• Steve

Mission-Style Bedside Table

A few years ago, I build a storage platform bed to match our existing mission-style cherry bedroom furniture. The storage bed and drawers have worked out great, something I'll go into much more detail in a separate post. One small issue has always been the lack of a bedside table or nightstand. Our master bedroom isn't the biggest, and the only space for

the tall dresser is next to the bed leaving no room for a nightstand. After a few years of leaving my phone and magazines on the floor or reaching way up to the top of the dresser, I finally decided to build a small table at mattress height that would also accommodate the drawers in the bed frame. The construction was simple enough...matching the finish with our existing furniture, well, not so much!

For each project, I begin with a simple design to specify the sizing, materials, and build considerations. The design for this table is simple with a 12" x 14" top and bottom panels connected by two 18" vertical pillars secured using pocket-hole screws and glue. The top

Simple table design specification

and bottom panels consist of several boards glued together. The top has a smaller strip glued as an accent and "backstop", so to speak. To add greater structural strength and add aesthetic appeal, some hammered metal l-brackets will be added on the inside for both the top and bottom. I chose to construct the table out of solid cherry thinking it would be easier to match the finish on the cherry furniture. More on that later...

After some quick math, I ordered 3 board feet of 4/4 cherry from my friends and Woodworker's Source with two sides surfaced and one edge straight line ripped. This left one rough edge which was easy to rip off using my Dewalt table saw. If you've never ordered any wood from Woodworkers's Source, I recommend it, as the quality of their wood is outstanding. We live about an hour away from the nearest quality lumberyard, so paying for shipping is well worth it. I decided on ripping boards at roughly 4 inches for the top and bottom. The vertical pieces were cut at 3.5". A few simple glue-ups later and I had the top and bottom ready for planing and sanding.

Using pocket holes to connect the bottom and top to the vertical pieces was incredibly easy thanks to my Kreg jig. Once the assembled, I used maple pocket hole plugs to try and hide the pocket holes. Final sanding once the glue dried proved that the plug work very well. Even after applying the stain and finish, the pocket holes are barely noticeable.

While the construction was simple, the finish caused some problems. In the end, I'm very happy with the overall result, but it is far from perfect. The color does match the existing furniture quite well; however, I still experienced blotching with the cherry. Cherry and other light hardwoods like maple are notoriously difficult to stain due to blotching. I did use a pre-stain conditioner with mixed results. The stain was a custom blend of Minwax Red Mahogany and Expresso with two coats sanded lightly in between. The final finish was two coats of Minwax Polycrylic spray urethane. Using spray urethane as the final coat is extremely easy and the results are excellent.

So, in the end, I think it turned out pretty good and wasn't that difficult, only time-consuming. I'd love to know what you think! If you are interested in any of the tools or materials used, just click on any of the links below. Thanks!

Kreg R3 Jig

DEWALT DWE6421K 5" Random Orbit Sander

Delta Power Tools 22-555 13 In Portable Thickness Planer

DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Table Saw



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