With shows like Fixer Upper and Barnwood Builders, the rustic style is wildly popular right now. However, when looking to buy rustic furniture, there are usually large price tags that come with. Not everyone can afford this, but there are alternatives! One is build the furniture yourself, which not only allows you to customize to how you want, but also makes you only grow fonder of the piece since you built it yourself. Afraid your limited carpentry skills will prevent you from being able to build these pieces? Not to worry, in this instructable we will be creating a rustic nightstand inspired by rubenrijst's nightstand, using 3D printed brackets to make the construction process easier. It uses pallet wood as the basis of construction which usually can be sourced for free. There are other guides such as The Pallet Bible to reference for sourcing and disassembling these skids.
Warning: There is an inherent risk in creating projects like these, the author takes no responsibility for any harm that results from this project. Make sure to follow safe practices and guidelines to ensure safety.
Step 1: Materials Needed
Before listing the materials, there are two ideas to be understood. First is the terms regarding the anatomy of a pallet. Deck boards are the thin boards that line the top and bottom of a pallet. Stringers are the thicker boards that the deck boards are nailed into. Also, this designs measurements are loose, the exact numbers can be followed, but the design is based around the thickness of the stringers(T) and the width(w) and thickness(t) of the deck boards. The required lumber will be listed in terms of these variables, with the actual sizes used for the example following. The only exception to this is the height of the nightstand, this can be changed for your desire.
A) - (10) Deck boards @ desired height (3/8” x 3 ½” x 25”)
B) - (9) Deck boards @ 4*w-2*t (3/8” x 3 ½” x 13 ¼“)
C) - (2) Deck boards @ 3*w-t (3/8" x 3 ½” x 10.125”)
D) - (4) Stringers @ 4*w-2*t (1” x 3 ½” x 13 ¼“)
E)- (4) Stringers @ 3*w-2*T(1” x 3 ½” x 10 ½“)
There are two different brackets needed for this build and on optional part
(4) Shelf Supports
(8) Corner Brackets
(1) optional jig to help with drilling holes
These files can be downloaded to print from Thingiverse using this link
(48) 1" long wood screws
(8) 2" long finishing nails or brad nails (will be referred to as long finishing nail)
(48) 1" long finishing nails or brad nails (will be referred to as medium finishing nail)
(12) 5/8" long finishing nails or brad nails (will be referred to as short finishing nail)
Step 2: Tools Needed
For this Instructable, we assume you have the ability to cut the lumber to length, so we won't list the tools needed for that as required. We recommend using a miter saw to achieve nice square ends.
- Power Drill
- 1/16" drill bit
- 1/8" drill bit
Note: These sizes worked for the hardware we used. For your own, just ensure the drill bit used is smaller than the shank of the fastener being predrilled for.
- 1/4" drill bit
Highly Recommended Tools
- (2) bar clamps at least 28" long
- tape measure
- speed square
Step 3: Step 1: Assemble the Base Squares
The entire basis of this design is based around two base squares that serve as the frame for construction. This makes these bases very important to be accurate to make the rest of the build easier. This is where the 3D printed corners will serve their purpose, they will help attach and align the pieces to create a sturdy and square frame.
1.1) Using the stringer pieces D and E, lay two of each out in into a rectangle as shown in pictures 1 and 2
- It is highly recommended to use clamps here to hold the proper orientation
1.2) Place a corner bracket in each, you guessed it, corner to help make sure the corners are square. Then secure the brackets by predrilling using the 1/8" drill bit and screwing in the woods screws in the designated holes on the bracket.
- Note: Pallet wood is often highly brittle from its use, predrilling is essential to prevent cracking. It should be used for all future
1.3) Stand the base up and drive a long finishing nail in at the bottom of the at each corner as shown in the last two pictures
- Note: For the pallet wood used, we even had to predrill for driving the finishing nails in. A 1/16" drill bit was sufficient for our use. For all nails here out, note that we predrilled all of them and recommend the same for you.
Repeat to create two bases.
Step 4: Step 2: Add the Deck Boards to the Base Squares
The next step is to add 3 deck boards B to the top of each square to serve as the counter tops. The sides of the bases that have the brackets will now be their bottoms.
2.1) Lay the boards across the bases as shown in the pictures in an appealing order. All together the edges should line up nicely.
2.2) Predrill and screw these boards down to the bases.
Note: For a more subtle look, medium finishing nails could also be used here
Note: It is nice to create patterns for screws to create a good looking finished project. We used a half inch from the ends and one inch in from the sides as the locations for our fasteners.
Step 5: Step 3: Attach Front Boards to the Base Squares
The next step is to add the facade fronts onto the bases using one deck board A for each. These will now be the front side of the bases
3.1) Lay the fronts on one side of the longer sides of the bases as shown in the pictures. The goal is to have the edge line up flush with the top face of the deck boards from the previous step.
3.2) Predrill and nail these boards down into place using medium finishing nails.
Step 6: Step 4: Attach the Back Vertical Slats to the Base Squares
The next step is to attach four deck boards A across the backs of the two bases, connecting them together. The top of the boards should line up flush with the top face of the deck boards from step 2 for the top base, and the bottom of the board should line up flush with the bottom of the wood of the bottom base. The brackets for the bottom piece will stick down and serve as the feet.
3.1) Lay the four boards across the two bases as described above in an appealing fashion.
Note: It is highly recommended to used clamps here to ensure the pieces stay in the proper orientation.
3.2) Predrill and nail the boards into place using the medium finishing nails.
Note: It helps to do one board at a time to ensure proper orientation.
Step 7: Step 5: Attach the Side Vertical Planks
The next step is to attach three deck boards A to each side of the bases in similar fashion as step 4. The sides of these boards should line up flush with the back face of the back vertical boards and line up with the front edge of the bases, leaving the facades hanging out further. See pictures for examples
4.1) Lay the three boards across the two bases as described above in an appealing fashion.
4.2) Predrill and nail the boards into place using the medium finishing nails.
4.3) Repeat for other side
Step 8: Step 6: Create the Shelf
The next step is to create the shelf that will float in the middle of the nightstand. It is creating using two deck boards C and three deck boards B.
6.1) Lay the three boards B into a rectangular fashion with the the two boards C across the ends as shown in pictures 2 and 3.
Note: Check the lengths of the 3 boards within the nightstand long ways to make sure they fit. They may need to be shaved down a little bit length ways to make a proper fit.
6.2) Predrill and nail the B boards into the C boards from above as shown in picture four using the short finishing nails. To finish the shelf.
Step 9: Step 7: Insert the Shelf Supports
The next step is to drill the holes into the middle of the outer boards on the side to insert the 3D printed shelf brackets into that hold the, you guessed it, shelf we just created.
7.1) From ground height, measure up 12" and mark the center of each of the outer boards on the side.
7.2) Drill these holes the whole way through using the 1/8" drill bit first for precision
7.3) Drill these holes the whole way through again using the 1/4" drill bit to form the upper holes.
7.4) Then mark the location of the bottom holes by either using the jig provided, or measure down 1 1/2 inches from center.
7.5) Drill the bottom holes in a similar fashion to the top holes.
7.6) Insert the brackets into each set of holes from the inside with the flat sides facing up
Note: If the holes don't quite line up, looking in from the outside can reveal which side of the holes are tight, these can than be gouged out with the drill bit until the brackets fit. It should be a snug fit, our required light taps from a hammer to insert the whole way.
Step 10: Step 8: Insert the Shelf, the Build Is Finished
Insert the shelf on top of these supports and put down your tools, the build is complete. Finally, congratulate yourself for completing a beautifully rustic piece of furniture.
Although these brackets were developed for this nightstand, their shapes are universal and can be used for whatever furniture you want to using similar techniques used here. The sky is the limit for what can be achieved, please share any makes and modifications. Happy building!