Introduction: Modern Bedside Tables

About: I'm a DIYer and creator likes to build, capture, and share my creations.

My buddy wanted cool, simple, and modern looking bedside tables to match the walnut-color bed he purchased. He opted for a butcher block counter top look with hairpin legs.

Full Video of the build is below, followed by all tools / materials and written steps to build. Best of luck!

Step 1: Gather Materials (Woot Woot)


  • 1 x 9" x 10' of S3S 5/4 Walnut (Specific to my 2 Tables at 14" x 14")
  • TiteBond II Wood Glue:
  • Danish Oil



  • My own $20 DIY Router Sled (flattens surfaces up to 23.5" wide)
  • Inclues
    • MDF Wood (2 pieces, 2' x 4' each)
    • Wood Screws



    Step 2: Mill / Rip Materials

    As I explain in the video, I had my local hardwood dealer plane both surfaces of the lumber I purchased as well as joint one edge. This cost me $15 total - and it saved me from needing to have any of that larger equipment, which, at the time of building this, I did not have (and still don't have).

    So, with my material prepped and ready, I could begin by cutting my pieces.

    I first measured and cut my material to 15" increments on the Miter Saw, which is easy when you set up a stop on the stand.

    Step 3: Cut Your Strips

    Butcher blocks are made up of many strips, so the next step was to set up a width I wanted to cut my strips to (I did 1.8") on the table saw, and repeat the same cut until you have enough pieces to make your project work.

    Since my pieces were 5/4 stock that had been planed, they were just a hair over 1" thick. This meant I needed 14 pieces per night stand to get a 14" x 14" size. Again - this was bespoke to me but you get the principal.

    The last photo shows how I divided my 28 strips into two equal sets of 14 pieces.

    Step 4: Make Your Piece Look Like a Butcher Block

    Next, I marked random locations for cuts to be made. Butcher blocks look like they do because they are composed of many small strips glued up, but not in a uniform fashion. So, I just freehanded this (first photo) and then made a "V" on the pieces to be able to line them back up if needed.

    Then, I just made repeat cuts on my Miter Saw along all of the various lines I marked (Pic 3).

    Last, I could then go back and flip random pieces over, rotate, etc. to help mix up the grain variety. This step is totally optional but I recommend it for cool aesthetics!

    Step 5: Glue It All Up

    I put masking tape over a piece of scrap wood so that I could glue up my tables on top of it and not worry about the glue sticking to the wood. I'd never done this before but it works great and I'll do it moving forward!

    I laid out the strips, rotated them 90°, applied a sufficient amount of glue to all pieces (just make sure all your surfaces are covered), spread it out evenly using a paint roller for the first time, and then clamped up with even pressure to let dry over night. I repeated this for the second table as well (obviously!)

    NOTE - I did do my best to keep everything flat, but my plan to flatten these properly was to use a router sled, so I didn't bother with any caul's or other methods to keep totally flat. If you have any questions about that - just shoot me a note and I can explain.

    Step 6: Router Sled Planing

    I built my own router sled that allows me to surface plane pieces up to 23.5 inches wide using a dado bit and my plunge router. It cost me about $20 to make in materials and works so well I'm going to have a hard time communicating just how well it does work!

    Step 7: Sanding and Squaring Up

    The router sled worked so well for me that I was able to do one pass at 120 grit on my orbital sander, followed by one pass of hand sanding at 220 grit to smooth it out and then take down the sharp edges slightly.

    Last up, using masking tape and a straight edge with my circular saw, I squared but both sides of each of my tables. The masking tape is to avoid tear out.

    Step 8: Attaching My Legs

    I marked in 1.5 inches on all sides, and using my rafter square, made sure everything was squared up.

    I then marked circles for all of my holes, and then pre drilled all of my pilot holes using a 3/32" bit and a piece of tape to help gauge my depth drilling (don't want to drill through on these!)

    Then, using the hardware provided, I attached each leg one by one.

    Step 9: Danish Oil Finish

    I love using Danish Oil on pieces as it cures well, protects the wood, and gives you the ability to "touch" the grain as it soaks into the wood, not on it. I did two total coats (only one is shown here), and my god did these things look awesome once I did that!

    Step 10: Admire Your Work / Final Photos

    This is one of those projects where the end result is so good, you can look back and track your progress that lead to you being able to create something so refined looking. From the clean cuts to the excellent glue up to just how flat and smooth these things are, I am very proud of my work and a bit jealous that I now have to give these away to my friend.

    If you want to know any materials, tools, or have any general questions answered, you can check out the second step or contact me via my website, and I would be happy to do answer them.

    As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

    I put out videos every few weeks.

    Cheers! Zach