Utile Nightstands

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Project by srydzon posted 07-16-2011 04:58 AM 2890 views 19 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My second wood working project since high school wood shop… This was the project that really got me into furniture building. I had a vision for a night stand and when I finally found something similar, the store wanted $1300 a piece. That is when I figured I could do this myself and for a whole lot cheaper. I ended up building the pair for less than $400.

The nightstands themselves are made of solid utile, which I think is also called West African Mahogany. All the joints doweled, no metal fasteners on the project. The slats are held in place with dowels on the backside of the cabinet door. The handle is made from left over utile and flush mounted aluminum with a subtle black enamel line. The frosted glass is flush mounted. The light fixture is the over the counter LED rope light. I also mounted a light switch on the backside of the nightstand. The finish is a custom tinted pore filler, followed with six coats of a tung-oil poly blend, and finally hand buffed with some furniture wax.

This is the first item in a bedroom set, so look for more pieces coming soon.

17 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile


3376 posts in 4026 days

#1 posted 07-16-2011 07:19 AM

Very interesting. How much light does it put off? Enough to read a Kindle by? I can see the sizes of boards used for the front. Did you use the same for sides and back and just join them to make the solid sides? Mind telling us what size you ended up with.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5102 days

#2 posted 07-16-2011 07:26 AM

Great project. Looking forward to seeing more.

Larry, if you want to read a kindle at night the covers amazon sells with the built-in lights work great. They are a bit pricy but worth the mony IMO.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Lotidus's profile


110 posts in 3678 days

#3 posted 07-16-2011 07:44 AM

I like the glass top and lights. Im going to bootleg your idea.

-- Lotidus

View Hawaiilad's profile


3376 posts in 4026 days

#4 posted 07-16-2011 07:50 AM

Wayne I have been using one of those led lights that hooks to a band around my head to read by, but I will look into the covers you are speaking of. I have a cover for the Kindle but only use it when storing the unit…I like the idea of it being lite weight without the cover.


-- Larry in Hawaii,

View beleaby2's profile


9 posts in 3512 days

#5 posted 07-16-2011 02:39 PM

someting is mising there.!!

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 3888 days

#6 posted 07-16-2011 03:37 PM

very unique and modern.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 3662 days

#7 posted 07-16-2011 04:43 PM

looks really warm and comfy to look at. The light shining trough the drawers, love that Great work!

-- -Thomas -

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

328 posts in 3925 days

#8 posted 07-16-2011 05:28 PM

That’s a really cool idea and looks very nicely done. Great job!

-- Scroll saw patterns @

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4009 days

#9 posted 07-16-2011 07:12 PM

Wow, great work

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4469 days

#10 posted 07-16-2011 07:58 PM

These are impressive! I really like this design and execution. Thanks for posting! It’s going straight to favorites.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4590 days

#11 posted 07-16-2011 08:05 PM

At first I wondered what kind of cabinets were utile.I never heard of that before well done there beautiful indeed. and what a saving you did a fantastic job I love these. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 3559 days

#12 posted 07-16-2011 08:20 PM

This is a very unique piece!!! AND beautifully crafted!!!!!

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

View srydzon's profile


5 posts in 3522 days

#13 posted 07-17-2011 03:22 AM

To Hawaiilad, the dimensions are 28” tall X 23” wide X 16” deep. The slats are 3 1/2” wide. The back is made of the same 3 1/2” slats but with no gaps. The sides are solid boards 15 1/4” wide. I believe the side boards are quarter sawn they have a totally different grain pattern, it reminds me of the gem Tiger Eye.

As for the light… it doesn’t put off much. I don’t have a kindle, so I don’t know how much light one needs to read it, but, I cannot read a book by the light alone. The idea for the light is for mood lighting. If you wanted more light, I guess you could coil the rope light around a couple of more times.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3376 posts in 4026 days

#14 posted 07-17-2011 06:14 AM

Thank you very much for the detailed info regarding your nightstands. I think having the mood lighting would be just great. Even at my age a little mood light would be nice…LOL I know I will be making some of these. Again, thanks for sharing.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1130 posts in 3979 days

#15 posted 07-17-2011 06:41 PM

Nice work
I may steal a bit of the design for a watch case…I have a few Citizen Eco Drive watches that charge on light rather than batteries. So if you don’t keep them in light, they will lose time. You light bank inside the case is an awesome idea.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

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