Finding a simple, modular piece of furniture that is reasonably priced but also well made can be hard sometimes. IKEA provides some decent options, but sometimes you just want something made out of beautiful, sturdy, solid wood. Thankfully, designer Silvia Song has created a great tutorial for a simple wood side table with a sliding drawer. If you’re interested in getting into woodworking and furniture making but don’t know where to start, this is the tutorial for you. She’s made a lovely piece with clean lines and a basic form that requires only a few tools. If you want a fun building project for a fall weekend, you should definitely try it out. Thanks for sharing, Silvia! — Kate
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Read the full how-to after the jump!
I chose this project as an exercise to see if I could design and build a simple drawer unit in the spirit of Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione (self-design). I wanted to use just a few simple hand tools and assemble each part by cross cutting only off-the-shelf lumber. The biggest challenge was to find a way to work with the actual dimensions of lumber to come up with puzzle-like pieces simple enough for a novice to build, but not lacking in versatility. My intentions were to keep things as simple and organic as possible, but you can easily personalize it by staining or painting the wood. I really enjoyed designing it, and I hope you enjoy building it! — Silvia
- cross-cut hand saw
- engineered square or 90-degree triangle
- sanding block
- lumber: (3) 1” x 6” x 6’, (1) 1” x 4” x 6’, (1) 1” x 3” x 6’, (1) 1” x 2” x 6’
- box of #16 x 1 1/4″ wire nails
1. Let’s begin by building the frame. Cut lumber to the dimensions below using a right angle tool (engineered square or 90-degree triangle) and lightly sand the edges.
(6) — 1” x 2” x 11” corner supports (for lateral support)
(4) — 1” x 6” x 18” top and bottom panel
(4) — 1” x 6″ x 20” side panel
2. Side panel assembly: A minimum of four nails per 1 x 2 support is required. It is crucial to nail directly into the center of the 1 x 2s. These pieces will support the frame laterally once it is upright.
3. There should be a 2 1/2″ space between the first and second 1 x 2s as shown in the photo. Add an extra 1/16″ to allow the drawer to slide easily in and out.
4. Let’s go ahead and complete the frame by assembling the top and bottom panels as well. Place (2) 1″ x 6″ x 18″ planks and nail them directly into the 1 x 2 supports. Make sure the nails are driven directly into the center of the supports.
You should now have a completed frame that looks like this:
5. To assemble the drawer, cut lumber to the dimensions specified below.
(2) — 1” x 6“ x 15” front and back planks
(2) — 1” x 4” x 9.5” side planks (one on each side)
(2) — 1” x 3” x 11” outermost side planks
(2) — 1” x 4” x 15” bottom end planks
(1) — 1” x 3” x 15” bottom middle plank
6. To assemble the bottom of the drawer, use (1) 1″ x 3″ x 15″ plank sandwiched between (2) 1″ x 4″ x 15″ planks. Place the 1″ x 4″ x 9.5″ side planks on both ends of the bottom planks and nail them down securely.
Here is what the completed side looks like:
7. Take (1) 1″ x 3″ x 11″ outermost side plank and align as shown in the photo. This will create a lip underneath the front and back panels to allow the drawer to be pulled out.
8. Then center the piece along the innermost side plank so that the edge of the 1 x 3 is flush with the front and back planks, and nail them down. Repeat for the opposite side.
Here is the finished drawer assembly:
9. Finally, slide the drawer into the frame.