A while back, I made a king size bed for our bedroom using some barn wood that was given to me by my grandfather. I love the bed, but still had a little night stand next to it that was mine as a kid. It worked, but didn’t fit visually with the bed. Since I’ve been trying to find more metal working projects lately, I decided to use some of the remaining barn wood, with some steel, to make a bedside table.
As with most of my projects, I try to add one too many thing to it, for better or worse. In this case, I figured it’d be simple to add a little remote controlled night light to the bedside table. Turns out, it was a very simple addition that makes the project a lot cooler!
I’ve got digital plans available if you want to build your own!Get Digital Plans
Here’s what you’ll need:
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- MIG welder
- Welding mask (auto darkening)
- Welding gloves
- Welding magnet
- Angle grinder
- Cut off wheels
- Stripping disc
I cut the barn wood down to two pieces of matching width.
Each piece got light sanding to remove dirt. I also used a wire brush on my drill to clean off some soft and rotten sections.
I used Formby’s Tung Oil Finish, which is a mixture of polyurethane and tung oil. It gives a really nice finish, even on rough wood.
I saturated the top and front of both pieces, and added a thin second coat after it dried.
Using 1″ square steel tubing, I cut two pieces with 45˚ angles on one end.
I used those pieces as guides to cut two more pieces to the same length (also with 45˚ angles).
I was using this cut-off saw for the first time. It has it’s pros, and cons, compared to using a cut off wheel on a grinder.
I cut two more pieces, to the width of my shelves, with opposing 45˚ angles. These will connect the legs I cut earlier.
I cleaned up all of the cut edges with a flap disc on an angle grinder.
I used welding magnets to hold the pieces at 90˚ angles for welding. The magnets help, but don’t automatically make the angles perfect. You’ll still need to adjust the pieces with a square.
I welding the seams on one side of the pieces. Then flipped it over and did the other.
I made a duplicate frame for the other side.
I used the flip disc to grind down the welds, completely hiding the seams.
I measured the space in between the legs and cut two more pieces to fit.
On a 1.5″ flat bar, I made marks ever 2″ and used an angle grinder to cut it into pieces.
Each of these tabs got smoothed out with the flap disc again.
I measured up from the bottom of the legs, and inserted the cross braces. I have to bend the legs apart a little to fit them in, but they helped square everything up.
Then they got welded in place, and ground smooth.
I fit in the two cross pieces (same width as the wooden shelves).
I used magnets to hold the cross pieces inbetween the two frames. . Notice that there are magnets to keep the pieces perpendicular in two directions.
It’s helpful to measure to the top span and the bottom span to keep the side frames parallel.
With the frame upside down, I welded on the tabs. These welds will carry the weight of the shelves and their contents, so they should be solid and strong.
These welds will be underneath the shelves, so they don’t have to be too pretty, but I ground them a bit anyway.
I used a punch on each of the tabs to make a little mark for a drill bit.
I drilled a small on each tab using a stepped bit.
WD-40 helps keep the bit cool, and the cutting happens faster with it.
After all of the holes were drilled, I flipped over the frame and drill in from the other side. This smoothes out the opening on the underside without making the hole any bigger.
I used a stripping disc on my grinder to clean off and even out the finish on all of the steel. This is used for removing rust and paint, but doesn’t try to grind away the metal.
The whole frame got a good coating of spray polyurethane.
I fit the shelves in place, and screwed them on with short wood screws.
I cut a short strip of LEDs at one of the marked cutting locations.
The strip has an adhesive back, so I attached it to the steel. I used hot glue to hold the wiring to the back of the frame to help hide it.
If I ever decide to remove the LEDs, the glue will pull right off, no problem.
Now I’ve got a remote controlled light on my new night stand!