Walnut Slab Bedside Tables

My best projects are ones that fill a need and these are no exception. Once Jenna moved into a bigger apartment, there was more room and more opportunities for some cool projects. First thing to be created are some walnut slab semi-floating bedside tables. You can go full floating, but with the earlier copper tubing fun I'd been having, I thought a single arm of copper would make these standout. 


Before starting the project, measure your available space. These are made with one long board cut into halves at about 18" each. Maybe you have space for something more asymmetric? That'd be fun too. Working with 18" on either side, I found a board that was about 40" long and 9" deep. The slab was about an inch and a half thick, which was perfect for the look I was going for. Had a live edge which I softened with a wire brush and sander. No desire for bark, but the organic edge profile was beautiful.

Next, cut your boards to final dimensions. I trimmed any checked ends with a chop saw and had to glue up some cracks. That's what sometimes happens with the bargain bin lumber from Goby Walnut. Once cut to the final size, I measured some copper pipe and dry assembled fittings so I could measure out where the arm should be inset into the underside of each shelf. 

After marking where the shelf arm will fall, make a hole in each using a drill press and forstener bit. 

To facilitate wall attachment, I used a Kreg pocket screw jig to create six holes in each board. Six holes per might be overkill, but this way you are sure to hit some solid wood in the wall. 

After the rough work on the boards are finished, solder your tubing together.

After cutting and drilling, it's time to start sanding. Wear a mask, keep your sandpaper clean and step down from 80 to 150 to 180 to 220. Farther if you're really ambitious. Don't rush on this step, sanding is the key to a proper finish. After sanding is complete, I applied my favorite Osmo wax. Let it dry overnight, sand with a fine pad and apply a second coat. Another evening to cure and they are ready to attach.

Hold up your boards to the desired height on the wall and install the copper 'wall cap'. I drilled a hold in them first, to make it easy. Insert your copper arm into the cap, then lower your board onto the other end and hold firmly against the wall placement. Use a level to straighten your surface and start adding your pocket screws. I used a few pocket screws and a few longer screws too. This was going into lath and plaster, so it's easy to find solid attach points. If you're going into sheetrock, you might consider butterfly anchors. 

After fully attached, stack up your trinkets and take a nap!