Picture-Perfect Particle Board (Ha!)

Let’s be really clear: even though I love woodworking shop projects, Barrett is 100% the creative and engineering mind beyond such projects.

But it was time for me to come up with something on my own.

In order to minimize risk of ruining something valuable, I started with a simple goal: use the particle board from that old Target bookshelf to create a bedside table.

nightstand finished

My “design” process was comical. I scratched out numbers for the ideal height and width, and – based on which pieces of particle board had veneer on which sides – I determined pieces that would serve as the top and sides. I even designed in a shelf that would sit back and be somewhat hidden from view (except in the pictures of course).

My plan was foiled from the first cut on the table saw, when Barrett pointed out that we would need to cut 45 degree angles into the top and sides in order to not show any of the particle board.

Great. I revised the plan and supervised my husband as he made the cuts I needed. I actually did one: my very first cut on the table saw!

brandie table sawThe rest of the cuts were simple, then it was just time to glue & screw. Note: wood glue does not stick to particle board. This was annoying when I was trying to put the bottom on, but proved helpful for another project when I could use the PB as a flat surface while gluing.

nightstand glue

In addition to this project being the first time I used the table saw, this was also the most screws I tried to put into pieces of wood that could move while I was trying to screw them. I’m embarrassed by how hard it was to drill it “just right” – and Barrett had to help a few times.

Overall, this was a ridiculous project. I literally kept particle board from one crappy (but affordable!) piece of furniture to make a smaller crappy (but free!) piece of furniture. It was a good experience for me though – essentially my first planned and implemented shop project. Victory?

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