Ever want to learn how to build furniture like this cottage style nightstand? Well you’re in luck! Today I’m going to walk you through how to build a high quality custom nightstand!
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- Lumber of choice
- Dominos 8mm x 100mm
- Z-Clips (includes screws)
- Rubio Monocoat (pure)
- 3M pads
- Accuride Undermount Slide
- Drawer Pulls
- Hanger Bolt
- Threaded Inserts
- Space Balls
- Pocket Hole Screws
- Starbond Medium CA Glue (Use Code “WSM10” to get 10% off your order!!)
- Starbond CA Accelerator (Use Code “WSM10” to get 10% off your order!!)
- ISOtunes Pro
- RZ mask M2
- Table saw (new version)
- Kreg ACS (track saw)
- Dual drum sander (similar to mine)
- Miter saw
- Bandsaw (new version)
- Wood Lathe
- Turning Chisels
- Outside Calipers
- Domino XL 700 or 500
- Biscuit Joiner
- Shop Vac
- K Body REVO Parallel Bar Clamp
- Trigger Clamp
- Woodpeckers square
- Woodpecers Paolini scale
- Rockler glue roller
- Paint scraper (similar to mine)
- Freud glue line rip blade
- GRR-RIPP BLOCK
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How to Build a High Quality Custom Nightstand
- Get the Plans!
- Rough Cuts & Glue Ups
- Dados and Dominos
- Assemble Five Panel Sides
- Assemble Nightstand Case
- Turning Feet for a Custom Nightstand
- How to Build Drawer Boxes Fast
- How to Install Undermount Drawer Slides
- Drawer Front Details and Attachment
- Making and Securing the Top
- Finish of Choice
- Go Build One!
Get the Plans
This project is built from beautiful reclaimed wormy chestnut with plans I have available.
Rough Cuts & Glue Ups
Like all woodworking projects, this one starts out with rough cutting my stock about 1″ longer than the final lengths needed. This reclaimed chestnut is so dry that it produces tons of dust even with good dust collection running.
The next stop on our milling operations is at the jointer. Here I clean up one face and one edge in preparation for gluing up panels.
At the table saw, I cut the boards to their final widths using my Freud Glue Line Rip blade. I’ve used other ripping blades before glue ups, but this one performs the best in my opinion.
I knock out a series of glue ups using my BESSEY K Body Revo clamps. These parallel clamps provide better even clamping pressure than other parallel clamps I’ve used.
Dados and Dominos
The various rails and stiles that are used in this build have dados in them to accept the side and back panels. Here I’m cutting the dado in one of the rails with the help of my GRR-RIP BLOCK. I particularly like these push blocks because they give better control of small pieces like this rail & have tabs that drop down to help push from the end of a work piece.
Next, I set up with my Domino and cut mortises as laid out in my plans. If you don’t have a Domino, this project can be constructed with dowels and/or pocket hole screws. Also, traditional mortise and tenon joinery would be an excellent choice.
Assemble Five Panel Sides
The sides of this nightstand are fairly basic. If you’ve ever put together shaker style doors, you won’t have any trouble here. Basically I glued dominos into one of the stiles and then slide two rails into place. After that I slid the center panel into the dados, added the remaining dominos to the rails, and then capped everything off with the remaining stile.
After ensuring that everything is assembled correctly and doubled checking that all of the rails and stiles are flush with one another, I put the assembly in clamps and let it set for a few hours.
Assemble Nightstand Case
With both side assemblies complete, I layout and cut for dominos. Check out my make shift work bench vise! If you don’t have a workbench vise large enough, this is a great alternative. Make sure to check out the build video for a little demo on how well this setup works!
After all of the dominos are cut, I glue all of them in place in the side panels first.
I then install all of the remaining rails (with glue) along with the back panel and clamp the case for a few hours. Before I set everything aside, I double check the spacing of the front rails against my plans.
Turning Feet for a Custom Nightstand
Next, I drill and install a hanger bolt into each foot so that they can be installed into a corresponding threaded insert, which is installed into the bottom of each stile.
How to Build Drawer Boxes Fast
I built these drawer box sides from 1/2″ baltic birch. The first step was to rip the sheet to the widths for the sides, front, and back of my drawer box.
For the drawer bottoms, I used 1/4″ baltic birch.
To make assembly as fast as possible, I used a 7mm pocket hole drill in my Kreg Foreman. I drilled 3 holes into the front and back pieces of the middle and bottom drawer box and 2 holes into the front and back pieces of the top drawer box.
After cutting a groove for the drawer bottom, I temporarily hold the box together with my parallel clamps and run in my pocket hole screws.
How to Install Undermount Drawer Slides
For this project I used undermount drawer slides. I prefer these because they are hidden when looking at the open drawers from the side and give a very clean appearance.
I installed two plywood strips on each side panel and used a spacer to set the height of each drawer slide.
Drawer Front Details and Attachment
I made the trim details for the drawer fronts using strips of matching wood and pre-assembled them as shown below. I used medium thick Starbond glue and accelerator to make these rectangular trim details. For each joint, I first saturated the end grain fibers with glue. Once that glue was cured, I scuffed the surface and then applied a thin layer of CA glue, assembled the parts, and then sprayed accelerator to rapidly cure the CA glue.
To attach the trim to the drawer fronts, I centered the trim and secured it with Starbond medium thick super glue and used the accelerator to quickly cure the glue.
To attach the drawer fronts, I used a stack of playing cards under the left and right corners to center it. I then clamped it in place, pre-drilled, countersunk, and installed two screws from inside the drawer box into the drawer fronts.
Making and Securing the Top
With the top planed to thickness and cut to its final size, I used the router table to cut a rabbet on the bottom edge of the front and sides. I used a helical bit to make this cut as they produce less tear out than a standard router bit.
Using Z-clips in slots cut from a biscuit joiner, I attach the top to the nightstand case.
Finish of Choice
For these cottage style nightstands, I wanted to go with a low luster finish that has a very smooth touch. I went with Rubio Monocoat 2C in the color Pure. This finish is very easy to apply and you literally can’t make lap lines with this product since it only bonds to raw wood!
Go Build One!
Ready to build this high quality nightstand? Grab the table plans here! Be sure to tag your post on instagram with #woodshopmike so we can see how it turned out!
If you liked this project, you’ll probably love my rustic coffee table with breadboard ends!
As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments. And until next time, have fun making something!
BESSEY Tools provided me with product and/or monetary compensation as a sponsor of this build. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the sponsor. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.