Introduction: Large, Homemade High Quality Nightstand

About: Two brothers hell bent on creating everything there is to create

This project will make a large, finished nightstand or table with a drawer. The nightstand is about two and a half feet tall (the legs can be shortened or lengthened to your preference), and about two feet wide. It has a working drawer and a light finish.

This is a great, fun project. It is relatively quick and makes a great gift.

Hope you enjoy!

Step 1: Step 1: Materials

Unfortunately,my brother and I were well into this project when we had the realization that we could make an instructable on it. This means that we don't have many good photos of the very first stages. But really all we missed was the beginning materials and gluing the top. Anyway, here is a list of all of the materials you will need:

-A decent amount of high-quality lumber. We ended up using three 8-foot boards that were 4, 6, and 8 inches wide.

-Wood glue

-Lots of furniture finish nails

-Wood Stain. We used tung oil finish because it is not to dark and it brings the wood grains out.

You will also need some regular woodworking tools. You don't have to use only the ones we used though. Lots of common woodworking tools would work just as well. These were just the ones we had:

-Scroll saw (or band saw)

-Miter saw (chop saw)

-Electric sander (or hand sand)



-Table saw

-Clamps (for the glue)

-Rags (for staining)

Step 2: Making the Top Board

As many of you readers know, when you buy a 1 by 8 inch board, the actual measurements are 3/4ths inches by 7 and 3/4 inches. When planning any wood working, this is necessary to remember, and causes many a headache when trying to make things exact.

For this project I would recommend making the top of the nightstand to be 23 and 1/4 inches on both sides. That makes it a square for you less visionary readers.

Take your "1x8" and cut 3 23 and 1/4 inch boards. leave a 16th of an inch on the end for sanding purposes.

Once cut, take your 3 boards and glue them lengthwise. Remember to put the good sides facing up on the same side so you have the best wood for your surface. Clamp them together using a large wood clamp, bungie cords, or even between two heavy objects.

Now that it is one piece, you can begin sanding the edges into a perfectly smooth line. I wouldn't sand the surfaces much, because you still need to work a lot on those.

Step 3: Making the Legs

Cut the 1 by 4 inch board into 4 boards of 2 and a half feet, or other desired height.

Take the 1 by 4 inch boards and cut them down the middle using the table saw. As I said in the previous step, wood sellers like to cheat you out of a quarter inch on most boards, so you will want to cut it at the 1 and 3/4 inch mark.

Once cut, you can glue the 8 boards together, making 4 legs. It is a good thing if you have small beads of glue squeezed out when the boards are pressed together.

Once dry, use a chisel to pop any of the hardened glue beads or drips.

Finally, sand, sand, sand. You will be finished when its hard to tell that it is two boards glued together. It should look like one piece.

Step 4: Make the Walls

Now onto the creation of the walls.

The walls look nice if they are situated about 1 inch from the edges. This makes a nice little lip around the edge.

Cut 2 boards to 21 and 1/4 inches. Cut another 2 boards to 19 and 1/4 inches.

Choose one of the 4 boards, (doesn't matter which, it will be the face-board) and cut it in half on the long side, to make two squarish boards.

Then cut out an indention for the drawer, according to the height you want your drawer to be (see image 3-8). Remember to make the grooves on the top left and right for the drawer to slide without falling through.

Also cut another board (I used different wood, because I ran out of the good stuff) similar to the face piece to hold the drawer in the middle of the stand. The drawer ends up resting on this U-shaped piece when it is closed. Otherwise it would hang down and look terrible. It should be the same as the face board, but without a top.

Step 5: Drawer

I don't have many good pictures of this part, but it is extremely easy.

Make two walls that will be the same size as the groove was on your face-board. Then glue and nail it to a back piece that is small enough to slide through the face-board.

Then cut your face-piece (front of drawer). The actual dimensions are up to you, as long as it is larger than the entrance of the drawer slot. You might want to router it before you assemble it though (see next step).

Nail and glue these together. Make the bottom by hand-sawing a sheet of quarter board and nail it in on bottom.

Step 6: Routering!

Routering your project is at once satisfying and terrifying. One slip of the hand will ruin hours of work. Be wary.

Luckily, there isn't much to router on this project. You can decide which bit to use, but I would recommend a single or double curve.

Run the router slowly, over the edge of the top and legs, in the opposite way that the bit is spinning.

Obviously router in the same 2 ways on the legs. Also, leave about 5 to 6 inches unroutered on the top to nail to the walls.

Router all the edges on the face-piece.

Step 7: Assembly

To start with the assembly phase, flip the top upside down, and glue all the walls to the top. Make sure the face board is glued in upside down as well. Once dry, put the legs in the corner (see image 1) and glue and nail both faces to the boards. Do this for all the legs (see image 2). Also put in the drawer holder board to the inside of the stand (image 2)

Once dry, flip it back to right side up. If it wobbles diagonally back and forth, this means that one or two of the legs are too long. If this happens, sand down the longer legs until it doesn't seem to wobble. (make sure you are on flat ground.)

Step 8: Finishing

Yes! final step.

There are hundreds of different ways to finish, but if you chose high quality wood like we did (ugh.. expensive too), then it is hard to beat the easy finish of Tung Oil. Tung Oil is designed to darken the wood very slightly, as opposed to deck stain, which is what we used in our first instructable

Tung oil also shows the grain off nicely and, above all, is easy to apply.

First, you will need to cut up an old shirt or find some rags. Press the rag to the bottle and invert quickly to wet the rag. Then gently rub over the entire night stand until it looks darkened slightly. Don't forget the drawer!

You can also do multiple coats to make the grain more pronounced.