Introduction: Plywood Nightstand

Tools and Supplies
4ft x 4ft x 23/32inch plywood board (cut in half, or whole) 4 2inch x 2inch x 3ft hardwood posts 16oz of Minwax penetrating stain Wood glue 20inch x 20inch plywood board Tools Tablesaw Table Router Sand Paper Hand Sander Jigsaw


4x4 Sheet of 21/32 plywood

4 2x2 posts

Wood Glue



Step 1: Marking

Our boards came in two 2x4 pieces. So, if your board is in one single piece, start at one corner and place pieces at least ¼ inch apart. Then, with ¼ inch of space of cutting tolerance,mark two 18.5 squares and an 18.5x9 peice on one edge. Then, mark out another 18.5 square and two more 18.5x9 pieces.
Use a speed square to make sure your angles are square, this isn’t critical, but it helps to make sure you are cutting in the right spot.

Step 2: Initial Cuts

Top - 20in x 20in

Shelves (x3) - 18.5in x 18.5in (out of plywood board)

Sides (x3)- 18.5in x 9in (out of plywood board)

Step 3: Making the Joints

Oriented horizontally, Cut a .75inch wide 4.5inch tall slot out of the bottom left and bottom ride corners of one of the sides. For another side, cut a .75inch wide 4.5inch tall slot out of top left of the board. For the last side, cut a .75inch wide, 4.5inch tall slot out of top right of the board. Do this using a bandsaw, or a table saw and jigsaw.

Oriented vertically, for each of the 4 legs, on one of the corners, cut out .75inch deep, .75inch wide, .74inch tall slot at a height of 6 inches and a height of 18 inches (measured from the bottom of the post to the bottom of the slot). Then cut a .75inch deep, .75inch wide slot going all the way through the top of the post, starting at a height of 25.5 inches (measured from the bottom of the post).

Do this using a table router for the cut going through the top of the post and a chisel for the other two slots. Using a CNC router cut .75 inch edge all the way around the 20x20 inch top sheet of plywood at a depth of ⅜ of an inch (or proximity two plys).

Step 4: Finishing the Wood

Sand and Staining

After the pieces are cut, sand any bumps and smooth surfaces to ensure a smooth finish.

After sanding, Apply preferred stain following directions for your specific product.

We decided to only stain our plywood and leave the legs bare, but staining the legs is defiantly an option

Step 5: Rough Assembly

Lay two legs down on the ground with their slots facing each other and upward

Insert bottom shelf legs resting on the ground Insert the second bottom shelf into the same two legs as the pervious shelf Attach the remaining two legs to the shelves by inserting the selvers corners into the slots on the legs. With a partner, move the nightstand upright, making sure to keep the shelves slotted into the legs Place the cubby bottom into the 4 legs.

Then place the cubby back with the slots facing upward into 2 of the legs, resting on the cubby bottom. Then place each of the slides on the cubby bottom, making sure to slot them into the legs and the cubby back. Place the top on the nightstand, slotting the rabbit joint into the 4 legs Measure the gap between the bottom of the top and the top of the cubby, then cut that amount of the top of the legs (using a table saw or chop saw) so that everything fits together flush. During this process, sand down any parts that don’t quite fit

Step 6: Assembly

Start assembling the nightstand on it’s side, while applying small amounts of wood glue to the chiseled slots in the legs. Slide the shelves in one leg at a time, and slowly lift nightstand. Clamp in all 4 directions and start to glue shelf sides into place.

Put lid on and ensure a fit before glueing down. Clamp lid on from bottom of cubby to top