- Poplar is way more consistent than pine.
- The poplar I bought for the nightstand was much flatter than the pine I used for this project.
I went with pine on this project because I wanted it to have a more Shaker-inspired look. My nightstand, while also Shaker-inspired, was finished so it would look like cherry. When I think of Shaker stuff, I don't always think of cherry as the first material to use. I tend to think of maple or pine. Being a bit on the
My initial set of drawer fronts was going along well until I decided to make the grooves for the joinery. First thing I did was reference the wrong face against the fence. That meant the groove was in the wrong place. I also tried to fix it by centering the groove. Of course, that would only work if the stock were straight and flat. A couple of the pieces were far from that. After totally mangling my first set of fronts, I had to build a new set of fronts, which meant I had to buy more wood.
So as to not waste some decent stock, I cut the grooves and stuff off the drawer fronts that weren't too bad, and edge glued them to make a top for my nightstand. I haven't settled on a design for it yet, but at the very least, I have a top.
|At least I have a top for my nightstand..|
Once I finished up the drawers, I started work on the base. This I made from the solid pine that I had left over from making the drawer fronts. This turned out to be a lot easier than the drawers. The hardest part was cutting the wood out to make the feet. I tried using a technique I saw Norm do when he was making his jewelry box. This involved the router table and a spiral bit. It worked out great, and I'm convinced I should use it in the future since I don't really trust myself with setting up a circular saw and straightedge to make cuts other than roughing out plywood, and there's no way I'm going to try a plunge cut on my table saw.
|The new drawer fronts. Properly fitted...|
After getting all the major pieces together for the bottom, I got to work on the top. Since I didn't want to make a large solid wood panel and have to glue up a lot of stock to make the top, I went with edged plywood. I saved a nice piece from my rough cuts and sized it up, then cut a groove on three sides so that I could fit the edging in. I made the edging by ripping some of the pine I had left to size and then cut a tongue to fit the groove. Again, my miters weren't quite as good as I wanted, but I know that I'll get better with practice.
With all the major woodworking done, I'm currently working on the finish. My test pieces came out pretty okay, but there was a fair amount of blotching around the knots. Since I used #2 pine, there are obviously a few knots that I have to contend with. After looking through some techniques online, I found that using some kind of pre-stain sealer helps, but most of the commercial ones are pretty useless. Being of a kind of DIY bent about this, I made my own glue sizing. It only took some Elmer's Glue-All diluted 5:1 in water so it kind of resembles something like milk. I painted that on the surface of the case, and let it dry. I made a sample to test it before I tried it on the case, and it worked extremely well to control the color. The knots were very even and it looked good. With a coat of finish on it, I really liked the look, so I dyed the case with the maple dye I tested. Like always, it didn't look quite the same as my sample because there's a LOT more area than the sample, but it's come out pretty good. Since I know I have a procedure for adding the polyurethane, I'm going to apply finish to the case tomorrow. I have to glue size and dye the drawers, so that's going to be my job for tomorrow. I also have to put on poly on the insides of the drawers. There's a bit more to do from a finishing standpoint, but I know that I can get this done by Wednesday at the latest, then it can go into the room. I swear this thing weighs in excess of 100 pounds, but I know that I can get it into the house without much incident.
|Drawers are sanded and the knobs are on. Ready for finishing.|
|Dye is on. Looks good. Have to apply the wipe-on poly tomorrow.|
|This was NOT the planer I was expecting to come home with...|