All of my nightstand classes are finished! We didn’t quite complete the projects in class because it was a rather complicated project, and five people shared tools. However, we have all of the tools we need to finish the nightstand outside of class, and all of our pieces are completed.
In the last post, I put together the carcass. Since then, I’ve added the underlying top layer, drawer pieces, and the front facade.
We’ve been using birchwood for the interior pieces as it’s reliably strong but much less expensive. Since those pieces aren’t as revealing, birchwood is fine to use.
The picture above shows the piece upon which the top will lie. In the penultimate class, I glued it down and screwed it into the carcass. Drilling the screws was NOT an easy process! I’m not sure if I have written on here one of the reasons why I began woodworking in the first place. I helped my boyfriend put in a curtain rod for his guest bedroom windows. In the process of drilling holes into the wall, I drilled through to the insulation and pulled some out! Recognizing my interest in DIY projects but poor coordination and experience, he recommended we try woodworking classes.
When I told our instructor Merlin that I was not known for my drilling skills, he joked that he was going to clear the room while I screwed my top in. 🙂 Well, six screws later, and I more or less completed the task. They’ll hold well enough!
In this same class, I also used a bandsaw for the first time since creating a wooden race car in seventh grade home econ class.
This mahogany piece will be the front lower facade of the nightstand, to match the cut out sides. For the sides, we used a router to carve out the wood. Since this piece was much smaller to begin with, we used the bandsaw to more easily maneuver about the wood. At the very end when you finish carving the wood, there is a bit of kickback, so I learned good safety practice is to keep your hands as far from the blade as possible! This seems like a no-brainer, but you do have to get considerably closer to a bandsaw blade than with other tools like the router, table saw or planer.
In the final class, I worked on the drawer. Again, we used birchwood as the drawer is an interior piece. Replacing the table saw blade with a dado blade, we created rabbet joints for the drawer which we will later glue together. I learned a little more about the dado blade. It is actually made of two separate blades that spin against each other. You can add chippers between the blades to increase the width of the cut.
The dado blade cut a quarter inch long slit to inlay the wood against each other for the rabbet joint.
We left a little space from the bottom to provide additional strength for the drawer bottom. This is also rabbet joined into the drawer on all sides.
I still have quite a bit of work left! I need to finish glueing the drawer together, attach all of the front facade pieces, attach the top facade, sand, and finish the wood. Because my wood is such a beautiful, dark mahogany, I think I will end up using a clear finish to cure it instead of coating it with a different colored stain. I’ll keep you posted with the final tasks in the project.
I learned so much in the class, and I look forward to taking more classes! After I finish this project, I will create this nightstand again and sell it. We’re hoping to find buyers before we begin our next nightstands, so they can choose the wood and styles. Let me know if you’re in the market for a nice wooden nightstand! 🙂