Small modern-ish nightstand

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Project by atao posted 02-11-2019 05:41 PM 326 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my first furniture builds. I had actually intended on this being a practice piece, and so if i ran into some issues, i tried not to worry about it very much. You can see that the trim doesn’t really match the body, for example. But i’m happy enough with it and i might just try to have that mindset for future builds. It’ll probably go into the spare bedroom.

It’s 3/4” purebond plywood with mitered glue-only joints. The shelf is dado’d in with a top-bearing router bit (I thought this worked really well). The legs are 1×2’s maple (i think) glued together then trimmed. The trim is maple hardwood. The box is roughly 16w x 14h x 16d.

Some challenges I had with this build (maybe useful for other beginners):
1. As a beginner, I found that it takes some technique to rip thin trim strips. I ended up using my micro-jig ripper but found that getting enough grip to push 3/4” maple through was a little challenging. Also ripping 16” strips on a small jobsite saw was challenging. In the future i’ll probably either try using my track saw, which seems a lot safer to me or i’ll get a thin ripping jig.
2. Ripping slivers of material off the glued legs on the saw made me wish for a zero clearance for the table saw as well because the little slivers would sometimes get wedged in the gap between blade and table top.
3. I put the trim on after assembling, and after doing so wished that i’d attached it before so.
4. Cutting thin trim on the miter saw is dangerous unless you have a zero-clearance slot (which i improvised with a piece of wood underneath the piece being cut).
5. I found that I was not sure of the best way to attach legs + skirt to top. I ended up pocket screws for skirt to top AND dominos for the legs to top. Lining up the dominos was challenging, a lot of measuring especially because i had to bounce between metric and imperial. I’m sure i didn’t go about it in a very efficient way.
6. Applying polyurethane to the interior was rather challenging because the gaps are only about 6”. Perhaps i should have applied before assembling?

Some other observations:
  • I don’t have a ton of Festool, but i do have a Festool (ETS 125) sander, and i am SOO happy i got this thing. Dust control, lack of vibration, just a pleasure to use.
  • I really like the Makita track saw. Just used it a few times so far, but seems really solid.
  • I need to get a quieter shop vac and quieter compressor


3 comments so far

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


170 posts in 50 days

#1 posted 02-11-2019 09:12 PM

Well done. Good start. I would put a hole in the top for the cords or a clip in the back to hold them. I would also make a drawer for the top but leave the bottom open for magazines etc.

View atao's profile


2 posts in 55 days

#2 posted 02-11-2019 09:52 PM

Thanks BRDog! Was thinking along the same lines for the cords.

View observer100's profile


421 posts in 1381 days

#3 posted 02-12-2019 03:23 PM

An interesting read.
I like to see projects but I also like to read about the challenges involved in making them, what will change next time, and lessons learned.
Thanks for the information.

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