Nightstand: Drawer Tuning and Pulls

All of the dovetail joints for the drawer are now cut, the bottom panel grooves are in, and the panel itself is glued up. That leaves some fine-tuning of the drawer.

I found that the sides were a really tight fit, one that was likely to become too tight with the addition of too much humidity (or finish, for that matter). To fix it, I knocked off 1/32″ from each side with my jack and smoothing planes, and now it’s much more comfortable. I also had to trim a little off the tops, which was not a problem, either.

The matter of the pull remained. I could have bought something, but I decided that since this piece already had one thing that I stole from Krenov, I’d just do it again and make some sort of tongue-like thing. So after one false start, I pulled out a cutoff of the pacific madrone that I’d fooled with earlier and started sawing:

After some cuts and a little bit of planing, I got down to a roughly-rectangular chunk:

Then I put this into the vise, got out my favorite shaping tools and started working:

Before long, I had the basic shape that I was looking for:

Check out all of the rays that madrone has. Working with this little piece has been fun. It planes, cuts, and pares very easily, similar to apple or cherry. I’m a little unsure what to make of the way it feels when you touch it. It has sort of a soft, dry feel, but it’s not a terribly soft wood. It’s almost a “chalky” feeling. I’m looking forward to playing with some larger chunks.

Then I put a mortise in the drawer front and (carefully) cut the tenon in the pull:

A test-fit indicates that it seems to look the way I intended:

I think I might have some final smoothing to do on it, but that can wait until the drawer is glued up, and that step will come in a few days. There isn’t much else left to do on this project other than finish off the top and varnish everything.

3 thoughts on “Nightstand: Drawer Tuning and Pulls

  1. Nice! I really like the “tongue-like thing”. Turned pulls are great, but sometimes the hand-shaped ones are better. They have more, or different, energy or something. Hard to describe.

    The nightstand is looking fantastic!

    • Hi Dan, one of the reasons I wanted to make my own pull was because Krenov did this so often. I got a lot of comments from the peanut gallery suggesting that my pull is too small for the drawer, but this is one of the times that I’m just going to ignore it; I know this fits the character of this particular piece.

      This project is coming along and it has to be done by the 25th!

  2. the pull is the perfect size for the drawer. definitely better to ignore posts saying otherwise. i’ve too often seen fine pieces of furniture ruined by improper scale of parts. nice job.

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