Friday, May 18, 2012

Free Woodworking Plan: You Can Build a Bedside Table

On its to becoming an antique; our bedside table circa 1987.

One of my favorite woodworking projects has always been the bedside table I made about 25 years ago. We had purchased most of the furniture for the room - all made of pine, but when we were able to afford a matching side table, the furniture line had been discontinued. So, I decided to make one that incorporated design elements from what we had already purchased.

This table was challenging because many aspects of the project were firsts for me: my first attempt at raised panels, I had never included beads around the drawer and door openings, and as I recall, this was the first project which utilized bracket feet.

The other furniture in the room were all made of knotty pine (I was into knotty pine at the time), so I chose pine for this project. I have always liked the proportions: a nice balance between the height and width; the bracket feet aren't too big and I even like that the face frame stiles on the left and right sides have a little more width on them and they contain a nice chamfer as well.

I have replicated the process of building this table in my fifth woodworking plan titled You Can Build a Bedside Table. Also, this plan has been updated; instead of just showing you how it was built many years ago, I decided to incorporate a few design changes to reflect how I would build this table today.

To get an idea of what the project plan looks like, see some example pages below (click the images to enlarge):

I continue to look for ways to improve these plans I do and You Can Build a Bedside Table incorporates a couple of advancements. First, the plan incorporates true orthographic views, something I have never included before. These are basically straight ahead, two dimensional views which are useful when adding dimensions. Secondly, instead of one main exploded view, there are exploded views throughout the plan. You Can Build a Bedside Table is sixteen pages long and I include web based links for sources as well as more detailed information on how to complete certain tasks.

A super cool project plan experience - Sawtooth
You Can Build a Bedside Table is available as a free download from Sawtooth Ideas. This new site provides a unique way to view project plans. You can download them in the normal way; as a PDF file, but the plan becomes interactive with their IdeaRoom software. You can see the finished project in 3D, a 3D exploded view, and even zoom in and find dimensions for specific components, again in 3D. Best of all their IdeaRoom software is available for use on a mobile device like a smart phone or tablet.

To get this plan free at Sawtooth Ideas, click here.

See the completed bedside table as build by Ed M. by clicking here.

A note about my woodworking plans: I go to great lengths to organize them so they will be easy to follow. Prior to building a project, thoroughly read the plan and make sure you understand all of the process. If you find something to be confusing, all you have to do is email me so we can discuss it. My email address is

I hope you find this table to be a handsome project. And as always, I am interested in some feedback, so leave me a comment if you would like to. To view all of my woodworking plans, click here.

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Jim Barry said...

Jeff, Nice project ! Thanks for submitting it to us for consideration. We'll be adding it to our free woodworking plans sites.

Woodwork Safely,

Jeff Branch said...

Thanks Jim!

David Scott said...

Great looking project. I may give it a whirl for.our guest bedroom.

Jeff Branch said...

Yea David, I like the way it turned out. And it is somewhat challenging, but not too hard to build.

Good to hear from you.


Ant said...

Hi Jeff, the plans look great, nice to see you managed to get the original features in place.

Jason Herrick said...

Jeff, the ebook looks amazing! By far your finest one. I really like the table as well. The woodworking community is so lucky to have people like you sharing such amazing information and hard work!

Jeff Branch said...

Thanks Ant and Jason. I like doing them and I am constantly surprised by what you can do with a home computer and an internet connection.

Pham Linh said...

I am totally surprised to see this fantastic blog on home furnishing. Thanks for this great share! Read more

Tom Brady said...

Hi Jeff,
Thank your share! This DIY project is great. I specially love DIY projects. You can share with me, can't you? woodworkingtoolkit