Simple DIY Nightstand

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dsmwoodwork added on 3/1/2017

Want a nightstand or side table? You can build your own with just 3 tools: a saw, drill/driver, and Kreg jig. Granted I used a few extra tools but it can be done with just the 3 listed.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Step 1

Cut legs to length from 2 x 2 (28-¼” for my table).


Step 2

Cut 1 x 3 to length for apron pieces and bottom shelf supports (assuming ½” overlap for tabletop, measure apron/supports to 10-½” each).


Step 3

Setting the Kreg drill bit for ¾” material depth, drill 2 pocket holes at each end of all apron/support 1 x 3’s.


Step 4

Carefully begin assembling apron pieces to 2 x 2 legs. Apply a thin bead of glue to the end of the 1 x 3 and clamp it to the 2 x 2. Drive the Kreg screws using your drill or impact driver. If using the impact driver, be sure to put it on the lowest torque setting. Otherwise, use your drill/driver on a low driver setting (it’ll “ratchet” once snug).


Step 5

Assemble the shelf supports using the approach as in Step 4. You can add pocket hole plugs with glue if the holes are going to show. It’s up to you.


Step 6

At this point, I realized I did not drill vertical pocket holes in the apron pieces to attach the tabletop. Since you technically want some movement to occur with a tabletop (expanding/contracting), I decided to use my biscuit joiner to cut inlets/dados for Z-clips. You can find Z-clips at your local Woodcraft, Rockler, or on Amazon. I bought mine from Woodcraft. *Update: Installing the Z-clips did not go as planned. Apparently, my inlets/dados were too close to the table top for assembly. I went back and put in vertical pocket holes for a snug fit. This shouldn’t be a problem.


Step 7

You can install a bottom shelf a few different ways. You can use pocket holes on the underside of the shelf to tie into the supports. You can place the shelf on top of the supports and tie in using vertical pocket holes from the supports or secure from the top of the shelf into the supports using glue/brad nails or countersunk screws. I decided to skip the shelf so that I wouldn’t accumulate stuff on my side of the bed.


Step 8

Sand the table base. Since the lumber is already smooth, I started at 150 grit and finished at 220 grit. Wipe down with a damp cloth or tack cloth. Let dry before applying your finish.


Step 9

Paint or stain the base. If staining pine, use a pre-stain wood conditioner to eliminate the blotchy appearance. Also, use a top coat to protect the finish. I prefer satin polycrylic. In this instance, I chose to paint the base. I spray primed the base for good measure too.


Step 10

Assemble the tabletop to the base and enjoy!

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(2) 2x2, 72", Board  
(1) 1x3, 72", Board  
(1) 3/4" Thick, 14-1/2" x 14-1/2", Cabinet Door  


(20) 1-¼” Kreg Screws (softwood/plywood)  
(4) Z-clips  
(1) Paint sample or pint of stain  
(1) Satin polycrylic (optional)  
(1) Sandpaper (150 grit, 220 grit)  

Parts/Cut List:

(4) Legs, 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 28-1/4"  
(6) Apron/Supports, 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 10-1/2"  
(1) Tabletop (Cabinet Door), 3/4" x 14-1/2" x 14-1/2"  

Extras: Visit


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