Jump to content
Title of the document

Nightstands


Recommended Posts

We've chatted about these a little in the other bedroom furniture threads but, it was time to pin my wife down on some designs.  It took us over a year to settle on the bed design and I need to get these built this year..  Some things we know can't change.

  • Must match the other furniture built - Lots of details that are common with all of the other furniture.
  • Must fit a particular space - I think these are actually wider than most nightstands?

With those items in mind, I set out on paper first to get some basics.  Taking notes along the way of what my wife wanted and what I felt should be there.  If anyone is wanting to see my paper sketches and notes, I'm happy to drop them in here.  Although I was looking forward to simplifying these, my wife had other thoughts..lol.  Here's her list of things that were a must.

  • Minimum of 2 decent sized drawers
  • A slatted bottom shelf
  • Cable management - Plugs in the top like I did the desk

Here's what I've come up with after dropping it into Sketchup.  Note, this Sketchup drawing is just a box with some lines to represent the piece.  None of the internal details are there, this is just for my reference when building.

1045086743_DimensionsOverview.jpg.eda61456d8802ae1757853630e776621.jpg

And for fun, I added a touch of color..

1307835010_NightstandsColor.jpg.1272a74559c8fd89ef8fbf893767275d.jpg

I often get asked about my design process and this one is pretty standard for me.  I can do a video specifically on my process if anyone thinks it would be useful?  For that matter, I could run a couple videos concurrently where I show my design process in one, then my milling process in another, and ending up with a completed nightstand in a third video.  For that matter, I could probably do yet a 4th video showing my finishing process as well?

Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions!  There a few projects in front of these so, they won't be started today...lol 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The old nightstands I just replaced were 30" the new ones are 22" so you are almost in the middle of really wide and and a more normal size. 🙂

Did you give any thought to putting the shelf in the middle?  I am trying picture it but you have sketch up to try the move.  I know it would ad a web frame and it also could end up butt ugly.

  • Like 1

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Chet said:

The old nightstands I just replaced were 30" the new ones are 22" so you are almost in the middle of really wide and and a more normal size. 🙂

Did you give any thought to putting the shelf in the middle?  I am trying picture it but you have sketch up to try the move.  I know it would ad a web frame and it also could end up butt ugly.

I was really struggling with space as my wife wanted the max drawer space..  Frankly, I don't know what she stores in there as I've never looked...lol. This is one of the reasons I didn't add the center web frame.  I could have gone either way as I've done it both ways in the room.  There is a web frame (more of a dust panel) below the bottom drawer..  I hope this answered your question?

9 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Looks good.  My only thought is to make the bottom drawer 6” and the top whatever is left over.  To me the curve sort of makes it look to wide.

That's certainly a possibility!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent quite a few hours today on the first video for the nightstands...

As discussed a couple posts ago, the first video is all about how I design my projects.  I decided to take it a step further and also discuss how I do "Take Offs" or estimates for client projects.  After some clean up work, I'll offer the Excel file for free download from my website.

The downside is that the video came out to nearly 30 minutes long and is still uploading to YT..

Please PM me if you're interested in an early viewing and I'll see if I can hook you up...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slated shelf as in not solid, correct?

I agree with Bryan on the top drawer.

If the design video has to do with proportions, I am definitely interested.

Chet, putting the shelf in the middle as in half way between the floor and the bottom of the drawer? If so, that would certainly limit what could be stored on the shelf. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Coop said:

Slated shelf as in not solid, correct?

I agree with Bryan on the top drawer.

If the design video has to do with proportions, I am definitely interested.

Chet, putting the shelf in the middle as in half way between the floor and the bottom of the drawer? If so, that would certainly limit what could be stored on the shelf. 

Slated.. Correct, not solid.

I'm 99% sure that Bryan's suggestion will be incorporated..

As for proportions, I really didn't go in to the dynamics around proportions.  In this case, nightstands fall pretty close to a standard height and, as @chet pointed out, the width seems to fall someplace in the middle of standard.  It's a fair point though as their are some standard rules around height vs width that I didn't cover.  Considering that these nightstands are ~ 28" wide and 26" tall, they fall a bit outside that golden ratio of 1.62 to 1..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I struggle with proportions. Leg size (90* as I don’t have a lathe), apron, stile and rail. I have heard to make a template and use my eye to determine the sizes but for me, it’s not like tasting a beer to see if I like it. They all look the same except in extremes. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Coop said:

I struggle with proportions. Leg size (90* as I don’t have a lathe), apron, stile and rail. I have heard to make a template and use my eye to determine the sizes but for me, it’s not like tasting a beer to see if I like it. They all look the same except in extremes. 

So, those "decisions" would fall outside the "golden ratio" and I'm not sure there's a "standard" for those decisions.  In the end, you have to trust your eye!

If you go back to my desk build, I made the upper rail slightly thinner than my bottom rail.  I was a little surprised this was questioned but, I answered the question as honestly as I could.  I needed the space and, in my opinion, it made the top a little "lighter" than the bottom.  Was I right or wrong? I don't honestly know but, it looked right to my eye.

I'm looking forward to other's input on this subject as I'm always interested in learning!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Coop said:

Chet, putting the shelf in the middle as in half way between the floor and the bottom of the drawer? If so, that would certainly limit what could be stored on the shelf. 

No, I just meant between the two drawers where ever that is. In other words, drawer, shelf, drawer.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Chet said:

No, I just meant between the two drawers where ever that is. In other words, drawer, shelf, drawer.

So, you mean a web frame between the drawers like I did in the chest of drawers?

If that's the case, space is my only limitation there.  Same reason as in the desk build.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is what I had said earlier.  I suggested looking into having the shelf space between the two drawers but hat if you did that you would have a second web frame which would reduce the height of the opening of the shelf.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Chet said:

That is what I had said earlier.  I suggested looking into having the shelf space between the two drawers but hat if you did that you would have a second web frame which would reduce the height of the opening of the shelf.

Gotchya!  The "shelf" threw me off a bit..  

I'll have to check with the client (wife) and see if the reduced space is an issue.

I could go either way.  The desk doesn't have them but, the chest of drawers does.  There's no wrong answer aesthetically.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coop, Prototyping is huge if you aren’t following the golden ratio or if you can tell from your design if things look right.  Now I say this with times changing in lumber prices.  On bigger pieces, I would use a 2x4 (surfaced or not) and just screw together so you can take apart, on legs you can clamp so you can see if it looks right.  If $9 a 2x4 is too pricey you can find some cheap Cletus wood, pallet wood (blasphemy) strictly for this purpose. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Coop, Prototyping is huge if you aren’t following the golden ratio or if you can tell from your design if things look right.  Now I say this with times changing in lumber prices.  On bigger pieces, I would use a 2x4 (surfaced or not) and just screw together so you can take apart, on legs you can clamp so you can see if it looks right.  If $9 a 2x4 is too pricey you can find some cheap Cletus wood, pallet wood (blasphemy) strictly for this purpose. 

I've even "prototyped" in cardboard before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well this is going to turn into a very long thread and a total of 4 videos.  It was pointed out to me that I often omit milling and don't give much "detail" in an effort to keep the videos to a reasonable length.  It's a fair point and I've decided to correct that by doing the nightstands in 4 separate videos.  This will allow a newer person to see my process on these tasks if they so choose.

  1. Design and Estimating - This video is actually complete and I'm working to cleaning up my Excel file that I do estimates in to give away free on my website.  This video turned out to be close to 30 minutes long and I actually did voice over while at the computer both in Sketchup as well as the Excel File.  This was a new way to do things for me so, was a bit of learning involved.
  2. Lumber - I've started this video today and I plan to go over completely how I select lumber, lay out parts and, mill the lumber.  I'll talk about the various grain directions, how to read them, and the look they produce.  I'll also talk about reading the grain from a milling perspective to avoid tear out when possible.  In the milling part, I'll talk about why I break down at the bandsaw or with a jig saw to avoid reactionary wood.  And finally, I'll talk about sticking and stacking to let freshly milled lumber do its thing before the final milling and use.  I'm expecting this video to be very long as well!
  3. Nightstands - I'll actually build them in this video.  Hopefully this one will be more of a normal length..
  4. Finishing - Although I'll go over my finishing process, it's nearly impossible to cover every finish that people may want to use.  I'm really open to suggestions on this video to cover enough to be useful to someone new to the craft.  Until I figure out exactly what I want to do here, I have no clue how long this video will be.

I'm also considering opening up these videos here for you guys months in advance to critique which would allow me to fix any glaring issues you guys see?  There's just so much information to cover that it's nearly impossible to remember everything that I typically just do and don't really think about..lol

If you guys are interested in seeing the videos as they're produced, let me know.  Just remember that when they come out publicly, you've already seen them 😉

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Kev said:

Finishing - Although I'll go over my finishing process, it's nearly impossible to cover every finish that people may want to use.  I'm really open to suggestions on this video to cover enough to be useful to someone new to the craft.

I think the modern day finishing process can be pretty simple.  I think people make there finishing process more difficult then it has to be because they've heard others go through these ornate processes.  Modern finish products have made life easier if you let them.  If you are doing a period piece then you might want to stick to a finish process that matches that time.  If your making a nice piece for your personal use then just keep it simple.  Marc has evolved over the years but every finish process he goes to is simple and easy to do.  Phillip Morley almost always uses Conversion Varnish because it looks good, is durable and easy to use.

I think, because like you said, there is a lot out there that the best you can do is start by saying, there is a lot out there on finishing but what I am going to show is a simple, durable finish, that looks nice on most any project.  When you keep in mind new people starting out on the finish process simple is king.

One thing that I might toss out there is in your finish process you use ARS first, I use de-waxed shellac for the same purpose.  This can be a plus in humid areas because you won't have to wait as long for it to dry as you would with ARS.  If you are top coating with a water borne finish it has to be de-waxed.  Actually de-waxed is better for almost all because you can put anything on top of it, even paint.  I use blonde shellac on woods that will darken over time like cherry and sapele and I use garnet shellac on woods like walnut that tend to lighten over time. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Chet said:

I think the modern day finishing process can be pretty simple.  I think people make there finishing process more difficult then it has to be because they've heard others go through these ornate processes.  Modern finish products have made life easier if you let them.  If you are doing a period piece then you might want to stick to a finish process that matches that time.  If your making a nice piece for your personal use then just keep it simple.  Marc has evolved over the years but every finish process he goes to is simple and easy to do.  Phillip Morley almost always uses Conversion Varnish because it looks good, is durable and easy to use.

I think, because like you said, there is a lot out there that the best you can do is start by saying, there is a lot out there on finishing but what I am going to show is a simple, durable finish, that looks nice on most any project.  When you keep in mind new people starting out on the finish process simple is king.

One thing that I might toss out there is in your finish process you use ARS first, I use de-waxed shellac for the same purpose.  This can be a plus in humid areas because you won't have to wait as long for it to dry as you would with ARS.  If you are top coating with a water borne finish it has to be de-waxed.  Actually de-waxed is better for almost all because you can put anything on top of it, even paint.  I use blonde shellac on woods that will darken over time like cherry and sapele and I use garnet shellac on woods like walnut that tend to lighten over time. 

I'm going to copy and paste this to my notes file for this project..  I don't want to forget this when I actually get to the finishing video...lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very full day in the shop milling and filming!

All of the stock (except for drawer parts) for the nightstands has been milled to rough sizes to include the tops.  It's all still a little over sized and will be pulled to final when I actually start the build.

Additionally, I filmed the entire process  to show how I read the grain and select what I want for which parts.  Overall, the video came out to about 30 minutes in length..  So, between my design process and my milling process, I'm about an hour's worth of finished video even though the 2 videos took me 2 very full days..

Thumb.thumb.JPG.78067ce8749d1ef56f92c9a6cda2fc84.JPG

The video is uploading now and the design video is already uploaded.  Let me know if you want to see either of them early as these won't be out for a couple months.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this is going to sound very simple, but may be useful and really haven’t seen these 3 covered often, not just you, but other content creators.  1) Do you and how you strain or thin your finish. 2)How do you store excess between coats if you have extra in the pot. 3) Cleaning at the end.  This may add too much time or work, but it really seems you are shooting for an extremely comprehensive series with these.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

I know this is going to sound very simple, but may be useful and really haven’t seen these 3 covered often.  1) Do you strain or thin your finish. 2)How do you store excess between coats if you have extra in the pot. 3) Cleaning at the end.  This may add too much time or work, but it really seems you are shooting for an extremely comprehensive series with these.

Copy and pasted to my notes as well!  Although being water based, it is pretty simple....lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/23/2021 at 1:36 PM, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

Looks good.  My only thought is to make the bottom drawer 6” and the top whatever is left over.  To me the curve sort of makes it look to wide.

 

On 5/23/2021 at 9:59 PM, Chet said:

That is what I had said earlier.  I suggested looking into having the shelf space between the two drawers but hat if you did that you would have a second web frame which would reduce the height of the opening of the shelf.

Apologies but, sometimes it takes a little time to pin my wife down on these details...lol

She's good with narrowing the top drawer to improve the over all look.

She does prefer the look of the desk without the web frame between the drawers.  Since I've done it both ways in the room, this is certainly something I can get away with and her reasoning is sound..  On the dresser, because the web frame was the same species as the drawer fronts, it works for her.  On the nightstands, the only way she thought it would look right is if the web frame is done with Wenge - This is just an alien thought to me but, it's certainly open for discussion!

Edit:  Drawing Update

1597981633_DimensionsOverview2.jpg.4588eee031b10f4de79e2085495cd83d.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Picked up the maple for the drawers as well as the BB ply this morning and got them rough milled.  Only material left to rough out is the AM panel material.  I also roughed out an extra leg in case I make a mistake...lol

IMG_1264.thumb.jpeg.ce7d2ae1a5f1c10a1d2569d011ec1205.jpeg

My wife is leaving town for a long weekend so, I just might have enough shop time to bang these out...lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...