Small elm bedside stand, Part 1

I’ve started my next restoration projects so I’ll begin here by introducing you all to the one that’s in the worst shape. The elm stand as a whole is not in terrible shape, but the top has substantial fire damage. I’m not yet sure if the top can be repaired or if it will have to be replaced. I’m hoping I can save it.

My first project of 2022. A nice little elm bedside stand.
Significant fire damage to the top.
Can this be repaired? Tune in next week, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!
Can’t really see it from here, but the panels are severely warped. They are solid elm.

It will get new hinges, pulls and knobs. I’ll also be replacing the casters, which are missing, with good brass and wood-wheeled casters.

The bottom is pine and is heavily warped. I doubt that I’ll put much effort into this part and will probably just replace it.

Is the bottom worth keeping?

There will be some minor repairs to the feet and legs, but nothing to write home about. My next posts will cover the repairs in detail.

Small elm bedside stand, Part 3

You can find part 2 here and part 1 here.

I’ve made some progress on the bedside stand since last we met. I’ve taken the piece apart to clean the joints and make them stronger.

Doesn’t look like much now.

This stand is actually a great example of an older piece that has some pretty interesting “quirks”. Many of the joints were pretty loose and I could see that in a couple of spots the glue was used to fill the significant gaps between the tenon and the mortise. I also noticed that the bottom had been replaced and the new bottom could not be fit into the slots made for it, so a small piece of wood was scabbed onto the front so the bottom just sat on it.

There are also some mortises that are not in the same place on the matching stiles (crooked). That said, this piece has lasted a lot longer than some of the modern “disposable” furniture, and once I am finished with it, it will live on much longer again.

The fire damage was not just to the top but also damaged the leg.

I have scraped away much of the fire damage here and have filled the split. I’m not sure if I will do anything else to it or not as it’s barely noticeable.

One of the more fiddly bits with this piece has been fitting the door. This because the sides are not square and the bottom apron is quite loose and will need to be squared to the bottom of the door. When I removed the door I knew I would not be reusing the screw holes from the previous hinges, so I plugged them with dowels and drilled new holes for the new hinges (nice brass hinges).

After fitting the door and replacing the hinges and knob. The bottom apron still needs to be adjusted.

Now onto the back of the stand. The original panels were extremely warped and split so I replaced them. As I was getting into this, I noticed that the top rail was also very warped and twisted so I replaced them all.

One of the two back panels.
This was taken after I had tried flattening it under some weights for a week. I was going to try oiling it to make it more flexible but decided to replace it rather than put any more time into it.

Making a replacement rail was very straightforward. I used the original as a template and got out my plough plane to cut the groove.

With the new panels and top rail. I will work on the color later.

I have everything back together and after I adjust the bottom apron, I’ll be ready to start coloring.

Getting there.

My next post will likely be after I get started on the coloring and finish.

Small elm bedside stand, Part 4

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve made any progress on the stand, but I have a very good excuse…and that’s a bald-faced lie. I have been working on our home remodel, but I’ve also started a few other projects so I’ve just been pretty distracted.

I decided to replace the bottom because the previous bottom (which was also a replacement) was too warped to fix.

This is the previous bottom, which was also a replacement. It was a nice thick piece of pine, but it twisted and warped so badly that I wasn’t even tempted to try to fix or straighten it.

I had some nice pine that I’m using for another project. The pieces were too narrow so I joined them and cut them to length.

The new piece was too thick so I got the scrub plane out and took off about 3mm (1/8th inch) from the face, then flattened and smoothed the face.

Using my scrub plane.
And following up to smooth the face.

I dry fit the bottom into the grooves in the legs and clamped it up to make sure the bottom was not too wide or deep.

After some tweaking. Shaved down the edges and sides so it fits snuggly but has room to expand. In this case the bottom will expand to the sides.

I’m pretty happy with the bottom and I’m ready to start glueing up the carcase. That will be in the next post.