Nightstand: Plan

After a lot of agonizing, it appears that I finally have a plan drawn up for my next project, a nightstand. When researching designs (otherwise known as “typing nightstand into Google Image Search and bracing for the worst”), I found two basic types. The first is a box with an open front. The second is more like a table with a shelf at the bottom. Both have a drawer at the top. After conferring with the “client,” I chose the latter.

Here is the front view. I stole the idea for the arched decoration in the front from Krenov.

The top view cutaway into the shelf follows. On the left of the center line, the stretcher for the area above the drawer is shown. It’s a little bit wider then the one at the bottom of the drawer (shown at right), but there is an extra stretcher front-to-back on the bottom to support the drawer:

The front view cutaway perhaps shows it with a little more clarity. On the left of the center line in the drawing, the front stretchers are cut away, showing the side stretchers and the drawer support.

I could, in theory, integrate the lower drawer supports into the lower side stretchers, but I worry about wood movement between the legs and the front stretcher because a single piece would need to connect to both (I’m not worried about the ones at the top because they will not provide support most of the time.). I’m looking out for wood movement in particular because I’ll be building this out of beech, which is not known as the most stable wood in the world. So I won’t be mortising in the top of this piece, either.

The drawing isn’t quite yet complete. I haven’t added all of the measurements that I need (and hopefully I won’t mess them up this time), and I haven’t broken out the components to come up with a cutting list. I didn’t draw in the drawer. (Do I need to? Maybe.) And perhaps I will come up with a different scheme to support the drawer.

[Update: The mostly-complete plan is now available on the Plans and Guides page.] Err, not at the moment.

One thing is pretty clear: This project looks like the most complicated piece I’ve attempted so far. There are fewer components than the shoe rack, but this is far less repetitive, and they assemble in a much more complex way. However, I have attempted to standardize several of the component thicknesses, which should speed the milling process by minimizing the number of cuts I need to make with the frame saw.

For what it’s worth, a significant part of the agony in coming up with this drawing was trying to find a suitable 3-D modeling system for Linux so that I didn’t have to use Inkscape again. That didn’t work out, so I’ll just stick to what I know for now

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