Last year I built a large wardrobe for my daughter so I thought I would make a nightstand to go with it.
Step 1: I Used
I based the size of this nightstand from the nightstands in my room so your measurements may be different. I also used maple to match the wardrobe. The top of the nightstand is 18" wide and 16" deep. The cabinet is 17"W x 15" deep x 25" tall.
1x3 for the frame, drawer and door frame.
1x8 for the top and shelves
1/4" maple ply for the sides
1" and 1 1/4" screws
Step 2: The Cabinet
So I came up with a ,um, rough plan of what I wanted the nightstand to look like. I'm not going into a lot of detail about how to cut wood, but at least make sure your cuts are square. I cut the legs and crossmembers then I used my router table to cut a rebate just large enough to hold the plywood flush and about 1/2" into the backside of the 1x3s and pocket drilled everything together. Glue in the plywood and the sides are done. For the top and the 2 shelves I had to glue a few boards together and cut to size. I screwed a 3/4" square runner to the bottom ends of both shelves. Square and screw the bottom shelf and the front crossmember in and cut plywood to fit as a back board. I routed a roundover on the top, centered and screwed it to the cabinet.For some of these steps, I found it easier to lay the cabinet on it's back or upside down.
Step 3: Making and Fitting the Drawer
I kept my drawer about 1/2" shorter than the depth of the nightstand. For this I just cut 1/4" slots to hold the plywood bottom, predrilled and screwed everything together. I left the front piece a little long so it would sit on the frame while I set the runners. Lay the cabinet on its back and place the drawer in its spot and place the runners under it. Use spacers so the drawer can't bind, I used a couple pieces of veneer, and screw the runners into place. Then either screw or glue and clamp the last cross piece to hide the runners I then cut off the long ends on the drawer and stuck 2 sided tape to the front. Slide the drawer back into place, line up the face plate and stick it down. this will hold it until you can get the drawer out and clamped to screw it together. I wiped the drawer sides and the rails with finishing paste wax just to let it slide a little smoother.
Step 4: The Centre Shelf
For this I just cut a 1x8 down to length. Because I had only the cabinet legs to support the shelf, I decided to go with an A frame style support bracket. When I screwed the supports to the runners, I left them just a little loose. Lay the cabinet on it's back and place the shelf where you want it. Screw runners to back legs, square up shelf, screw supports to legs, tighten supports to runners.
Step 5: The Door
I decided to use mortise and tenon joints for the door because I split the wood when I tried to use screws. Cut the rails and styles to length allowing for the tenons and cut rabbets to hold the plywood. Then just square, glue and clamp. I haven't used hidden hinges before so I used a couple of pieces of scrap to dummy up a hinge joint. Once I had it right, I mounted the hinges on the door. Then with the cabinet on its back, stand the door on the edge to line up the hinges on the cabinet. Pre-drill and screw the cabinet half of the hinge down then just adjust if necessary.