Introduction: Cantilever Night Stand (with USB Charging)

About: I've been building robots since I can remember. I love reading instructables and have finally gotten around to writing a few.

This is a great simple to build nightstand that looks very futuristic and is very practical. You can buy everything you need at Home Depot, and can build the whole table in two days (depending on how long it takes for the stain to dry). A special addition of this table: it has a USB charger plug built in! I'll explain how to wire a plug in this instructable. 

Step 1: Tools

Here are the power tools you will need:

Jig saw (or dremel/router)
Circular saw (or table saw, or jig saw)
A ton of clamps 

Hand tools:

Screw driver (umm...if you don't have one, buy one anyways)
Mallet and wood chisel (helpful to make grooves)

Step 2: Parts

You're going to need the following parts to build the table:

3/4" x 24" x 72"  laminated pine
USB charger outlet
Satin-Nickel plug plate
Cedar Naturaltone stain
1-5/8" Screws, Tan
lack power cord
 gang old-work receptacle 

1/4" anything. Acrylic, wood, granite, glass, carbon fiber...etc. I used acrylic. 

Step 3: Start Cutting!

Here is where the fun begins. First, let's mark the side boards. First, you want to start cutting the sides. Mark a line across the board at 30" and cut across. Then, using 30" piece, markup the first side (using the picture). Make sure to mark the place for the shelves! If you don't, it is really had to do this afterward. Cutout the first side, then markup the second side by flipping the diagram and fitting next to the angle cut you just made. 

Step 4: Cut Some More

Time for the front and back. These are a little harder. First, cut the front and back out, but leave an extra 1.5" on length (so for the front, instead of cutting 31" cut it 32.5" long). Once you have the front and back cut, get ready to cut the angles on the boards.

Let's first do the front board. Set your circular saw to 15 degrees, and cut the bottom edge of the front. Then, spin the board around and cut another angle. This is where it gets a little hard. You want to make sure you cut the second angle correctly. You can hold the board up next to the side and see which way to cut the angle. That worked the best for me. Our you can try and remember that you are making a trapezoid with the bottom and the top parallel. Any way you do it, make sure that the interior of the board (the inside of the front board) is 31" from inside of the angle to inside of the angle. 

Repeat the little paragraph above with the back board, but cut it at an angle of roughly 18 degrees. 

Step 5: Last Cut(s)

The top is a rectangle that is 6" by something-greater-than-5.5". I cut it at 7" at the largest angle I could to give in a sloped down look onto the shelf (look at picture on previous step for more information). 

And lastly, you need to cut the notches in the sides. Us a jig saw to cut the grooves (make sure to remember to cut on the INSIDE of the line) or you can use a dremel with a router tool (again, INSIDE of the line). 

Step 6: Drill Holes

To dril the holes, mark the front and back pieces with a line going around the edges that is 3/8" from the edge. Then mark the places for the screws on the line. I didn't have specific distances for the screws, I just made sure that they were the same on both sides. Also, remember that there will be a cut in the front piece (look at picture) so you will need at least 4 screws on the from piece on both side (8 total). 

Step 7: Put It Together!

Once you drill the holes (and countersink if you want to) Put the front board against the side(make sure the angle is correct!) Drill holes through the front piece into the side pieces, then screw the front board in place. 

Repeat again with the back board. Again, make sure that the angle of the backboard is facing in the correct direction. 

Put the top on, and make sure to not put screws past the 1/4" groove.

Step 8: Cut the Shelf Grooves

This is the hard part. We need to cut a groove in the front to make sure that the bottom shelf can slide into the column. To do this, I used a jigsaw and set the angle to align with the groove in the side piece. Once I set the angle, I marked the front using a T-square and just started cutting until a could slide the shelf into place. Yah, it's not the best way to cut stuff, but it worked for me :). 

Step 9: Stain

This is the fun part. You don't need to stain the column, but it makes it look a little nicer. I did two coats of the cedar-naturaltone stain. I did my first coat, then sanded using a fine sandpaper, did my second coat and sanded again with fine sandpaper. it took about 4 hours (I let each coat dry for around 1-1.5 hours). 

Step 10: Cut Plug Hole

This is the fun part. Put the receptacle (the blue box) open side down onto the front of the column in between the two shelve slots. Trace the outside of the receptacle in a rectangle. Then, here is a little trick if you don't have a dremel. Drill each corner of the rectangle with a 3/8" drill bit. This is let you turn the jig saw when you are cutting the rectangle out. After you've drilled out each corner, cutout the rectangle using the jig saw. 

Step 11: Insert Receptacle and Wire

Insert the receptacle into the hole, then screw the two screws which will spin the tabs and lock the receptacles in place. I found it really hard to screw the tabs into place, the plastic on the tabs was locked onto the screws, so just make sure that each tab is locked against the wood, not just jammed on the screws. 

To wire, run the bare wires into the receptacle through one of the flaps. There are three wires, white, black (hot) and green (ground). If you look on the back of the plug, it is written which wire goes where (pretty simple, right?). Wire it up, then place the plug onto the receptacle and screw it into place. Place the plug face onto the plug and screw it into place too. 

You just wired a plug! Congrats! 

Step 12: Cut Groove for Wire

Little extra thing that I almost forgot to do. In the back board, cut a groove on the bottom that will let you run the wire out the back. I just used a jigsaw and a hammer to make the groove. Yah, it's kinda important. 

Step 13: Shelves

I made my shelves 15" wide and 20" long. You can really do whatever you want. So long as they fit in the grooves. And don't snap. Or make the whole thing fall over. 

Put the shelves in and...

Step 14: Admire Your Work

Plug the night stand in, plugin your cellphone into the USB charger and smile. Good job! 

Oh, and if you liked this instructable, please vote for me for the 3D printer contest. Click the little button up there. On the right. Yep, that one. Thanks! 

UP! Contest

Participated in the
UP! Contest