I wanted to build a modern nightstand that has a lot of the functions of a traditional dresser, as well as a storage shelf for a laptop. I know many people, just like me have limited space in their homes, so you really want to maximize your furniture, which is why I wanted to make a nightstand that has several drawers in it. In terms of design, I went with walnut plywood, and to contrast that I decided to go for a concrete top, and leather pulls.
Step 1: Cut Up the Plywood
The first step was to cut the plywood to size.
Step 2: Assemble Frame
I put together the main frame of the dresser using pocket screws, and to make sure all the pieces were square and lined up I used corner clamps. Once I had the main box, I attached the shelf for the laptop, and also laid down the drawer fronts to make sure all the cuts were right.to size, for this project I'm using both 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch plywood.
Step 3: Concrete Top
For the top, I was thinking concrete would be cool, especially in contrast with the walnut, plus I haven't done much concrete work, so I thought it would be fun. I think the look of concrete, particularly next to wood, adds a really cool and modern touch.
For the frame I used laminate panels that I cut to the size I wanted the counter and assembled with screws. I added a bead of silicon caulk around the edges. Then I mixed some concrete in a bucket and filled the form.
To minimize air pockets I used a sander without the paper on it around the sides. Then I let it cure and removed the mold the next day. I cleaned up some left over silicon with a wet sponge, and then made a mortar slurry to add a slightly lighter color and fill in some of the air holes.
Step 5: Feet
For feet I cut up some squares out of walnut block, and I attached them with screws to the base of the frame.
Step 6: Drawers
For the drawers I used some nice maple wood which was cut to size. For assemble I decided to go with box joints, so I used my table saw jig. To provide space for the bottoms of the drawers (1/4 inch plywood), grooves were routed on the router.
Step 7: Drawer Assembly
At this point I was ready to assemble the drawers which I did with glue and clamps.
Step 8: Drawer Slides
I decided to use metal drawer slides which I attached with the help of a jig on the insides of the cabinet.
Step 9: Finishing
I ironed on walnut edge banding on all visible edges. Then I sanded the cabinet and lightly with 320 sandpaper, and applied a waterbased polyurethane to protect it.
The concrete counter was sanded and then finished with three coats of shellac for a slightly glossy and smooth finish.
Step 10: Attaching the Drawers
At this point I positioned the drawer fronts using some spacers and some clamps to get them to align correctly. Then I attached them with screws from inside the drawers.
Step 11: Leather Pulls
For pulls, I decided to create some out of veg tanned leather. It's a really simple concept where you cut up a few strips of leather and fold each one around. Then clamp down the leather to a board and drill a hole in each. Put a nice bolt through each, and after you drill a hole in the drawer, secure the bolt with a nut on the other side.
Step 12: Secure the Concrete Top
To secure the concrete top I used polyurethane glue.
Step 13: Conclusion - Watch the Video
For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video of all the steps of the build.