Abstract nightstand

I’m baaaaaaack and I hope my readers are too! Sorry for the long break, May was a crazy month (4 weddings) and this past week was a doozy. I’m still processing the events of last week, and when I feel ready I will probably talk about them on here. Three of the four weddings were on the East Coast, but somehow in the chaos of all that travel I did manage to squeeze in a project. Before this, my nightstand was a TV tray. It’s a nice wooden TV tray, but was quite pathetic next to my beautiful headboard. Unlike some of my previous projects, I didn’t really have a vision going into this project. I simply knew I wanted a nicer nightstand than I currently had.

1_pallet_patchwork_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_wood
Leftovers from another project

I realized I had a lot of scraps leftover from making my coffee table. I loved how they were all cut at a 45° angle. I thought it would be fun to make a table with no right angles in the pattern. I found a piece of cardboard roughly the size that I wanted my table to be and started to lay out the top. This was not at easy as I thought it was going to be. I figured it would be like a puzzle, which it was, the problem was that there were multiple solutions and no “picture” to look at to help me fit the pieces together.

2_pallet_patchwork_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_layout
The first of several iterations

After many different attempts, I found a design that worked. I ended up having to cut some more boards because I didn’t have scraps that were long enough. Once I had the design laid out I made sure to take a picture, I knew there was no way I would remember which board went where.

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It took a long time to choose this pattern

After I had the top laid out, I had to configure the structure of the nightstand. I decided I wanted a shelf so my junk would be less visible. Per usual, I was working in metric because it’s so much easier than the imperial system. I wanted the frame and the plywood base to be less visible so I chose to make them 3 cm smaller than the top. 3 cm just so happens to be the distance from my circular saw’s blade to the edge of the base plate.

4_pallet_patchwork_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_planning
I think I need to work on my drawing skills

This table isn’t completely from pallets; I ended up purchasing 2×2’s at the store because I didn’t want the added weight of the 2×4’s from the pallets. After settling on my preferred dimensions I cut and sanded all the wood. I stained everything except for the top of my table, I wanted to wait until it was glued down,trimmed to size, and had one last sanding before I stained it.

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Ready to be stained – don’t mind the random 2×4, it was for another project

Once again I mixed up a custom stain, a mixture of provincial and golden oak. I needed it to be dark enough to match my headboard. I prefer to stain my wood before I assemble, I think it’s easier to get an even coat. After the pieces dried, I began assembling the table. I started by attaching the legs and the “cross beams” to each other. I know cross beams isn’t the right term, but I don’t know a lot of technical terms and I figured this was more descriptive than “the short wood pieces that go in between the legs.”

6_pallet_patchwork_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_clamping_legs
I used the plywood as a guide

After assembling the legs I flipped everything over and attached the plywood. I then added the braces for the shelf. My wood was a little warped, so this took a little bit of wrangling to get everything together just right.

7_pallet_patchwork_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_clamping_legs_shelf
Lots of clamps

I use a lot of clamps because I pre-drill everything. I don’t know if this is right, but it makes my life a lot easier. After the braces were attached I screwed on the shelf. The screws ended up going in at a bit of an angle because I didn’t have a better solution. The screws stick up a little, but that’s okay, my table is rustic! The next step was tricky. I had to glue the top boards onto the plywood. I needed to make sure that everything was squared up with the table, the correct pattern was maintained, and I had to make sure there was at least a 3 cm overhang on all the edges. It was tricky, and I actually had to adjust some of the boards in order to make sure I had enough overlap on the plywood for a decent hold – I also made sure to buy the strong wood glue.

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Cutting off the extra wood

After the glue dried it was time to trim the top to the correct size. As I mentioned before, I planned on having a 3 cm overhang because that’s the width of my saw. I turned my table upside down, clamped it to my little workbench, and used the frame as my guide. After I cut all four sides I sanded the fresh cuts and the top once more for good measure. I then added stain to the top. Once it dried I realized the color of the table was too light, it wasn’t going to match my headboard. I mixed in some darker stain and reapplied.

9_pallet_patchwork_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_after_stain
The darker color looks much better

The only thing I had left to do was apply polycrylic, but with the wedding craziness it took me two weeks to get to it. I ended up applying 3 coats in total.

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After applying the polycrylic

I’m extremely happy with this project, I think it’s my most creative to date. The actual construction didn’t take long, but the design of the top took several days.

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The finished top

The top of the nightstand looks like it’s either a patchwork quilt or abstract art, I can’t decide which. I love that most of the pieces were scraps that were left over from a previous project.

12_patchwork_abstract_patterned_nightstand_table_bed_pallets_polycrylic
Finally in place

I hope that everyone forgives me for the long absence, I hope it won’t happen again. I really missed my power tools. I hope you all enjoy your weekend, I have to work on my car. I hit a pothole and the radio stopped working, that’s normal, right?

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3 thoughts on “Abstract nightstand

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