Bedside Tables - Part III

  Finally decided to get a sander - and boy am I glad I did! We really could have used it for all of our previous projects. After reading up a bit on sanders we opted for getting a 5-inch random orbital sander with the hook and loop sanding pads. [Aside; it never clicked with me that "hook-and-loop" equates to "Velcro", I was worried that I'd be wrestling with the sander threading some crazy loop mechanism through sanding pads!]
  The sander definitely makes sanding easier - I was able to finish off one of the sanding passes in one evening, whereas one pass would take me two evenings before (and I made two passes before this, just if you were wondering what was taking these posts so long). Unfortunately, we noticed that my hand-sanding from before had inadvertently made some light-scratches on the surface. The random-orbital sander, because of the 'randomness' in the vibration does a good job of avoid this. You can go either with or against the grain with the random orbital sander, and as long as you don't push down very hard, or angle so the edges of the sander bite into the wood, you shouldn't leave any scratches and you should have a nice smooth sanded surface at the end.
Brackets attached to the parts, waiting to be put together.
A close-up of the finished product.
  Post Sanding, we stained the wood, placing two coats of our favored "dark cherry" stain that we've used on all our other projects, on all the sides and edges. We finished up with a quick coat of spray polyurethane sealant, although we'll likely go over the finished product with a paint-on polyurethane sealant.
  With everything sanded and sealed, it was time for partial assembly (we still have to cut, sand, and stain the sides and doors). You can see from the photo, that I opted for thin, 2 screw corner brackets, which I first put on the shelves and the top of the legs. I'm a big fan of pilot holes, and there are some on the legs and top waiting for the screws.
  A very small dab of glue accompanied the legs as they were screwed into the top. Once all were in, I inched the shelves between the four legs and screwed them into place. For each shelf, the brackets were first screwed to the shelf. Then I partially screwed in the screws connecting them to the legs, only tightening them down fully once all were in.
The two tables partly assembled!

  Volia! They're assembled and starting to look light nightstands. Now we just need to finish off the sides, which should prove an interesting exercise with the jigsaw - I've yet to perform an cut with the jigsaw blade at an angle. The final steps will be deciding on the door mechanisms and the hardware. Still, it's nice having a picture of what they'll look like when finished. And they seem to be a good height next to the bed (couldn't help taking them up there for a trial).

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