Post 5: Industrial Bedside table

My process for creating this project involved going to many many thrift stores to find inspiration for something I could upcycle. Unfortunately, I was not struck by inspiration like I hoped to be…

My initial plan was to build a light to complement my current speaker desk setup, unfortunately I never found anything to use as a starting point for the design. However, I found a super cool alarm clock during my look for inspiration and I decided it was too good of a deal to pass up so I took it home. I put the clock on my bedside table and was immediately not a fan of how my current table looked with the alarm clock, maybe it was the color combination or the fact that it was a round table with a square clock but something felt off. I decided that my project will not be a lamp but instead a bedside table to compliment the “new” clock. Below is a picture of my old table with the new clock.

Next I started looking for unique ways to create a table out of materials I had. I initially was looking for some old table that I could take and refurbish, either by adding new legs or refinishing the wood but I never found anything that caught my eye. Next, I started looking for more unorthodox ways of supporting a table. I thought it would be a cool concept to take something and not use it for it’s intended purpose, like using a coffee cup to hold a plant or shoelaces as a belt. This led me to this black tripod I saw laying in the back of the store, upon further inspection the tripod was actually an 80’s made in the usa model which meant good quality and a nice patina on it. The tripod became the perfect candidate for the project, since it is functional as it can be folded down and also extend in height yet it is not designed to be used for that function. I also knew there was a scrap piece of plywood that’s been sitting in my living room for the past month so I saw the perfect opportunity to create a table.

In a sense, I let the aesthetic come to its own fruition, I wasn’t set on anything in particular but I wanted the clock to fit the new table. Looking at the materials I had found, the tripod and unfinished plywood I strongly felt like this would emulate the industrial aesthetic. This is due to the brutal nature of the tripod with its exposed screws, handles, and mechanism. This along with the plywood which has a very gritty texture, sharp corners, and sort of random paint on the sides really cemented that aesthetic. The blocky/chunky nature of the whole table really fit well with the clock itself which is square with knobs and buttons to interact with.

To assembly this I first cut the plywood to size, I measured the ideal size for the space I was working with. After cutting the wood I stained it with polyurethane which gives the wood a slightly finished feel but still not hiding the texture and colors of the plywood which I thought really complemented the style. After that, I found the correct hardware needed to secure the table to the mount on the tripod. Then the last step was to ensure that everything was level, I cut small pieces of wood into shims to level it all out and the final result is something I’m very happy with!

Like most projects, something like this is never really quite done and I have some ideas on how to improve the design, in both aesthetics and functionality. I want to round the corner on the plywood slightly to make it feel a little bit more professional, I also plan on 3d printing a slightly better attachment method to eliminate the need for shims which I think makes it look a bit “cobbled” together. Finally a small set of hooks or a little shelf would greatly add to the functionality of the table, giving it more purpose and making it look more completed.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Nicholas, the final project looks great! Looks like something you would find at Ikea. The idea to use a tri-pod as the table legs is genius and I couldn’t even tell it was a tri-pod supporting the table until you explained your design. I agree some hooks on the bottom would look awesome and add extra storage. Since the tri-pod is adjustable, is it easy to adjust the height of the table as well? Very cool project!

  • Hi Nicholas, I think your project was really interesting. I appreciate how honest you were about your thought process, and how you let the final design build itself. If I could, I would like to suggest painting the plywood and perhaps coating it so you don’t get any splinters. Additionally, I agree that it would look nice if you founded the edges; I think that would make the table seem more professional and match the aesthetic better. Good job!


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