I was so happy with the nightstand that I made for my sister-in-law that I wanted to use that plan again, but minus the part where I had to put a log through the band saw. Oh, and minus the part where I put it on skinny little legs. I had gone with the Central Jersey Woodworking Association (http://cjwa.org/) to visit the D.C.C. Inc. sawmill. Dane Enright operates this mobile log milling operation, and obtains very interesting logs. He kindly gave me a block of black locust. I had wondered about this stuff. It’s traditionally used for fence posts and boat knees because it’s hard and doesn’t rot. It’s color, when it’s newly cut, is a startling greenish yellow. Those are not great recommendations for furniture wood. But I wanted to know more. So…
I rounded the edges, and set the sides back about half an inch. This is a forgiving pattern. It doesn’t need to be exact. I drilled the finger holes and then cut across to create the dividers and spacers.When it came to cutting the drawers, I had to hold a cylindrical piece as I put it through the saw. The saw wants to spin a piece like this and knock it out of my hands, so I held it in a clamp. This was so handy that I now hold the square pieces like that as well.
Everything was machine cut and sanded so far on this piece. The wood is much too stringy and tough to carve, but I wanted some handwork, so I textured the edges with a gouge. You can just barely see it in this photo, on the side pieces. You can also see the awesome streaks of color in the wood, which is great in a piece like this but would be difficult for traditional furniture manufacture.
Here it is, with four drawers. I would certainly use this wood again, but only for simple machined shapes like this. This piece will be for sale as soon as there’s an opportunity, and I’m cutting a smaller one out of black walnut. I’ll be looking for new things to do with variations on this pattern.