Rustic Modern Design // Simple Floating Bedside Table

I’ve been in need of a bed side table in my room for quite some time now. I need storage for things like my keys, wallet, the remote, as well as other little items that seem to get kicked around and lost. I figured it would also be nice to have a place to keep my alarm clock, I’m guessing it will be a lot more convenient to hit the snooze button in the morning if the clock is closer to me lol.

I’ve had the idea for a while now to build a floating bedside table, so I went over to Sketch Up and put together a design. (Get the plans here) I knew I wanted something of a modern design and I wanted the end table to float, this would give me the most use of my space. I used alder for the cabinet and a piece of pallet wood for the drawer front. Some of what I did wasn’t planned, the live edge and the pallet wood drawer front presented themselves, so I went with it. It’s kind of cool how the materials that you have on hand can dictate the outcome of the final project.


I started by cutting the board into two shorter lengths so that I could joint them together and glue them into one wide panel, giving me the proper width needed for the box.


I alternated the clamps on the glue up to prevent warpage during the glue up. An F-style clamp on each end also helps.


Before I could go any further, I needed to stabilize a couple of small knots with some fast setting epoxy. I used a card scraper to clean up an excess once the epoxy was dry. This method seemed to work great, any little bit that was left gotten taken care of by the planer.


Then I sent the board through the planer for a couple of clean up passes and final thicknessing. These boards were already pre surfaced so it didn’t take much.


I wanted to be able to use the live edge on the front of the table, so I measured from that point to get the depth and squared it all up with the track saw before cross cutting all the parts to the final length. I wanted to make sure that I had the proper amount of overhang from the shortest point of the edge.


I had  to make a small adjustment to the width of the bottom and sides to get the reveal that I was looking for, which is about 1/8″. I sorta pre assembled it and gauged what I’d need to cut off of each part.


I’m doing a dry run and laying out where all the joinery will be.


Now it’s time for some joinery. I’m using floating tenants to join the pieces together. To get the reveal on the side I made a minor adjustment to the fence of the domino to inset the mortises slightly on the top and bottom. I used my combo square to assist me in setting the fence to the proper height.


I glued the tenons into the sides before hand and let them dry and then I spread a little more glue to assemble the box. I had to use my mallet and then the clamps to help bring the pieces together, being sure that the parts lined up flush at the back of the cabinet.


At this point, I added a french cleat to the back of the box, which I will use later to mount it to the wall. This is where pocket screws can come in really handy.


Next, I had to measure for the drawer, being sure to take into account the thickness of the cleat on the back, the thickness of the drawer front, and the reveal that I wanted. This is where it helps to sorta measure things as you go, cumulative error always has to be taken into account when building.


I had previously milled the drawer parts and was ready to cut them to size. A simple method of stacking the sides in the opening and measuring for the front and back was used here. This ensured a nice snug fit in the box. I also cut a groove for the bottom, which I made out of MDF.


Because the sides of the drawer go all the way to the front and the fact that there is a false drawer front meant that I didn’t have to fool with a stop groove for the bottom.


For the joinery on the drawer, I  decided to try something a little different. First, I glued the box together and allowed that to set up.


Next, I counter sunk screw holes evenly spaced.


After that, I plugged them with the same material as the drawer front. This should give the drawer a cool look when opened.


Because I am not using a drawer slide, I added this little strip across the top of the drawer back. Once the glue sets up, I can trim it down with my block plane will I got a nice fit. This will prevent the drawer from tipping when extended.


Fort the drawer front, I decided to use a piece of pallet wood that had been floating around the shop for some time. I cleaned up once face and one edge on the jointer. A few passes through the planer cleaned up the other side and then I could resaw it to get the amount of width I need. The sapwood in this piece was a pleasant surprise. Once I glued it together I cut it down to it’s final size.


I went with a a modern edge style pull for this project. (Get it here) Because I didn’t want it to stick out far for aesthetic reasons, I cut the piece down to the desired width. I then drilled holes in the top for mounting.


I made the mortise for the pull using my dado stack on the table saw. The wooden screw clamp helps hold everything into place securely.


I sanded the piece smooth, being careful not to sand away the top of the live edge on the front.


I really loved the way this danish oil looked on the last project I used it on, so I decided to wipe a couple of coats on this project as well. It’s a simple finish to apply and looks great.

Modern Night Stand

I was really happy with the way this project turned out.  I think it will get a lot of use in it’s new space!!

simple rustic modern

2 thoughts on “Rustic Modern Design // Simple Floating Bedside Table

  • August 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Come now Matt you have to let us know what the picture was lol. Matt you did a awesome job on this floating side table I must say I love every part of this table. And the video was great. Till next time take care

    • August 21, 2016 at 4:54 PM

      hahaha, just a pic of four goofballs, thanks for watching man!!

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