"Arts and Crafts" Night stand

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    I finally finished my nightstand that I started back a while when I took a class at Kelly Mehlers school in Kentucky.

    My wife’s business and me building her website got in the way of finishing it sooner.

    The wood is quarter sawn oak with ebony highlights. I used poplar for the bulk of the drawer. Pauls techniques on the drawer for the half blind dovetails and the thru mortise for the back worked well.

    To finish, I used 3 coats of Bush Oil then rubbed out and added a coat of wax. Just the right sheen.

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln

    Matt Vaughn

    Very nice work. The ebony highlights are striking details. This style is fun to build and admire.
    Thanks for posting


    Eddy Flynn

    Bret that is fantastic work almost a shame to close that drawer i think i’d be leaving that open a bit ,did you do that from a drawing or is your design i’ve been asked to make two for my nephew but not able to come up with a style i liked until now 😉

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK


    Brett, outstanding work! Care to share the process you used for inserting the ebony? Those are nice little details.


    Greg Merritt

    Beautiful work Brett. Congratulations. I really like the subtle detail at the bottom of the legs.

    Is this the Greene and Greene style of Arts and Crafts?


    Steve Follis

    That is a very impressive piece Brett, congratulations!
    Is there more pieces planned for a complete bedroom suite? You did a great job!

    Memphis, Tennessee


    That’s really beautiful. I love this style and you have done such a great job.


    The class I took at Kelly Mehler was taught my Stuart Crick. It is his design but if you have any “Arts & Crafts” or “Greene and Greene” period furniture books, you should get something very close. However. I just saw this very design on the American Woodworker site for sale. You will see Stuarts mug shot on the cover. Also, If you happened to subscribe to AW, the article is in the April/May 2009 issue.

    The buttons are the easier part. Most are 3/8″ some are 1/4″. To lay out and cut the button holes, I used a 3/8′ mortising bit without the drill bit. It is easy to position it due to its squareness. I got the “hole” started with the mortise bit then finish with a 3/8″ chisel. Make your square ebony rod slightly oversize. The buttons have a “pillow” top so do them one at a time using a file and various grits of sandpaper on top of a soft pad so it naturally makes the pillow top. I then buff the button top then cut them to length. About 3/8″ long. Then do the next one. You can make a jig to sand these down on a belt sander and if I was to make several of these, I would go that direction. On the back side of the button, use a chisel to make a slight taper. I then put a small amount of glue in the hole and drive the buttons in place.
    The longer ebony pieces imbedded in the breadboard ends is more time consuming. But a file and sandpaper will work. Again, A jig could be made for the router table if making several.

    In the write up by Stuart, he indicates that this design was influenced by the Greene brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Stickleys. The leg indents were definitely Greene and Greene style…

    The “boss” hasn’t put in that request yet. It may be coming though….

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln


    Great work Brett. Very striking.

    Are the ebony plugs purely decorative, or do they perform a function?

    BTW: You live in a great area for woodworking. They have hand tool auctions just south of you in Avoca, and I know I’ve seen some small sawmills (perhaps in Dansville?) when I was driving through there a couple of years ago.

    -Scott Los Angeles


    Really excellent effort. Very professional looking and a great example of the arts and crafts style with some cues of mission styles. The ebony highlights evoke Greene and Greene without looking too derivative…could easily see this on a showroom floor. Well done!


    That looks fantastic! I love the look of the quarter sawn oak! Keep the pictures coming!



    Scott, The ebony is decorative. A Greene and Greene flair, but they do add nicely to the piece.

    Our area here is great for woodworking. I am a member of a 200+ guild in Rochester and a good supply of wood from local distributors and saw mills.

    Didn’t know about the hand tool auctions, will check that out. Thanks,

    Everyone else, Thanks for the kind words. I am entering the piece into our Guild’s Showcase next month and will let you know how it does. We have some really talented woodworkers in our guild and am looking forward to see how it stacks up.

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln

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