Plywood Night Stands

 DIY Night Stand Night Stand
I decided I needed a new set of night stands for my bedroom.  A cursory look at Ikea and other internet outlets showed me that I was going to spend over $100 for anything that I liked that was of (relatively) decent quality.  To get anything of ‘good’ quality, I was going to spend over $200 each! In the end, the build I went with cost a total of around $190 to build 2 tables, plus I have quite a few leftovers (stain, polyurethane, etc…)  These could be built for even less, but I wanted these to feel like high-end pieces of furniture, so I opted for nice features such as European drawer slides instead of just having wood slide on wood.
 DIY Night Stand Drawer
Luckily, I found a set of plans for something that I would like here:
This was also my first woodworking project, so this is all an experiment for me.  It took me about 2 weeks to complete the 2 tables.  Here’s the finished product:
Finished Nightstand  Drawer Organizers
Also, take a look at the simple drawer organizers that I made for these night stands.  These were very cheap and easy to build, and make these much more useful.
Here’s some more details on how these were made:
I purchased the piece of maple faced plywood for this project from Lowes.  It seemed much nicer than the stuff at Home Depot.  However, a few weeks later I was at Menards and noticed that their plywood appears to be even better quality!  I did end up buying Maple 1×2’s from Menards and laminating them into 2×2’s for the legs.
Edge banding is nice to do on 3/4″ thick pieces, but a PITA to get correct on 1.5″ pieces.  It is much easier to just use real Maple for the legs.  Plus, it is almost the same price to buy 1×2 maple pieces as it is to use edge banded plywood.
Since this was my first project in maple, I used Transfast water based dyes instead of  a pigment based stain.  I had heard that maple may be hard to stain, and it was best to use dye rather than stain.  This is a custom mix of dark Early American and Cherry from Rockler.  This dye was hand wiped on with a cloth.  It took multiple coats of dye to get to the desired depth of color.
Transfast-Wood-Dye
Make sure all glue is cleaned up from surface, as it will prevent the stain from absorbing.
Polycrylic was sprayed onto the surfaces using the Wagner HVLP Control Spray Plus from Home Depot.  Three coats of Polycrylic were applied with a light sanding
Kreg Jig and screws were used to join the entire project.  Make sure you clamp pieces well before screwing.  Almost all of the inaccuracies in this piece are due to parts moving when being screwed together.
Built using my Ryobi BT3000 Table Saw.
Plywood was sectioned at Lowes on their panel saw before bringing home.
Nightstand Drawer Extended

14 thoughts on “Plywood Night Stands

  1. Hey Bryan,

    I clicked over here from TDC (nice blog btw) and was planning on building this nightstand – I picked up a bunch of pure soft white maple at the local lumberyard (aside from the ply top) and I’m loving your finish. Can you give any detail on how you mixed the dyes? How many parts of A and B, any changes from the dye instructions for application, etc. Did you also apply them via HVLP sprayer, or wipe on? If you wouldn’t mind posting or emailing the details on this I’d be extremely grateful. I’ve never used dyes before and don’t want any mistakes involving the $300 of lumber downstairs…

    • Hi Justin,
      Thanks! I mixed each of the dyes in a quart sized container per the directions. Then, I added some of the darker “Dark Mission Brown” to the lighter “Antique Cherry Brown” until I got to the desired tint. I would estimate I’m at about 2/3 Antique Cherry and 1/3 Dark Mission for this color.

      I wiped the dye onto the surfaces by hand and had to apply multiple coats to get this color. I would recommend testing this out on a sample piece of wood first. It seems that the color keeps getting darker with each application of dye.

      After they dye was completely dry I sprayed polycrylic on the surface using my Wagner HVLP sprayer. Hope this helps!

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