Introduction: Dorm Bedpost Side Table and Mirror Stand
Even with the car packed to the gills with stuff to move for college, you never know what you will need until you settle in for a while.
It seems there is no side table or nightstand by the bed. The study desk is by the foot of the bed and roomie has the dresser shoehorned in to the other corner of the room. No convenient place to put your phone or glasses down when you are in bed too tired to get up and place them on the desk.
And you also brought along that long door mirror where the hanger hooks don't seem to work on those wardrobe doors. It is propped up against a wall but it stands too low when you use it.
So, back here at mission control, I decided to tackle these problems remotely and send her a care package with the fix.
This ible is a two-fer, you get both builds.
Step 1: Bits and Pieces...
The first piece is a mini-tray cubbyholder that attaches to the bedpost. There is something sold out there but it is just a mini-platform/drink holder. Stuff would slide right off of that when you are reaching for it in the dark.
I found these small high side storage trays at the discount store that would be perfect for the container. It has a rubber lining at the bottom so it would not scratch your glasses or your phone when you put it in.
I have plenty of scrap 1x3 lumber around so I could build the cantilever arm that attaches to the bedpost and serve as the platform to rest the tray. You could also fabricate this out of plastic, cardboard, metal, 3D print...etc.
I didn't know the exact size of the bedpost so I built in some adjustability here. The commercial product is an L clamp that goes around the bedpost. Without the custom screw fittings and such, I could make the same by using tie-wraps to hold the L clamp around the bedpost.
No real measurements here. The bedpost was probably about 2 1/2 inches square. I made the L clamp sides a tiny bit longer and the length of the platform was about as wide as the tray. This is a surprise care package so I did not ask for the exact measurements.
I happened to make two. It fits the right side of the bed if you are in it. It could be used on the other side too but you see the pocket holes for the screws.
The pieces are glued and assembled using pocket hole screws.
The other requirement was that I could ship all of this in one USPS Priority Mail flat rate medium sized box($13.45 and Woot, I can jam in up to 70lbs if I had something that heavy). I was doing my IKEAish flat pack packing thinking so I adjusted all measurements as I went along so I could fit everything in the box.
Step 2: Match the Fine Furniture...
I still have a lot of cherry wood poly/stain from this shelf project.
Sand all over. Ease the edges. Round off the protruding corner so you don't snag it in the middle of the night.
Stain, sand, stain, repeat as necessary.
Drill holes for the tie-wraps used for mounting.
Partially assemble so that the screws can make pilot holes for final assembly. I had to take it apart to fit in the shipping box. I included a #2 square drive tip and some electrical tape so she could put it in her 6-in-1 screwdriver to use without falling out. Yes, send them off to school with a basic tool kit and a first aid kit.
When used, apply two rubber anti-skid pads to the inside of the corner mount to prevent slipping on the bedpost and minimize marring the furniture.
Thread in tie-wraps. Loop and wrap over the bedpost. You may need to join two tie-wraps to extend the length. The tie-wraps should compress the L bracket against the bedpost and keep it in place. Clip off the excess tie-wrap ends.
Test fit where the tray will be attached to the platform.
Put the hook and loop velcro pads together. Remove the backing tape from the adhesive velcro and apply to the bottom of the tray. Remove the other backing and press all in place on the platform. Leave it for a while for the adhesive to cure. You can remove the tray later for adjustment or cleaning by separating the velcro.
Step 3: Mirror, Mirror, on the Floor...
The second project is to lift the mirror higher off the ground. The mirror itself is 12 x 48 inches and for a taller person, it becomes annoying to use if you have to contort your body to see your face. Angling the mirror gives a little bit of the fun-house distortion effect so the best thing to do is to raise the mirror up. You could prop the mirror on a stack of books, a crate or box but none would be too secure. This calls for a mirror stander upper.
This is just your basic A frame with a capture rail on the top.
Make two square frames with pocket hole screws. The measurements were based on maxing out the length of the shipping box and being able to fit the other parts of the bedpost side table thing in there.
The two frames are hinged at the top with a set of small hinges. If you look close at the hinges, they seem a little warped. Apparently these hinges which I got at the discount store have a removeable "fast" hinge pin. You take what you can get... I bent the hinge pins a little with pliers so they would not fall out so easily.
Also, if you don't have those VIX self-centering drill bits to drill a tiny pilot hole for those tiny cheapo hinge screws, just take a sharp awl to punch a hole or make an impression to start the screw.
To keep the A frame taut and from splaying out, I ran a loop of paracord through the bottom rung. There is some slack left in the cord for final adjustment to make a stable stand if the base needs to open up more. Knot the paracord to finalize the adjustment.
The top capture rail or where the mirror rests is a channel like structure made by gluing on two strips of 3/4 in square stock. That is attached to one of the frame faces with hinges. That allows it to remain level or angled a bit toward the wall so the mirror can rest in the groove more securely.
I used some blue painters tape to write some instructions and point out which part goes where.
Include a bunch of extra screws and ship it off.