D.I.Y. copper and timber bedside table

Jess, Team member
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D.I.Y. copper and timber bedside table

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Project Overview

A bedside table is more than just a way to keep things tidy in your bedroom or a place for a lamp. It can be a real focal point for your bedroom. This copper bedside table will add a modern touch of style to your bedroom and it’s really easy to make.

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How to lubricate difficult screws with soap
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How to lubricate difficult screws with soap

We’ve all had times when we just can’t get a screw into a piece of wood. Here’s a simple tip to make the job easier. Take a bar of soap and run the side of the screw along it, so that the grooves are covered in soap. Put the screw back into the hole and you should now find driving the screw into the wood much easier.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut your timber
2 Measure the copper pipes
3 Cut the legs
4 Cut the support frame
5 Put the frame together
6 Sand the tabletop
7 Varnish the tabletop
8 Mark and measure for the frame
9 Attach the frame to the table
10 Polish the legs
  • Step 1. Cut your timber

    Before you start this project, you can have your timber pre-cut at your local Bunnings. We had our piece of dressed timber cut to 450mm x 350mm.

  • Step 2. Measure the copper pipes

    The support and legs for the bedside table are made from copper pipes. To make the first leg, measure and mark the pipe at 520mm.

  • Step 3. Cut the legs

    Use the pipe cutter to cut the first leg at the 520mm mark. Then use this piece of pipe to mark the length on the three other legs. Cut them to size and they should all be even. A handy tip when using the pipe cutter is not to overtighten it. To do this, tighten the cutter a little bit after every revolution to give you a cleaner cut.

  • Step 4. Cut the support frame

    The bedside table we’re making will have an overhang, so the support frame needs to be smaller than the tabletop. So we cut two 325mm lengths of pipe and two 220mm lengths. Remember when cutting the pipes for the support base to allow for the elbows in the measurements.

  • Step 5. Put the frame together

    Now you need to connect the frame together. Take two 520mm pieces of pipe and connect them to a 325mm piece using elbows. Repeat this step with your other lengths of pipe for the legs. Then connect the leg ends with elbows and the 220mm lengths of pipe for the base. When everything is in line and square, use a crimping tool to secure the elbows to the pipes. You may need someone to hold the pipe while you crimp the elbows to the pipes. If you don’t have a crimping tool, you can use glue instead.

  • Step 6. Sand the tabletop

    Give your timber a quick sand with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and highlight the grain. Once you’ve sanded the entire tabletop, wipe away any dust.

  • Step 7. Varnish the tabletop

    To give the tabletop a fantastic finish and bring out the timber grain, apply a clear varnish to it. Use smooth strokes to apply the varnish with a good quality synthetic paint brush, and you’ll get a great finish. Leave it to dry and then lightly sand with 120 grit sandpaper and wipe away any dust. Apply as many coats as you like, remembering to lightly sand in-between each coat.

  • Step 8. Mark and measure for the frame

    Even though this is dressed timber, there might be some imperfections, so choose the side with the nicest grain for your tabletop. On the underside, work out where your frame will go and mark 50mm in from the long sides and 40mm in from the short sides. Use the T-square to make the lines straight.

  • Step 9. Attach the frame to the table

    Place the frame on these lines with the saddle clips in place. Use a pencil to mark the holes in the saddle clips. Pre-drill the holes with a 2mm drill bit. Then use 20mm timber screws to secure the frame to the table.

  • Step 10. Polish the legs

    To give your bedside table a brilliant finish, polish the legs with a metal polish and a soft cloth.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Cordless drill
  • 2mm pilot hole drill bit
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Gloves
  • Handheld hack saw or pipe cutter
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil
  • Pipe crimping tool
  • Safety glasses
  • Sanding block
  • T-square

Materials

  • 600mm x 1800mm x 26mm hardwood utility panel
  • .75” x 1500mm copper pipe x 7
  • .75” 90-degree elbow joint x 8
  • .75” saddle clamps x 8
  • .75” T-joints x 4
  • 20mm timber screws
  • Copper cleaner
  • Paint or varnish
  • Rags
  • 200 grit ad 120 sandpaper
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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