Introduction: Nightstand W/ Easy Secret Compartment


Who doesn't love a secret compartment build? I know I certainly do... Follow along as I build a simple Nightstand out of scrap pine I had laying around the shop with 3D printed hardware and secret compartment. Links to all the products I used down below.

If you'd like to just watch the Nightstand come to life in a little over 9 minutes you can just watch the video!

3D Files:
Lulzbot Mini 3D Printer:
Purple Filament:
Teal Filament:

1/4" Router Bit:
1/2" Router Bit:
Varathane Weathered Wood Accelerator:
Wood Stain, Bleached Blue:
Titebond Glue:
CA Glue:
Panel Clamps:
F Clamps:

Step 1: Making Scraps Usable

I would wager a bet that the most common piece of wood scrap found around the world is the 2X4. At 1.5" X 3.5" X god only knows... The 2X4 is not all that great for building furniture in its standard form. If you build something with a 2X4, most of the time it will look like you built something with a 2X4. No Bueno.

I like to take my thicker pieces of scrap, cut them in half and glue them back together to create wider boards. The added benefit of this is you get book matched lumber. Don't know what that means? google it!

I ripped these pieces down on the bandsaw, glued them together with some panel clamps and then planed them down to a consistent thickness. The planing is a nice touch but isn't completely necessary. You could get the panels looking pretty alright with just a sander.

Some of the pieces, like the legs, were simply dimensioned at the table saw. No need for glue up on them thankfully.

Step 2: Speaking of Legs... Let's Make Some!

I took all four leg pieces that I cut down in the last step and taped them tightly together. This lets me mark all cut lines at the same time so they are consistent. Two of the legs got a continues 1/2" groove cut into them at the router table. The other two legs got 1/2" grooves top and bottom and a special 1/4" groove on the outside edge. You'll see why in a bit.

Step 3: Top, Middle, Other Middle, Bottom and Glue Up

The wide panels that I glued up in the first step were now ready to be dimensioned. I cut them down to size and clamped all 4 board together so I could cut identical notches into all of them at the same time. These notches will hold the legs. The panels also got 1/2" grooves cut for side panels to fit into.

I gave everything a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper prior to gluing everything in place. The well placed 1/2" grooves keep everything aligned Once the glue had set I removed the clamps and fit a 1/4" thick panel with a curious 1/4" groove into the space between the legs where I put the special 1/4" groove in the last step.

Step 4: Drawers

These were all made from smaller pieces cobbled together into larger panels. I went with 1/4" baltic birch plywood for the bottoms since I was already running low on scrap materials. The plywood also allows me to glue all four edges which make these drawers surprisingly strong.

Step 5: Finish

I used a Varathane Weathered Wood Accelerator ( for the case and Varathane Bleached Blue Wood Stain ( for the drawer sides.

Step 6: 3D Printed Drawer Slide

I printed a simple slider for that special panel that I glued in what seems like forever ago. You can see how it attaches to the drawer and holds everything in place.

Step 7: 3D Printing a Secret Compartment

To maximize the space of an already small secret compartment space, I also decided to 3D print the compartment on my Lulzbot Mini. Pine in my experience is too weak if it's thinner than 1/4". The walls of the secret compartment are less than an 1/8"! Once printer I epoxied the compartment onto the back of a piece of similarly coloured pine and added some optional drawers with knobs. The entire assembly friction fits into the space and blends in surprisingly well. To open the compartment a well-placed push is all that's required.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

I added some 3D printed pulls to the drawers and put a small pin on the backside of the drawers to keep them from getting pushed out the backside.

Step 9: Fin

That's it! I had a few pieces left over so it was a great use of scrap wood! Once again I've linked to all the things I used including all the 3D files on the first step. There is also the video if you'd like to take a look. I'd appreciate it if you would. Thanks!

Hiding Places Contest 2017

First Prize in the
Hiding Places Contest 2017

Furniture Contest 2017

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2017