really great job with the blades...they are from the mid-2000s and have been sharpened several times previously. I didn't expect to use them again as the slider used 12" blades, but with the cabinet saw in my temporary shop, I needed 10 inchers to do the job.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    1,343
    Great looking tables Jim. They remind me of some of the one drawer Shaker nightstands. Well done!

  10. #10
    Jim, I like the looks of the tables. Question on the legs. Is the taper just on the two interior surfaces or also on the outward-facing sides? And does the taper begin below the apron?

    thanks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bucks County, PA
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    890
    They look great, Jim. Nice work.
    And there was trouble, taking place...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Conerly View Post
    Jim, I like the looks of the tables. Question on the legs. Is the taper just on the two interior surfaces or also on the outward-facing sides? And does the taper begin below the apron?

    thanks.
    Yes, the taper is on the two inside surfaces...it provides a visually lighter look. The tapers start below the aprons as you surmise.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central, PA
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    399
    Nice work Jim. I totally understand the abandonment of mortise & tenon joinery. I have switched exclusively to dominos. Unless someone jumps up and down on a table, dominos are strong enough and are a lot easier. I occasionally use pocket screws and like those also.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Ed on small things like this, Dominos are easily as strong as traditional M&T. For a larger version, I'd go that route for sure. For these smaller ones, I didn't feel the need. Material prep for Dominos and pocket screws/glue pretty much has the same advantage over traditional M&T...components like aprons are cut actual size for the space between the legs. I would go Domino on these if I were making for others because that would be physically stronger than the pocket screw method for a situation where I would have no control over how the item was being used. In my own home...that's less of a concern.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central, PA
    Posts
    399
    086C4685-2A7F-4C5D-AF68-19EB482BA59A.jpeg

    Jim. I build a solid walnut farm table using dominos. It has served as my son’s dining table for 5 years now. Still going strong.
    Last edited by Ed Gibbons; 10-25-2021 at 2:44 PM.

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