If you have a bunk or cabin bed in your house it is not exactly possible to have a bedside table... Or is it??
To solve this issue, I have designed the collapsible bunk bed table. This simple invention hooks over the edge of a bunk bed and gives the bed a flat surface for keeping a book, torch or bedside lamp. It is made of wood and looks very nice especially if the bed itself is made of wood. It is designed to be collapsible so that the table is not taking up space when not in use.
This project is a moderate skill level and could be completed over a weekend.
Don't forget to check out the project video above!
So lets get started...
Step 1: Gather Parts
To begin making the collapsible bunk bed bedside table you will need to collect the following things:
- 4x Small hinges (see photo above for a rough idea of size)
- 20 mm thick piece of solid pine with the dimensions 300 mm by 400 mm (for the surface)
- 56 mm of 9 mm dowel
- Wood glue
- 66 cm length of 55 mm by 20 mm pine (for the upright support posts)
- 42 cm length of 30 mm by 10 mm pine (for the support arms)
- 29 cm length of 25 mm by 20 mm pine (for the horizontal support)
- 11 cm length of 30 mm by 10 mm pine (for the pegs)
50mm x 50 mm x 18 mm metal "L" brackets
- Silver spray paint
- Self-adhesive craft foam
- Belt sander
- Wood saw
- Wood chisel and mallet
- Set square
- Bench vice
- Drill with 9 mm drill bit
- Mitre box
Step 2: Make the Brackets
This step involves making the brackets that allow the table to hook over the edge of the bed.
Take the "L" brackets and use the vice and a hammer to bend one half of the "L" so it forms and "r" shape. You can also use a piece of scrap metal secured in the vice to bend the bracket around and get an accurate fit. You will need to do this so that the brackets will fit over your particular bed.
Once they are bent into shape, use the belt sander to remove any rough edges and surface blemishes and to round the corners so they are not sharp. Once this is complete, spray paint them so they will look nice and match the hinges.
You will need to complete this for both brackets. See the images above if you become confused at any point.
Step 3: Prepare the Wood
The next step is to prepare all the pieces of wood. You will need to start by sanding them to remove any blemishes and imperfections. You can do this by using a belt sander or if you don't have one you can do this by hand, it will just take a little longer.
Next, you will need to cut all the pieces. Here is a list of all the pieces you will need:
- 2x 33 cm lengths of 55 mm by 20 mm pine (for the upright support posts)
- 2x 21 cm lengths of 30 mm by 10 mm pine (for the support arms)
- 2x 5.5 cm lengths of 30 mm by 10 mm pine (for the pegs)
- 1x 4 cm by 40 cm piece of the 20 mm board
- 1x 26 cm by 40 cm piece of the 20 mm board
- 1x 29 cm length of 25 mm by 20 mm pine (for the horizontal support)
Once you have prepared all the pieces your ready to get gluing.
Step 4: Glue the Parts Together
Once all the pieces have been prepared they will all need gluing together. To do this you will need to glue together the narrow piece of 20 mm board and the two upright pieces.
Next, glue the horizontal piece between these two upright pieces near the bottom.
It is a good idea to clamp the pieces as they dry. You can remove any excess glue with a cloth and sand any dry glue off later. See the images above if you become confused.
When these pieces are dry take two hinges and screw them on to the edge of the narrow piece of board. Screw the larger piece of board to the other side of the hinge. You may want to use a chisel and mallet to create an indent so the hinge will sit flush to the surface. I used one larger hinge instead of two smaller ones in this step.
Step 5: Add the Support Arms
This step involves attaching the support arms.
First take the 30 mm x 10 mm x 210 mm pieces of wood and your mitre box and saw and cut a 45 degree angle on each end of the wood so that the wood looks like a trapezium when viewed from the side.
With the arms cut to length with the wedge shape ends, take the hinges and screws. Screw a hinge to the arms on the longer side of wood on the arms. Next, screw the hinges to the underside of the surface of the table so that they are 13 cm along from the unhinged edge and line up with the two vertical supports at the other end.
Repeat this step with the other arm on the other side.
Step 6: Make the Locking Pegs
To make the locking pegs, take the small 5.5 cm x 3 cm blocks of wood and the 9 mm dowel.
First, cut the dowel into 2 2.8 cm lengths using the wood saw.
With the 9 mm drill bit, Slowly drill a hole all the way through both the pieces of wood. Using wood glue, glue a piece of dowel into each of the holes in the blocks of wood. Wipe off any glue that oozes out with a cloth. You may need to use a mallet as it may be a tight fit.
Once the glue is dry, sand the wood to remove any excess glue.
Step 7: Add the Finishes
To finish the table, you will need to attach the brackets to the table, screw them on by using the small screws to attach them to the back of the table on the corners. They should be level with the top surface of the table. See the image above for the exact position.
Secondly, take the self adhesive foam and cut it into a shape that will fit to line the brackets. The purpose of the foam is to prevent any damage to the wood of the bed. Stick the foam inside the brackets.
After this, hook the table over the bed and hold the support arms so that the table is level and they are resting against the support posts. Mark the position so the pegs will be in the right place. With the position marked, remove from the bed and line the peg up with the mark. Drill a hole at the position where the dowel in the peg meets the upright support post using the 9 mm drill bit.
Whilst you have still got the drill bit, drill two more holes, one in each support post. They should be at the top near the hinges. These holes are used to store the pegs when the table is not in use.
Step 8: Results
And that's it. Some of the steps may be a little difficult to get your head around but if you become confused at any point just check out the images and they will help you.
You will no longer have any problem when you want a bedside table for a bunk or cabin bed.
Don't forget to leave an "I Made It!" If you attempt this project. I would love to see how yours turns out.