Over the past 5 weeks in my CEP810 course I have been working on my Networked Learning Project which included learning something new that I have always wanted to do. For this project I decided that I would learn how to use the various tools necessary to build and construct a nightstand. As I previously mentioned I am a new home owner and finding and buying new furniture can be a challenge. So after scouring the internet I came across three different building plans. I decided that I would attempt to building the “barn-door nightstand”. My main online source that I used to create my nightstand was from the site Shanty-2-Chic. These two women are phenomenal to say the least. Their blog, YouTube channel and online materials are extremely explicit in their directions. For a newbie like me this was exactly what I needed to gain the knowledge I never had. I did need some other assistance with where to buy the materials, how to use the tools and which tools come highly recommended. Below I listed a few helpful sites:
I began my project by reading as much as I could about the overall plans, supplies and necessary tools. The plans provided required a lot of cuts of the different types of wood. One of the most beneficial things I learned was on the home Depot website help forum page – many people said that you could actually get them to make most of your cuts. Now typically at the store it says that it costs money for each cut, but I read in many of the reviews that most home Depot representatives are extremely helpful and do it at no cost. So I decided to take my chances because the less heavy machinery I had to use the better and by that I mean my dreaded table saw. Luckily, the help forum was exactly correct – I ended up making many trips to Home Depot over the past few weeks and sure enough, all of the cuts they made were free 🙂
After completing the cuts I had to drill all of the pocket holes using my Ryobi drill. The pocket holes hold hex screws that allow for a study and secure hold. In addition to the hex screws each piece of wood was put together with wood glue. You’ll notice all of the sticky notes I used to keep my mind straight. There were so many different dimensions for the different cuts of woods that this was the trick that helped me stay organized. Once all of the boards were prepared with their pocket holes it was time to build! I began with the frame of the nightstand.
Once the frame was put together I had a mini panic moment because a lot of the edges were not exactly perfect and it seemed very “unfinished”. Little did I know, the next step of including the trim around the base and the front would thankfully cover up some of my imperfections.
My learning process was a little scattered and I had many emotions. In the beginning, I was extremely excited about the new opportunity to learn something new. Unfortunately, learning something new doesn’t come without it’s challenges. I know we all saw it’s okay to make a mistake, but my mistakes were definitely learning moments for me. Below I have included a video documenting my progress throughout the project. I give you a glimpse at the end result in my learning as well as some of the challenges along the way.
I think one of my favorite parts was actually putting the barn door together. Building the door and using the hardware was basically a culmination of all the skills I had learned from the beginning of my learning.
I am very satisfied with my final product and very proud of the learning that took place in such a short period of time. In the future I also plan to extend upon this specific process by staining this piece as well as adding a few extra details like stoppers on the doors. One the largest aspects of this project that made it meaningful to me and I think it would be meaningful to others as well, is that from the beginning of the project we were given the choice. This meant that we truly were able to decide what we wanted to learn. You would be surprised what a difference it makes when your learning something that you find purposeful or meaningful to you. I definitely felt that way while completing this task and I can see how beneficial it will be in the future when I design various lessons for my students. I can definitely see myself continuing this type of learning in the future and I am excited to hopefully expand upon my DIY furniture to create and build many new things. Thanks for following me along in my learning journey!