My son decided that he wanted a new bedside table as the one he was using did not cut it, it was a dining chair so fair enough! So together we decided to design and build a new bed side table in the shape of the classic arcade character Pac-Man.
This simple table is easy to make and is mostly comprised of gluing sheets of 16-18mm mdf together and cutting them out with a jigsaw or band-saw. The table diameter we used was approx 400mm however you can make it any size you like. We ended up using 5 sheets to get the extra thickness although two sheets will work just as well.
Step 1: Preparing the Boards
Firstly I cut out some squares of mdf and on the top sheet only I marked the centre and drew a circle which would be the shape of the table. I then marked where the cut out of the mouth and eye would be and using a 50mm hole saw cut out the eye.
Step 2: Gluing
I then glued the first sheet to the second sheet, then the third sheet to the fourth making the two parts of the table (top and bottom). Make sure you camp really well for this part as you don't want to have any gaps. Let dry overnight.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Table
The next step was to cut out the top and bottom part of the table. I used a straight bit in my router to cut approx half way though then used my bandsaw to cut the circles out completely. Finally I used a flush trim bit in my router table to finish it off.
Cutting out the table this way makes a perfect circle, you can use a jigsaw for this although wont be quite as neat.
I then cut out the mouth of the table top using a jigsaw then sanded. Make sure you sand as flat and as neat as you can before you glue it to the bottom part of the table later on.
Step 4: Table Leg Mortising
Its pretty simple to make legs for the table and there are many ways to do it. Of course if you really want to save some time nip down to your local hardware store and just buy some legs... otherwise please see below.
Mark out where you want the table legs to go, you can use three or four legs whatever you prefer. Drill out the corners of each of the marked holes then using a chisel carefully chisel out the mortise. Its a good idea to chisel only halfway through on one side then turn the table over and chisel in from the other side to complete the hole. If you go all the way through from one side you will get tear-out especially with the mdf.
If you take you time you can get a nice clean fit as seen in the last photo.
Step 5: Secret Compartment
OPTIONAL - SECRET COMPARTMENT
The idea for this was to make a secret compartment under the table where you could hide valuables. As explained earlier rout, jigsaw, flush trim. Who doesn't love secret compartments!
Step 6: Glue Up and Final Sanding
Finally glue the two sections of the table together using lots and lots of clamps so there are no gaps. Let dry overnight then sand everything well cleaning up any fluffy edges ready for painting. Don't forget to wear a dust mask when sanding.
Step 7: Making the Legs
Here you can see me joint, thickness and cut the legs to size. I made the legs 30mm square and 550mm long, this makes it slightly lower than the height of the bed. These legs are made from cheap untreated pine from an old bed frame.
Step 8: Painting & Attaching Legs
For best results I give the table top and legs a couple of coats of undercoat then several coats of enamel paint leaving plenty of time in-between for drying. Because I had to do the painting outside which isn't ideal I ended up having to sand lightly between coats to remove any dust or particles. I ended up with a very nice finish in the end.
Tip - You can use the table top upside down to hold the legs temporarily for easy painting.
Don't forget to mask up the mouth after painting it white so that when you have completed painting you can remove the masking tape to revel the white mouth.
The last step is to attach the legs which I did simply by using epoxy glue. Just make sure the legs are straight while drying and brace temporarily in place if necessary. This will make a nice strong joint.
Step 9: Completed Side Table
Finally it is complete!
Also I forgot to mention that we are still on the lookout for a small round alarm clock which we can put on Pac Man mouth so that its looks like he is going to gobble it up : )