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Friday DIY

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My post today is one of a kind. I may be partial since it was my design, sweat, and tears that brought these babies to fruition, but I'm quite proud anyway. I decided to build nightstands after searching high and low and not finding anything that fit my criteria. They had to be off the ground due to a strategically placed vent on my side of the bed. They needed to only have hidden storage as I don't like the look of open storage styled with rattan balls and other random knickknacks stacked just so. Finally, they needed to be built well. I'm not what you'd call a purist, as evidenced by my zealous use of pocket holes, but I cannot abide by furniture so cheaply made that the drawers don't even have slides. Alas I realized the only solution I would be happy with would be my own design built to my exact specifications.

My post today is one of a kind. I may be partial since it was my design, sweat, and tears that brought these babies to fruition, but I’m quite proud anyway. I decided to build nightstands after searching high and low and not finding anything that fit my criteria. They had to be off the ground due to a strategically placed vent on my side of the bed. They needed to only have hidden storage as I don’t like the look of open storage styled with rattan balls and other random knickknacks stacked just so. Finally, they needed to be built well. I’m not what you’d call a purist, as evidenced by my zealous use of pocket holes, but I cannot abide by furniture so cheaply made that the drawers don’t even have slides. Alas I realized the only solution I would be happy with would be my own design built to my exact specifications.

 

 

I created the plan using SketchUp and it took an embarrassingly long time. I wanted inset, flat faced drawers to minimize the horizontal surfaces and decorative crevices that would collect dust. Once I decided on the general style of the cabinet, I went searching for ideas for the base. I kept coming back to the cubed metal look that was so popular at the time. Initially I thought I'd build them out of wood and paint them black but that didn't seem very sturdy to me. If there's one attribute all of my builds have in common, it's that they're ridiculously overbuilt. In order to be sturdy enough to satisfy me, they would need to be built out of metal. I asked my obliging father to show me the basics of welding and spent a bit of time trying to run a bead. This resulted in, what I'm told, were some of the ugliest welds ever created. After more practice, the welds were still offensive to the eyes but were holding strong. I was able to grind them down and, with several coats of paint, you can't tell they were once disfigured blobs.

I created the plan using SketchUp and it took an embarrassingly long time. I wanted inset, flat faced drawers to minimize the horizontal surfaces and decorative crevices that would collect dust. Once I decided on the general style of the cabinet, I went searching for ideas for the base. I kept coming back to the cubed metal look that was so popular at the time. Initially I thought I’d build them out of wood and paint them black but that didn’t seem very sturdy to me. If there’s one attribute all of my builds have in common, it’s that they’re ridiculously overbuilt. In order to be sturdy enough to satisfy me, they would need to be built out of metal. I asked my obliging father to show me the basics of welding and spent a bit of time trying to run a bead. This resulted in, what I’m told, were some of the ugliest welds ever created. After more practice, the welds were still offensive to the eyes but were holding strong. I was able to grind them down and, with several coats of paint, you can’t tell they were once disfigured blobs.

 

nightstand last laugh group (8)

 

The build went smoothly enough. I used red oak plywood for the structure and solid red oak for the face frame. As it turns out, red oak does not take Driftwood stain very well. It actually turned a hideous shade of pinkish-gray that made me want to call it quits and use them for firewood. I lightly sanded them down again and applied a Weathered Gray stain to kill off the pink and now I'm mostly satisfied. I finished them with four coats of satin polycrylic and let them cure for over a week. The base is just 3/4” square tubing and black spray paint. The handles are from Amazon. The slides are euro slides from Home Depot.

The build went smoothly enough. I used red oak plywood for the structure and solid red oak for the face frame. As it turns out, red oak does not take Driftwood stain very well. It actually turned a hideous shade of pinkish-gray that made me want to call it quits and use them for firewood. I lightly sanded them down again and applied a Weathered Gray stain to kill off the pink and now I’m mostly satisfied. I finished them with four coats of satin polycrylic and let them cure for over a week. The base is just 3/4” square tubing and black spray paint. The handles are from Amazon. The slides are euro slides from Home Depot.

If you have any questions or feedback, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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