Hi ! I'm The Redsmith, I'm a maker.
Last summer I was at a local flea market and saw an old bedside table. I bought it for 10 dollars and decided to turn it into a safe for my kid's bedroom. I'm pretty happy with the final result and the smile on my kid's face made me think it totaly worthed it.
I made a full tutorial video that you can watch here :
For this build you will need :
- an old bedside table
- paint stripper (paint remover)
- wood glue
- wood putty
- 8mm machine screws and nails
- belt sander / orbital sander and #80, #120, #120, #240, #400 grid sand paper
- white primer and black paint
- white paint marker
- 25cm (10 inches) diameter wheel + bolt
So, let's get started !
Step 1: First, Let's Clean and Repair
What you will have to do to make a safe from an old bedside table depends a lot on what you will start with.
So let me explain step by step how I mùade mine and I hope you will be able to adapt it to the fourniture you will be working with.
- First, I tore apart the bedside table and cleaned it with water. The painted areas dried quickly but there was no paint inside the table so I had to let it dry 24 hours, just to be sure it was ready for gluing.
- The back was not correctly jointed anymore so I glued it, put some clamps and cleaned the excess glue. The glue I used cures in less than one hour, but once again, just to be sure, I waited half a day to start the next step.
Step 2: No More Drawer
- I tore apart the drawer, removed the nob and saved the front part as I used it later.
I also put aside the other parts to use them in another project.
Step 3: No Paint for Old Table
Then it was time for me to remove the old paint. This bedside table have been painted many times. I counted at least four different layers of paint. So, removing it took me longer than I thought. Sanding all the old paint would have taken me hours and hours so I chose to use a paint remover / paint stripper for this step.
⇒ Be careful when you use paint stripper : you should wear all needed protective gears before using it. Read the label, it will tell you what precautions to take, how long the stripper should remain on the surface, how to neutralize the surface after stripping, and other important informations. I bought mine at the local hardware store. There are many brand and products so don't hesitate to ask your seller for advice.
- I brushed the paint stripper on the surface of the table and waited 30 minutes. Then, I used a scraper to remove most of the paint. As the paint coats were very thick, I had to go over the whole process twice.
Step 4: Wash It. Again...
- To neutralize the paint stripper, I wash the table once again with clear water and a scrub brush.
Take your time and don't forget any area, otherwise the paint you will put on the table later won't stick to it or may crack and scale.
Step 5: Let's Fix This
To turn this bedside table into a safe, I had to seal the drawer space.
- So, I put a little piece of wood on each side of the drawer space. This way, I was able to glue the front of the drawer I saved earlier into place.
- Then I made some minor repairs. As you saw in the video, I had to glue and nail some damaged parts. Since the safe is for my kid's room, I wanted it to be resistant, clean and safe. I checked every corners, every joint and support of the table, glued and nailed every damaged parts.
Step 6: Wood Putty
- To fill all the gaps, bug holes and permanentely fix the drawer front, I used wood putty.
Be sure to have enough of it, it will save you two trips to the store and precious time. ;)
I put some wood putty on the holes, and spread it with a putty knife. Be sure you put a good amount of putty into the holes and empty spaces you want to fill.
- Then, I sanded the whole table with #80, #120, #240 grid sand paper.
For this step, you can use a blet sander or an orbital sander. just be careful with a belt sander and #80 grid sand paper, it removes a lot of material very quickly.
Step 7: Sanding and Chiseling
- For the molding, I used a AAA battery to hold a piece of sand paper and cleaned it. It works pretty well for concave moldings.
- I used a sharp chisel to clean the paint I could remove with the stripper or the sande. This step is a little bit time consuming but you will have a cleaner piece of fourniture to work with.
Step 8: Let's the Fun Begin !
Now, let's the fun begin. You can customize your table as you want, be creative.
- I drilled some holes and put two machine screws on the top left / right and bottom left / right.
- I measured the machine screws and made a little flag with some blue tape on my drill bit. This enabled me to drill at the exact depth needed.
- I used a 8mm drill bit and 8mm machine screws. It fit perfectly I need no glue, but you can always add some if needed.
Step 9: Primer First
- Once all the screws were in place, I painted the whole table with white wood primer.
One coat was enough but I put a thick layer to fill some imperfections of the wood.
- Then, I sanded the table with #120 and #240 grid sand paper to have a smooth surface to paint.
- I used my air compressor to clean the dust, but you can also you a dry rag (or even some alcohol on a clean rag), it will work just fine.
Step 10: Paint and Sanding
- I painted the whole safe (inside, outside and the shelf) with a black mat paint. I started with the corners and moldings using a brish, then painted the flat surfaces with a roller.
- I did a rough sanding with #400 grid sand paper before putting a second coat.
Step 11: Make a Wheel / Find a Wheel
- To give my bedside table a realistic safe look, I wanted a wheel for the door handle. I used a helicopter winch part I found in a flea market few month ago.
- I sand it with #120 and #240 grid sand papergrid and painted it white.
The part I used is quite rare / hard to find. But you can use any type of wheel or even make your own with wood or metal. Once again, be creative.
Step 12: Make a Part / Find a Part
- As the part I used for the door handle was quite uncommon, I used my metal lather to machine a bolt to the right diameter.
This step is totally optionnal. Just find or make the part needed depending on what you will use for the door handle. A big machine screw should work just fine, but you can also use a wooden dowel. Most important thing is this part goes through the door to put the lock mechanism inside the vault.
Step 13: Lettering
Now, it's time to put some lettering on your safe.
- I printed "BANK" on white thin paper, put it above the door of the vault and used a pencil to go over the lines. Once I was done, "BANK" was written on the paint.
- I used a white paint marker to paint the lettering.
I chose the write "BANK" because that's what my kid wanted. He wanted a safe as seen in western movies. But "Tom's vault", "National Bank of ....." "U.S. Post Office" or "Greenwald Safe & Lock" would work great too.
Step 14: Varnish and Wheel
- I put three coats of spray varnish. Between each coat, I gave the vault a rough sanding with
#400 grid sand paper.
- Then, I put the wheel on the door with the bolt I made earlier.
Step 15: Mounting the Door
- I was able to reuse the hinges of the bedside table. But first, I cleaned them and used new wood screws (the previous ones were totally rusted).
Step 16: Lock It Up
- For the locking mechanism, I had to braze a steel plate to a steel tube. A simple torch works just fine, and this step is optinnal if you use other type of mechanisme. You can made one out of wood or just buy one in an hardware store.
- I put it in place with a wooden mallet and painted it black.
Step 17: Door Stop
- I cut, drilled, painted and screwed a little piece of wood to use it as a door stop.
- I put the shelf back in place and checked the safe, just to be sure there was no splinter, nail or screw sticking out of the wood. I don't want my kid to hurt himself with the safe I made for him.
Step 18: Watch Your Kid Smile
And it was all done. I put the safe in his room when he was playing outside with my wife, put some of his toys and books inside and waited for them to come back.
Watching his smile was priceless. I don't regret having spent time working on this project, because the safe is now near his bed and he use it everyday. I'm sure you won't regrett it either.
Here is the video of the full tutorial I made for this project :
I tried to make this Instructable as clear and easy as possible if you have any questions or requests for clarification don't hesitate to comment. I hope you liked it and if so please vote and like, share and watch the videos. See you soon for my next Instructable !