Have you ever started out your morning by grabbing your phone off your nightstand, and knocking something off the edge with your charger cable? Have you ever ended your night by tipping over your wineglass with your tablet cord? How many times have you lost your laptop charger down in the thin crack between your nightstand and the wall? Got enough space for your lamp, tissues, books, magazines, coffee, tea, chapstick, and reading glasses?
Yeah. Mass produced nightstands just aren't designed with this stuff in mind.
The EZ Nightstand fixes a LOT of those common problems, and a couple more, as well. Cut-out guides for your chargers help keep cables organized. Off-set front panels let light into the deepest parts of your shelf storage. Space is built into the design for setting up your power strip, USB charger hub and even a motion sensor LED strip .
The BEST part is that they're easy to mod and personalize, with large panels that are perfect for CNC carving, laser engraving or just your own art!
Step 1: CNC Cutting Your Pieces
This Instructable assumes that you have access to a CNC machine to cut out the pieces needed. The DXF files as well as VCarve and Sketchup files are located here
You will need:
- (1) 1220mm x 2440mm Ply board (cabinet grade or better) 18mm thick (that's a 4'x8' 3/4")
- (1) 610mm x 610mm 5mm board (could be MDF, or whatever you want your shelves to be) ((2'x2' 1/4"))
- (22) 25mm (1") fluted wooden dowels
- Wood Glue
You may also want to finish the wood with stain so you may want to find one you like and also pick up:
This Instructable will not detail how to do the edge banding, I assume if you want to go that extra mile and get walnut veneer board and edge band it, you will probably know how to do it waaaay better than me.
Download the files and cut the pieces out, I use CNC for the large pieces and laser cutting for the shelves and guides. Again, if you have VCarve, you can download the toolpaths and everything here
Step 2: Drilling the Holes
The templates that you cut from the 5mm material are used to line up and drill the holes for the panels. You need to drill about 15 mm out for a good fit for the dowels, so I generally use a piece of electrical tape to mark the depth. I measure out a little under then watch for the tape to start to flare when I get to the end as I drill and I know I'm good at that point.
I've found the easiest way to do this is to line up the template by hand as you see there, drill one hole, check it for center and everything and then keep it in place with a dowel. This way you can be sure all your holes line up the way they're supposed to.
Depth check the holes when you're done, better to be a little too deep than shallow. You REALLY don't want to find out you didn't drill them deep enough when you're covered in glue and it's not going together right
Step 3: Getting Ready to Assemble All the Parts, Before You Begin
Step Zero: Finish at the Beginning We find that this looks nicer if you stain or finish it BEFORE you assemble it. If you can’t do it RIGHT NOW as you read the directions, just put it in your calendar for the weekend. It really doesn’t take very long to do it. The pain comes from the time and space it takes to dry.
Now that that's all done
You should have:
five (5) thick pieces and two (2) thin pieces of wood, as well as a packet of 22 wooden dowels and 1 small tube of glue
We also recommend that you scrounge up a dead-blow hammer, rubber-soled shoe or heavy, not-valuable book (to help tap in the dowels).
Step 4: Assembling the Left Facing Nightstand
CAREFULLY open your glue and CAREFULLY dab an ACTUALLY small amount of glue in the bottom of each hole that’s been pre-drilled into the base. Stick a peg in each hole. Wipe up the excess glue because you put in too much glue. Everyone puts in too much glue. It’s okay.
Step 5: Back Panel Assembly
(You know it’s the back panel because it’s the biggest piece with no holes in either side, and three holes along the top and the bottom.) Line up the three holes in the bottom with the three dowels poking out of the base. GENTLY slide the back panel onto the dowels.
Step 6: Outside Panel Assembly
(You know it’s the “outside” panel because it has four holes on the top and bottom, with one smooth side and one side with some straight notches - you’re gonna jam some shelves in there later.)
At this point, there should be eight dowels poking out of the base of your nightstand - four that are in a line at the very edge of the nightstand (on the left, in this version of the nightstand), and four that are in a line toward the center. We are going to start with the dowels on the edge. At this point, you may notice that this set of dowels isn’t going to give you a panel that’s flush against the back - and indeed, this panel is off-set a few inches, so that you can get a little ambient light into the back of your nightstand when you’re looking for stuff during the day.
Orienting Your Panel: The smooth side should be facing out, and the side with the notches should be facing toward the inside of the nightstand. The wider notch should be toward the bottom and the narrower notch should be toward the top, as shown.
Line up the four holes on the bottom of the panel with the four dowels and press down firmly but gently, just like with the back panel.
Step 7: Inside Panel Assembly
(You know it’s the “inside” panel because it has the curved cut-outs for your cables!)
Make sure you have your smaller Inside Shelves ready to go. (These are the small panels made of thinner wood.)
Orient your inside panel so that the smooth side is facing out and the notches for the shelves are facing toward the inside of the nightstand. Again, the shorter notch should be on top and the longer notch should be toward the bottom.
Grab your smaller Inside Shelves and slide them into the notches on the inside of the nightstand panels. This part *can* get a little tricky, and might be a good time to ask for some help from a friend. When both of your inside shelves are lined up in the grooves, you can finally press down on the last side panel and lock everything into place.
Step 8: Top Assembly
(You’ll know it’s the top because it’s the only piece of wood left, hopefully… This piece should be smooth on one side and have a bunch of holes on the other side - like the base, but smaller.)
Set up your dowels like you did for the base - just a little bit of glue in the bottom of each hole, then tap the dowels into place. Then, grab the whole top and try to line up the dowels with the holes drilled into the top of the panels (just like the dowels on the base, but in reverse). This part may involve a bit of jiggling as you get everything to fit together. This part also might be another good time to get a little help from a friend, as you might find that you need to wiggle the panels a little to get them to line up with the dowels, and that is one of those things that’s easier with three or four hands. (If you already have three or four hands, you can probably handle it solo.)