Several months ago I made a live edge cedar headboard, which I featured in a past video, and ever since then I’ve been wanting to make a set of matching nightstands to go with it. Well, I’ve finally gotten around to it and thought I’d share a blog post with you about that project as well. This isn’t necessarily a step by step, how-to-style article, but more so just an overview of the build to hopefully inspire you to make something similar yourself. So let’s get started.
The first step was to head out to the beautiful woods of southern Missouri and harvest some Eastern red cedar, which I did well over a year ago, as it takes time for the wood to dry before you can use it for projects such as this. By the way, I made a video on that topic a while ago as well. For this project, I’m working with wood from the same cedar tree that I used for the headboard from months ago, which I harvested and processed with my Granberg Alaskan chainsaw mill.
After the wood was good and dry, I cut out all the main pieces for the nightstands from a few slabs of cedar, planed them down, and gave them an initial sanding.
For the shelves of the nightstands, I didn’t do anything fancy, as no one’s going to see them anyway, so I simply cut out some sections from a pine board I had laying around.
The next step was to attach the sides of the nightstand to the shelves, which I did with some good ol’ wood glue and my pocket hole jig and screws.
After the sides and shelves were put together, I attached the tops of the nightstands again using glue and pocket hole screws.
There was a little bit of burrowing bug damage to some of the cedar, so to fix that up I filled the holes and damaged areas with wood filler, let it dry overnight, and later sanded it all down.
For the cabinet style doors that I incorporated in my design, I was originally just going to make them out of a few sections of cedar boards, but instead, I decided to use a couple of small cross-cut cedar tabletops from a different project that I never finished…which worked out quite nicely. So after getting the doors measured and cut out and ready to go, I attached them with some standard cabinet hinges.
After the main components of the nightstands were put together, I sanded them completely down with sandpaper ranging from 36 grit down to 220 grit and then applied a moderately heavy coat of Sedona red stain, which I personally like using for red cedar. After the stain was good and dry, I wiped down the nightstands thoroughly with a lint-free cloth and applied several coats of polyurethane.
When the polyurethane was dry, I attached the rest of the hardware, such as the magnetic door stops and plates, as well as the doorknobs.
For the backs of the nightstands, I used some medium-density fiberboard, drilled some pilot holes in it, and simply attached it with some nails.
And finally, I let the finished nightstands sit out in the garage for several days to let all the wood stain and polyurethane fumes wear off, and after that, I brought them inside and put them to use. Now I’m by no means a master carpenter or cabinet builder, but they didn’t turn out too terribly bad.
Here’s a video of the build to see more-