January 7, 2013

Night Stand Construction!

We worked on a secret little project awhile back now – and it was a night stand for my Mom. My Mom was loving all the stuff that Mr.B and I were making and mentioned a couple times she would like to place an order. I knew right away we needed to make her something!

My Mom had been using one of those round particle board tables that the legs just screw into the bottom. It was still in good shape and it had a shelf underneath that she used for storage – but it just wasn’t doing anything aesthetically for the room and she had outgrown it.

Mr.B was so excited to take on this project. He told me it was all in his head so that scared me a little. However, he was gracious enough to take pictures of the whole process for me.

It all started when I was home for Thanksgiving -I measured the area to see what the size would need to be. I measured the depth, length and the height. The height was just as important as all the other measurements because it would be awkward to use if it were too low or too high. Oddly enough the measurements came out to be 24 x 24 x 24.

For the top piece and the shelf Mr.B used a panel so that it would be a nice smooth finished top. I’m not sure if this is the exact piece he got but same idea – here. He started with the panel (he gave it a nice graduated edge with the router) and then ripped down a 2 x 4 to make the legs. He used his router to round all the edges of the legs so that they were smooth and finished – instead of being sharp.

He attached the legs and the apron pieces using the kreg jig so that none of the screws were visible. ( That thing is so awesome – make one piece of furniture and it’ll pay for itself )

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
He screwed each apron in to the top in 4 spots and the legs he screwed in 2 different spots. When it comes to attaching things together when making furniture pieces – the more the merrier!

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
One of my requirements for the table was that it had to have a drawer. Mr.B cut out the opening for the drawer and rounded the edges a bit and sanded it down so the drawer would slide in and out smoothly.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
For the bottom shelf he rounded out the cut out so that it would fit perfectly against the legs.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Here’s how it was looking before he made the drawer. You can see the top piece has a slightly graduated edge so that it wasn't a sharp edge and it also gave it character.

You can also see that the apron pieces are set back in from the legs a tiny bit – he did this because he liked the look and thought it gave it a little something different.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
To make the drawer box he made small 1/4” deep cuts and then chiseled out the pieces so that he’d be left with a cut out.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Here they are finished. This would allow him to attach the back of the drawer box and give him a place to screw it all together and make it a lot stronger.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Using a little bit of wood glue and then securing it with screws made this a very sturdy drawer box. We weren't going to be installing a drawer slide – so the end pieces being a little longer allow you to pull the drawer out farther to see what is in the drawer without it falling out.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
He also purchased a thin piece of wood for the bottom – and there isn't a good picture of it – but he made a small cut along the bottom edge so that piece would slide right in and fit perfectly. It also made it stronger because just gluing it or screwing it would allow give that over time would result in cracking or bowing in the middle.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
For the drawer front he used his router to make a raised panel.  In the above picture you can see he used the kreg jig to attach the front panel to the drawer box.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Here was the finished product before I finished it! You can see that as the drawer is pulled out it angles up – that’s why it’s nice to have that extra length on the back so that the drawer can be pulled out without falling out.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
The panel made the top and shelf look awesome. Mr.B sanded the whole thing down so it was smooth and ready for some finish! When I came home from work that day and saw it, I was shocked it was perfect!

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
To start finishing it - I taped off all the way around the drawer box because I only wanted to stain the front and didn't want any on the sides or on the inside/bottom.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
My parents have a lot of light oak in their house so I knew I didn't want to use a really dark stain and I didn't want it to be too light either. I ended up choosing Minwax Early American.

I've stained a lot of things and showed you the process and this was no different. I used a foam brush and applied the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
After about 5 minutes give or take – I took a clean rag and wiped off the excess stain and rubbed it in.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
I wanted to make sure that the legs and all the pieces really got a good coat of stain – so I ended up turning the table upside down and doing most of the staining that way. I wanted to make sure that the bottom of the shelf was finished and that the underside of each of the apron pieces were also.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
All I had to do was flip it back over and do the top and the shelf and it was totally covered. I've never used this color stain before but I really liked it.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
The panel that we used on the top looked so awesome after we put some stain on it. The variations that weren't that noticeable when it was unfinished were brought to life with a little stain.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
I applied one coat and just touched up spots that I thought needed a bit more color. The drawer needed a second coat because it was a little lighter than the table – most likely because I left the stain sit longer on the table.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
I applied a couple of coats of poly and then let it dry! I still had a few other finishing touches I wanted to add though.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
20 minutes in Hobby Lobby’s hardware aisle and I felt like I had the perfect knob! It has a metal back plate with a crystal knob that is shaped like a flower. I had a hard time deciding because before I went in I really wanted a crystal knob – after looking around there were so many options and I wasn't so sure anymore. Then I found this one and knew it was perfect because it was shaped like a flower and my Mom loves sunflowers – winner!

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Looked awesome on the drawer too – it really was a great finishing touch to the outside.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Some of the stain seeped under my tape so I was a little mad about that, but then I realized that a drawer liner would cover that up. I have so much wallpaper so that was an obvious best choice. It is wipeable (new word!) and I had tons to chose from. I found a bold graphic piece with flowers that looked really nice and cut it to size. That wasn't it though – one more thing!

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Custom furniture has a custom sticker right? YES – duh! So I printed out a  custom ‘label’- part of it is obviously cut off – for security purposes. The rest just says my mom’s name ( because it was made for her!) and  where it was built – Travers/Mr.B wood shop.

I printed it on regular printer paper and secured it to the bottom of the drawer with rubber cement which is perfect for making a ‘sticker’.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
Thank goodness it fit in my car, although I did have to have my Dad help me get it out. My Mom opened it, shed some tears and then fell in love with it! My Sister and I helped her get her other one out of there and put the new one in place.

Unfortunately, lack of power and the terrible weather caused me to forget my camera, but I took a picture of it with my phone. It fits the space perfectly and looks so awesome! I also got her a basket from Hobby Lobby to put on the bottoms shelf so that she’d have some more storage. The color of her walls (which I forget the color of now) and the stain look so good together.

The Freckled Redhead - Custom Made Nightstand
It was a total success and just makes me want to start on our room re-do like yesterday! Mr.B and I were happy to give her a piece that was made with love and care – and her reaction and joy made it all worth it!

If you have any questions about tools used or construction let me know I’ll direct those questions to ‘the man’.
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