Simple Nightstand

Introduction: Simple Nightstand

We keep our phones, glasses, and other miscellaneous objects in some little black boxes next our bed. This works, but it's not very practical and our cats like to chew on things...

So I decided to build a basic nightstand that would store the box and provide a nice place to set my phone at night. The design is simple, about 20" tall, 11" deep and 9 inches wide. The intent was to make the table as simple as possible, so I used 1/2" MDF (I had it laying around already) and would use my table saw to make sure that everything was precut nice and square. Note: my table saw is built from an inverted circular saw mounted under a table.

If you do not already have supplies laying around, stop by your local home improvement store and grab:
- a 1/2" MDF sheet, 2' x 4'
- wood glue
- box of 1-1/4" long finishing nails

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Step 1: Measure Once, Cut Twice

Now we need to make some cuts!

- (2) 11" x 20" panels (sides)
- (1) 8-1/2" x 20" panel (back)
- (2) 8-1/2" x 10-1/2" panels (shelves)

I started by setting the fence on the saw to cut a 20" long panel. Then set it to 11" and cut my two side panels out.

After the two large panels are cut out, bring the fence into 8.5 inches. We will use this to cut the width of the back panel and the two shelves. Then all that has to be done is to cut the 8.5" panels down to around 10.5" long so that everything sits flush.

Step 2: Nailed It!

All that is left is to glue and nail everything together. I used regular wood glue and some 1" long finishing nails to do the trick.

Also, I started with nailing the middle shelf in place first. I thought it would add the most stability to the structure so that nothing broke while I was nailing it together. Remember to double check everything to make sure it is square! Also avoid putting a nail too close to the corner of a board, MDF is really easy to split.

Step 3: Finishing Touch

Now that you have created a super simple bed stand for less than $10, it is time to paint it. It is generally a good idea to use some primer first, but since you can easily spend more on paint than what was spent on the project, I often skip that step. Good luck!

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I like the idea but am having issues with the layout of the cutouts. You cut the mdf to 20" and then ripped the boards down to the widths of 11" and 8 1/2"? With the blade kerf did all the cuts fit in the 48"?