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Beautiful bedside table

We needed some bedside tables because the mismatched plastic racks next to our beds were driving me insane, so I decided to make them myself


 By Roelof Strydom


610mm x 2 400mm x 20mm pine shelving

20 pieces 1 100mm knotty pine

+- 250ml Woodoc 5

Woodoc Penetrating Weatherproof Wax

Woodoc Gel Stain – Imbuia

Wood glue



Kreg tool

Kreg tool drill bit

Kreg tool screwdriver bit

Mitre saw

Table saw

Belt sander

Circular saw




Cutting list

Four 667mm x 38mm pieces

Four 667mm x 63mm pieces

Two 324mm x 50mm pieces

Two 324mm x 90mm pieces

Two 432mm x 63mm pieces

Two 432mm x 90mm pieces

Two 428mm x 63mm pieces

Two 347mm x 63mm pieces

One 520mm x 400mm piece

Project guide

Difficulty: Intermediate

Estimated time: A weekend

Cost: R450

Step-by-step guide

Step 1: The main structure of the bedside table comprises four frames: Two for the sides, one for the front and one for the back. Let’s start with the sides. Take two 667mm x 38mm pieces, one 324mm x 50mm and one 324mm x 90mm piece and place it on your workbench. The 324mm pieces fit between the two 667mm pieces. The 324mm x 50mm pieces go right at the top and flush with the top of the two 667mm pieces, while the 324mm x 90mm pieces go 50mm upwards from the bottom of the 667mm pieces. See photo 2.


Set your Kreg jig and the collar on the Kreg drill bit to ¾”. Drill two pocket holes on each side of the 324mm x 90mm piece and one hole on each side of the 324mm x 90mm piece. Next, apply some wood glue to the edges and screw the 324mm pieces onto the legs using 1” Kreg screws.


Using the remaining 667mm x 38mm, 324mm x 50mm and 324mm x 90mm pieces, put the pieces together exactly the same as the first one. The 667mm x 63mm, 432mm x 50mm and 432mm x 90mm are put together the same way as the sides. The only difference with these is that they are a bit wider. In the end, you’ll have four frames. See photo 6.


Step 2: Now you need to fit the knotty pine pieces on the inside of the frames; in other words, the sides where the pocket holes were drilled. The two frames for the sides take five pieces of knotty pine, while the back frame takes seven pieces. Knotty pine isn’t fitted to the front frame as it gets a door later on. Cut the knotty pine pieces 520mm long; this allows the knotty pine to overlap the enough so that it can be attached to the frames with screws.


To cut down on time, I used 1” Kreg screws to fasten the knotty pine to the frames. The Kreg screws are self-tapping and each screw has a cutting point, which eliminates the need for pilot holes. Be careful though, some of the knotty pine pieces tend to split, but if you don’t rush it, they screw in just fine without splitting the wood. Before you screw the knotty pine to the frames, flip the frame around to ensure the knotty pine sits straight and that the space is fully covered.


Step 3: Now it is time to put the four frames together. The sides go between the front and back (edge to face). Place the back frame and a side upright on your workbench. Apply wood glue all the way down the edge of the side frame. Clamp the edge of the side frame to the inside face of the back frame. Make sure the two are flush at the top and try to get them as flush as possible all the way to the bottom.


Make use of multiple clamps to hold everything together. The pine may be quite warped, so you’ll need to pull and press a bit to get everything in line. Once you are satisfied that everything is flush, drill 3mm pilot holes at the top, middle and bottom of the legs. Use a countersinking bit and countersink the holes to allow the screw heads to sit below the surface of the wood. Screw the frames together with 3.5mm screws. Continue fastening the other side frame to the back frame the same way you did the first one. Thereafter you can fasten the front frame to the sides. See photo 13.


Step 4: On the bottom shelf, drill four pocket holes (one in each corner) on the 520mm sides.


Step 5: Put the bottom shelf in place and push it against the knotty pine. Measure all the way around to make sure the shelf is level and then fasten the shelf in place using Kreg 1” screws.


Step 6: Lay the bedside table on the ground and use a belt sander with a 60-grit sanding belt to sand all the joint edges flush and remove any scratches. Once you’re done with the 60-grit, move on to an 80-grit and then a 100-grit sanding belt. This will give you a smooth surface.


Step 7: Use knotty pine for the top of the bedside table. Seven pieces measuring 580mm each will do the trick. Because the top pieces are screwed into the 20mm edges of the two sides, make a 10mm mark on the face of the back frame. Take two of the knotty pine pieces and using a table saw (you can use a jigsaw as well) cut the one’s tongue side away and the other one’s groove side.


Next, put all seven knotty pine pieces of the top together and make sure they are flush on both sides. The top is 20mm longer than the bedside table. This will allow you to overlap 10mm on each side. Place the top on the bedside table and position it so it’s flush at the back and overlaps 10mm on the two sides. It will overlap at the front by 10mm as well. Next, transfer the 10mm mark you made earlier from the back onto the knotty pine and draw a line all the way from the back to the front. Do this on the other side as well. These lines indicate where the screws can be driven in to secure the top to the bedside table.


Step 8: Drill 3mm pilot holes and fasten the top to the bedside table using 3.5mm screws.


Step 9: The door is constructed using the two 428mm x 63mm and two 347mm x 63mm pieces. Construct the door frame by placing the 347mm piece between the 428mm pieces and join them edge to edge by means of pocket holes. Cut five pieces of knotty pine 400mm long and fasten them to the inside of the door with the 1” Kreg screws, the same way you fastened the knotty pine to the frames earlier.


Step 10: Put on a pair of surgical gloves and stain the entire bedside table. Woodoc Gel Stain – Imbuia was used here, but you can use any colour you like. The reason for the imbuia was to get the pine as dark as possible.


Step 11: Once the stain is dry, which is fairly quickly, you need to seal the entire bedside table. Woodoc 5 was the product of choice here as an ‘oiled’ look was desired. Woodoc 5 is an interior polywax sealer that dries to a natural matt finish. If you’re not a fan of gloss finishes, this product is the way to go. Apply three coats to ensure it is sealed.


Step 12: To fit the door, use matches to maintain an even gap all the way around. This keeps the door in place while you mark where you need to drill the holes for the hinges. Once the door is hung, you can attach the door knob or handle.


Step 13: To give the bedside table some additional protection, I applied some Woodoc Weatherproof Wax (I had it lying around and thought it couldn’t do any harm). This wax can be applied onto already sealed wood as it penetrates through the sealer into the wood. 

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