Bedside table from tulipwood/poplar with laser-cut LED back-lit insert and glass top


I’m currently working on a project to build a bedside table which will utilise most of the machines in the woodshop as we prepare higher level woodshop machine induction plans…

It is a mini version of a previous project I did for a coffee table which was partially constructed from. an existing coffee table. This project is building everything from scratch from fairly rough initial timber.

The project is using a few pieces of tulipwood (poplar) kindly gifted to me by @Julia which start as follows:-

Step 1: Table Saw to rip the various pieces down to rough cross-sectional dimensions for the various components…

Step 2: Planer / Thicknesser to straighten and plane the various pieces to consistent dimensions

Step 3: Mitre /Chop Saw to cut components to length and also mitre the table top frame

Step 4: Morticer to cut mortices into the table legs ready to accommodate the tenons for the connecting rails

Step 5: Bandsaw to cut the longitudinal cuts for the tenons on the connecting rails

Step 6: Handtools, tenon saw / chisels to cut the cross-cuts for the tenons and fit to mortices in legs

Components ready for dry-assembly prior to final finessing to make joints fit better…

Current dry-assembled table ready for next steps…

OK, more to come as I move to routing the rebates in the top frame for the laser cut insert panel and glass and also the housing for the light box and potentially a bottom shelf.

More updates to come as soon as I move on to next steps…


Looking sharp! This is going to be a beauty

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Thanks, taking some time but getting there :rofl:

that looks really nice


are you going to exttrude your tiles 3 layers like we spoke about? I think it would work really well here

Anyway, looking badass, boss!

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thanks :slight_smile: I wasn’t going to no because not sure I have enough depth in the upper frame but now you’ve got me thinking :thinking:

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even 2 layers will take it to the next level. 2 layers of 2mm instead of one of 3… you can find a mm in there somewhere, no? :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I think you are right, can def manage 2 x 3mm or even 3 x 2mm maybe :slight_smile:

Still want to try to make some of those plugs to hold warped material in place, could be good time to try it with some of that dodgy 2mm warped stuff

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OK, tried with one of my designs with a 2mm offset and works quite well but 3 layers might be a challenge unless I adjust the design because of some paths which become almost single lines, needs some tweaking but definitely worth a try, thanks for the suggestion :slight_smile:

Going to try some of my other designs or make some new ones as well which work better with offset paths…


that looks great man! good job!

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Finally finished those little side tables with the LED lightbox inserts… only took almost a year! :rofl:

Lessons Learned:

  1. Be more selective with heart/sap wood as I ended up just staining to walnut/dark oak to hide the wood variations, effectively hiding a lot of the grain :frowning:
  2. Plan the power pack housing in advance and laser cut it to avoid final ‘botch’ to add to underside of the lightbox - rushed the final stages a bit
  3. More practice with the router / router table - plenty of tear out through lack of experience/knowledge
  4. Learn more about setting up of bandsaw to avoid blade movement which created some dodgy tenons
  5. Use better lighting for photos :wink:
    • many more…

Anyway, here are some photos… (apologies for the lighting and blur on the dark photos, the backlit LED stuff looks much better in person, honest :rofl: )


What a great project - thanks for sharing Steve.

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Those look wonderful! Great job Steve!

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Thanks! some of the colours are a bit intense and on the strobe or slow-fade settings they get a bit disco but they look good as ambient light in a room :slight_smile:

they look awesome dude well done

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These look fantastic, very well done man

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