Introduction: How to Make a Floating Bedside Table

My wife needed a bedside table, but there was only limited space to put one. I came up with this idea to make the most of the available space and also reduce the risk to our toes of painful nighttime collisions with furniture legs.

Typical of my projects the materials are mostly free. I tend to use whatever is at hand, and I would encourage anyone looking at this to do the same. The materials I use are probably never ideal, but then I always aim for progress rather than perfection. 

I initially thought of attaching the table to the bed, but I decided this would make it awkward to change the sheets etc. I eventually settled on a single raking leg attached to the floor under the bed. The result is a table that appears to hover next to the bed, and I think it looks pretty cool.



Step 1: Materials

As usual I did some poking around my shed until I found some inspiration. It turned out that two pieces that had been calling to me for some time were at last just what I needed.
  • For the table top I had a slab of really heavy hard wood from my pile of fire wood. I believe it was an off cut from a mill that produces railway sleepers; sold as fire wood. This piece was just the right size at about 380mm x 240mm and about 30mm thick. A fantastic rich red colour.
Some sanding and planing and the slab looked quite presentable.

  • For the leg it was an old stainless steel submersible pump housing. Heavy enough for the job while being light enough to shape. The curve of the sections I cut from it would provide the stiffness I needed. Unfortunately it wasn't long enough without a joint, but at least I got an excuse to fire up the welder.
I cut two sections from the pump housing, each about 80mm wide. Joined together these make the single leg.

Step 2: Method

  • Sketch a layout 1:1 scale on the floor. Use this throughout the process to ensure it's still the right shape.
  • Bend the top and the bottom of the leg to make a flat plate to fasten the table top to, and fasten the leg to the floor. More stresses will be on the foot so make this bigger. Make the angles such that the table top will be level when the foot is level. You want the to be the right distance from the bed too. trial and error is a good method here.
  • Set up the leg at just the right length and weld the two pieces together.
  • I welded a brace onto the foot. Without it the table would be too springy, and could be used to catapult the alarm clock across the room.
  • Get the angle grinder out and make the welds all neat. Someone without ADHD would polish the whole thing until the welds are invisible. 
  • Drill holes in the foot and the top for screws. Enough so you are comfortable it won't fall apart.
  • Shape and sand your table top until it looks nice. Finish it however you like.
  • Attach the table top after double checking the final position is just the right distance from the bed.
  • Secure the foot to the floor under the bed. I put mine under the wheel of the bed for some added stability.
  • And that's the the nub and crux of the whole brouhaha in a nutshell.

Step 3: Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable. I really hope it might help someone or inspire someone to have a go at making something.

Please feel free to comment or ask a question. Or seeing as you have read this far perhaps you might like to vote for this in the Furniture Challenge. https://www.instructables.com/contest/furniture/?show=ENTRIES


Comments

author
MaskMarvl made it!(author)2012-11-30

Cool... although, maybe you could modify it so the leg goes between the matresses instead of under the leg of the bed. That way, the table won't fall over (with everything on it) when the bed is bumped or moved. :)

author
Bill+WW made it!(author)2012-10-13

Better than a gun holster under the mattress!

author
FrozenIce made it!(author)2012-02-11

Very nice!! i love how u eliminated the toe bumping in the middle of the night problem!

author
Attmos made it!(author)2012-02-05

i'm with you on the philosophy of using whats laying around. i think it sparks a lot of creative thinking and highlights an individuals style when you have to make due. nice work.

author
CatTrampoline made it!(author)2012-02-03

Definitely in the spirit of reuse/recycle/DIY - good work! Of course, at my house everything would be thrown to the floor and replaced with a cat. Or 2 cats fighting over possession of the nightstand.

author
Penolopy+Bulnick made it!(author)2012-02-02

Very interesting design! Have you done a strength test? I'm one of those people who just stacks everything on my bedside table. Do you know how much you can stack on it?

author
cammers made it!(author)2012-02-02

The weakest point is where it attaches to the floor. If that is sturdy enough it will be strong enough for a stack of books. If you wanted to stand on it you might need to add a leg or two.

author
Penolopy+Bulnick made it!(author)2012-02-02

I wanted to laugh when you said not to stand on it, but then I realized I've stood on plenty of end tables, so it is a good thing to keep in mind if I make it :)

About This Instructable

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