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Nightstands (2004)

This is the second in a series of bedroom furniture for our future daughter (the first was a matching double dresser).

This project is based on plans from Wood Magazine. I've heavily modified the construction and materials of their piece while maintaining the same style. I chose soft maple for all the "show" surfaces (top, fronts, sides, legs, etc), soft wormy maple for the drawer secondary wood (5/4 stock resawn to 1/2" final thickness), and baltic birch plywood for the drawer web frames. The drawers are hand dovetailed at all corners and the fronts are raised. I spent a lot of time fine tuning the drawer reveals so that they were even on all sides of every drawer using the technique described in FWW #173.

The finish is 4 coats of sprayed water based polyurethane. We chose water poly to keep the soft maple as "white" as possible, and the final topcoat was satin to provide a pleasing but not overpowering sheen. Sanding between each coat and a final buffed wax polish of the top provided a glass-smooth surface that's very pleasing to touch.

We took a long time to decide on the drawer pulls. In the end we chose a pull that would be attractive to a young girl, but we made sure we chose hardware with standard screw spacing so that she could change the pulls to something more "grown-up" as she grows up.

We're very happy with this piece. The style is simple but not plain, the finish is natural and will not overpower the room decor, and its flexible enough to grow up with our daughter. Hopefully she likes it as much as we do.

Here are links to some more pics as they've been used in the nursery:
Nightstand 1 by the crib
Nightstand 2 by the rocking chair

Copyright 2006 Chris Billman