Reader's Gallery

Torii Nightstand

comments (4) December 30th, 2013 in Reader's Gallery

Ralph Kolva Ralph Kolva, member
thumbs up 11 users recommend

This piece started out as a small cabinet for my wife's office while also helping me build my portfolio.  I wanted a small case that would lend itselft to small production runs while still being fairly unique, the goal was to create an attractive case that I could produce relatively quickly.  

Being attracted to Asian furniture and architecture obviously influenced the design as well as Greene and Greene and Charles Limbert.  I liked the look of the arched breadboards and it reminded me of a Torii gate to a Shinto shrine, thus calling the night stand Torii.  It is constructed of air dried Cherry that I've had for a decade with some Flame Cherry, Leopardwood and Macassar Ebony I purchased at a local lumber supplier here in Denver.

Joinery is mostly loose/slip tenon done on the router table (would love to have a hoizontal mortisor or multi router) with pegged joints from behind, the Ebony plugs are decorative.  Most of the curved elements are template routed.  Developing all the templates took several days and a good bit of Bondo, but once the templates were completed the piece progressed quickly.

So fare I've had some good responses from friends but looking forward to hearing what other woodworkers think.  



Ralph Kolva



Design or Plan used: My own design - Torii Night Stand

posted in: Reader's Gallery, cabinet, cherry, arts and crafts, frame and panel, asian inspired, ebony, asian, greene and greene, night stand, Torii

Comments (4)

Ralph Kolva Ralph Kolva writes: Thanks for the feedback,

Changing the rails is something I've been considering. I'm working on a desk design of similar style but have changed the rail profile, more of a Asian scalloped detail that follows the line of the rail between the drawer and doors but not an exact match.

I originally intended to use the drawer handle on the doors but thought they over sized and when I scaled them down didn't quite fit either. Still struggling with handles. I found some metal hardware that might work in place of the hand made handles.

I'll have to play with different species in the door panels as well as most art glass and maybe play with some leaded glass designs.
Posted: 11:44 am on January 1st

SwedishWoodworker SwedishWoodworker writes: Your execution is very clean. The flame cherry in the side panels is terrific. The door and drawer revels look very consistent . I like the bold breadboard ends and love the door stile and rail elements.

Some of the other design elements are a little too busy for my taste. The door and drawer pulls seem inconsistent and I would have preferred to see cherry used in the door panels. Additionally, the semi circle element in the rails seems to conflict with the beautifully shaped divider between the drawer and doors.

For those viewing your portfolio, this piece showcases your skills as a fine craftsman.
Posted: 8:58 pm on December 31st

Aphyosemion Aphyosemion writes: As an intermediate woodworker, this is an amazing and inspirational piece. I would agree with dhaserok that the heavy breadboard ends are slightly unexpected, though they also add an interesting character.
Posted: 3:48 pm on December 31st

dhasterok dhasterok writes: I'd say if you were getting positive responses from your friends, they're right. Very nice lines. I especially like what you have done with the drawer. The breadboard ends on the top are a little stout for my taste, but I like the G&G cloud lifts on the splines.
Posted: 6:31 am on December 31st

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker