Shelved Scrapwood Cherry Nightstand

The rule is: Never Throw Away A Scrap

I follow my rule to a ridiculous extreme. Most of the time it is a problem but sometimes it is a saving grace. In this case I was able to sort through scraps of cherry plywood left over from making a cherry vanity for my bathroom as well as half of a botched rail left from my cherry bed project — both of these having sat gathering dust in the shop for a least fifteen years. Normally I would only consider solid wood for such a project but there was simply not enough to even put together a solid wood top. I was saved there by an accidental acquisition of a heavy porcelain tile. I had gone to a building salvage company to get some ideas about what to put into a bathroom remodel and picked up one to buy as a sample. The salesman told me to just take it at no charge. OK by me.

The construction borrows something from the oak TV stand in that the main joinery technique is Kreg screws. They had proved themselves before and there was no reason to change for what was essentially a "throw-away" project. The cutting for the project was a bit tedious: the four legs have blind dadoes to accept the side and back panels while the horizontal members have have rabbets in the appropriate edge for the plywood. The legs and rails were given a subtle chamfer at the router table to break the edges. The shelf surfaces are plywood rather than the solid wood I'd prefer but given their size and use this is probably not a problem. I was pleased to see that, after a bit of aging, the solid wood and the plywood veneer match almost perfectly.

The top proved to be something of a pain. It had to appear thin and had to fit very closely to the 16-inch tile. The corners are simple miter cuts but have 'feather' inserts to provide more glue surface and prevent racking. There were nearly uncountable rounds of fitting with a block and rabbet plane to make everything square and tight. Once the wood components were glued up the tile was secured using dabs of clear silicone bathroom caulking. Overall finish is, if I recall correctly, wiping oil with a bit of wax since I've found that this combination allows a good rich cherry color to develop.

One feature is not apparent and I'm not going to give it away: there is a 'secret' (well, not so secret any more) compartment built into the carcase with a nicely done hidden latching mechanism that holds firm but which releases easily when needed.

Size is 17 X 17 X 29

© 1999-2024 by John McGaw — Page last modified: Fri Jul 26 14:47:00 2019
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