Nightstand Extension Table

Adjustable beds are becoming more and more popular, however one struggle I seem to find is that when they are in an upright position it is much more difficult to reach the nightstand. So I set out to create a table top for a night stand that could extend outward towards the foot of the bed for when it is upright and then return to the original position when the bed is lowered.

WARNING: Due to the fact that each night stand varies in size, material, color, etc. The dimensions of my specific table may differ from your own. You will also need to determine how much of an extension you what. Some people may only want a little, others may want to double it though, so just be aware of how your table may be different from my own.

Supplies:

Tools:

  • Hand Sander
  • Drill
  • Wood saw
  • Steel cutter
  • Belt Sander

Supplies:

  • 3x3 ft. 3/4in thick sheet of wood(type is up to you)
  • 96in 1-1/2x1-1/2in plank of wood(again, type is up to you)
  • 8 1-1/2in zinc flat head wood screw
  • 48 1/4in steel flat washers
  • 48in 3/4x1/8in steel flat bar
  • 6in steel T-hinge

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Step 1: Step 1: Creating the Top

The first thing you must do, is take a visit to your nightstand and determine the dimensions that you must cut the sheet of wood to in order to match this top that is already on the night stand. Using the Wood saw, cut out your desired table top.

Next using the hand sander, sand off the top to your desired smoothness as well as the sides and corners. After using the wood saw, the top may have a lot of splinters, so be careful, and be sure to sand it down for as long as you need to in order to get the top nice and smooth.

Step 2: Step 2: the Arms

In order to achieve the extension of the table, We will be using a cantilever system, which is similar to that of a toolbox, where as you open it the top remains level through the whole process.

Using the steel cutter, cut the steel flat bar into 4 equal pieces of whatever length you need to achieve the extension you would like. Personally i wanted mine to extend fairly far, so i cut mine at 7-3/4 inches each.

I then used the belt sander to smooth out the edges as well as round of the corners of all the four flat bars.

Next you need to drill holes at the end of each bar to where the center of the 2 holes are the same distance apart on every bar, I chose 7 inches apart from the center of each hole. The size of the drill hole should be just bigger than 1-1/2in because you will need to be able to slide the wood screws through these holes.

Step 3: Step 3: What Will the Arm Attach To?

This step will involve taking the planks of wood and cutting them into 6 equal pieces. These pieces should be roughly 2 inches shorter than the depth of the top of the table. My table has a curved front so I measured from the shortest depth and my wood plank pieces ended up coming out to around 1 foot each.

Now take 3 of the pieces and set them aside. The first part you only need 3.

On the right side of 1 of the planks drill a wood screw into the plank 1 inch from the back of the plank and centered on height. When you drill in the wood screw, you need to slide 1 flat washer on the screw, then 1 of the metal flat bars, and then 5 more flat washers, then finally drill it into the wood. It should be drilled tight but not to where the flat bar can not spin.

Next take a different plank and from 8 inches from the back and centered in height, drill another hole on the left side and do the same process with the screw, screw, 1 washer, use the other side of the same flat bar, 5 more washers, and then into the wood.

Now on the plank of wood with the screw in the left side, you need to drill a hole on the right side that is centered in height but 1 inch back from the front of the plank. Then take the 2nd flat bar and and attach one side of it to the hole with the same, wood screw, 1 washer, flat bar, 5 washers, process.

Then take the 3rd plank of wood and drill a hole on the left side, centered in height, 8 inches back from the front of the plank and attach the other side of the 2nd flat bar to this hole with the wood screw, washer, flat bar, and 5 more washers process.

Step 4: Step 4: Mirroring It

Now using the other 3 planks and other 2 flat bars, you will need to do the same thing but mirrored. It should look like the picture above. When doing this, use the same 1 screw, 1 washer, flat bar, 5 washer, into the wood process that you used for the other side. So when looking at it from the front with the center plank extended out. the flat bar on the outside should start 1 inch back from the front of the right plank and the flat bar on the left side should start 1 inch forward from the back of the center plank and go back 8 inches to the left plank.

Once both pieces are completed and sitting next to each other both extended, it should look like the 2nd picture from above.

Step 5: Step 5: Attaching All the Pieces

Next you must attach both sets of 3 planks to the bottom of the base/table top. To do this, you want to make sure the 3 planks are folded together to where the back of all 3 are flush. Next, using either wood glue or wood screws of your choice, attach the top of the center plank to the bottom of the base. The left plank should be 2 inches from the side and the back of the planks should be flush with the back of the base however the only plank actually being glued to the base, is the center plank.

Repeat the same process with the right 3 planks, having the right plank 2 inches from the side and attaching the center piece to the bottom of the base flush with the back.

Once all the pieces are attached, try extending the base, upside down it should look like the 2 center pieces are stuck to the bottom of the base, and the other 4 planks are free to swing.

When flipped right side up and closed, it should just look like a simple table top a few inches off the ground or whatever it is sitting on.

Step 6: Step 6: Attaching to the Original Nightstand

To do this, you can use either very strong wood glue, or wood screws, i elected to use glue. The way I did this was i centered the base with the planks closed underneath, to the top of the original nightstand. Then using either tape or a sharpie, mark where the edges of all the 4 planks are that are not attached to the base, i then lifted the base up, added glue down to the original nightstand right underneath where the 4 planks that are not attached will go, and then placed the base back down. This will allow for the 4 planks to be stuck to the nightstand while allowing the base attached to the other 2 planks to lift up and extend forward.

Step 7: Step 7: Stabilizing the Table

The last step is to attach the t hinge underneath the base and attach the short end to the original top of the nightstand. Then the long piece of the 6 inch t hing will need to be bent 90 degrees 2-1/4 inches from the bottom of the hinge. This way when the table is extended you can fold the t hinge over the back of the table to keep it held down for extra stability. You will also nee to cut the top of the 6 inch piece enough to where when the hinge is folded back, the height is not above where the table rests when pulled back.

NOTE: the picture above is not a T-hinge, it has the same exact function however and anything with a hinge and one side long enough to fold over the back will work.

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    2 Discussions

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    tylighter12seamster

    Reply 8 days ago

    Wow! I really appreciate it! I just turned 18 and it's my first instructables. Had to do it for an engineering project and I had a blast! Hope it turned out good:)