I was in need of a catchall to keep my things organized on my nightstand. The one I was previously using was made from acrylic and was looking a tad worse for wear, thus I decided to make a new one.
This tutorial will go over the steps taken to turn a piece of a discarded wood table into a much need nightstand catchall for my bedroom.
The tools used in this build:
2. Table saw
3. Wood planer
4. Measuring Tape
5. CNC Milling machine (To machine the catchall)
6. CorelDraw (Software to design the catchall)
7. Sander with 220 grit sand paper
8. Trewax paste wax
Step 1: Finding and Preparing the Wood
The first step in my process was to locate the wood. Checking out craigslist, I found a great table that the owner was discarding due to the many repairs that had been made over the years, and her need for something smaller. (I was told the table was approximately 70 years old.)
After getting the wood home, I needed to prepare it for milling.
1. Remove all screws and any other metal parts that my be on the table. (Take your time and make sure you get them all because the last thing you want is to nick you planner blade, or to have your CNC router hit a piece a metal possibly damaging your tool.)
2. After ensuring no metal is left on the table, cut a piece of the table down to a manageable size using the table saw.
3. Because this table is laminated on the top and bottom, I ran it through the planer several times to remove the laminate, and to get down to the bare wood.
Now that the wood is prepared, it was time for me to sit down at my computer and come up with a suitable design.
Step 2: Designing the Catchall
The catchall was designed in CorelDraw - a vector based drawing program. I started with a size that would fit perfectly on my nightstand. Because I use my cellphone as my alarm clock, I decided that I also wanted to add a slot for my phone to sit while charging at night, allowing me to glance in that direction to see the time.
After several drafts, I came up with the final design shown above. After the design was complete, I needed to prepare the files so that I could send it to my CNC machine to have the catchall milled.
Step 3: Milling the Catchall
My catchall is being milled with a CNC Machine. The following steps need to be taken to get the deign to the CNC mill.
Once the design was completed, I saved it as an .svg file, then brought the .svg file over into a Web-based CAM software called MakerCAM. I input the milling parameters into the software, then saved the g-code file. (The g-code tells the CNC machine what to do.)
Once every thing is set up and ready to go, I hit start, then I sit back while the machine do it's work.
Step 4: Sanding and Finish
After the milling is complete, the piece will need to be sanded. I used 220 grit to ensure the piece was perfectly smooth. I then applied a paste wax, and after allowing to dry for 5 minutes, I came back with a natural bristle brush and buffed the piece to a nice satiny luster.
The piece is now ready to adorn my nightstand.
Step 5: Final Product
The final product holds my things nicely so that when I am ready to head out for the day, I can just grab and go. No more looking around the house trying to find things, they are all kept in one place on my nightstand.
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and thanks for reading!