Building A Modern Oak and Metal Side Table with John Malecki


In this video I build a modern side table for my living room. Featuring A hand cut dovetail drawer, an awesome inset metal drawer pull, and continuous mitered edges.

I have been on a mission to upgrade my home as of recent. Probably because I no longer live alone, and I do have the skills to improve my home’s equity. With those improvements comes new furniture to go with it. So after making my Concrete Coffee Table I wanted to complement it in the room with some wood. So I came up with the design for this beautiful Modern Side Table.

If you want to see how I built it, check out the full video HERE! 

Building A piece of furniture like this is actually quite basic

  1. Break Down / Glue Up Panels
  2. Flatten & Miter Panels
  3. Cut the Joinery & Glue Up Carcass
  4. Create Drawer Front
  5. Hand Cut Drawer
  6. Cut & Assemble Base
  7. Sand, Finish, & Assemble


Break Down / Glue Up Panels

Breaking down the lumber is the same as any basic standard process. Rough cut, joint, and plane the material to thickness. From there glue up all 4 panels.


Flatten & Miter Panels

When the panels are out of glue up, you want to flatten and and prep these panels for final glue up. Using a hand plane, flatten each panel, and sand and scrape them. Cut one side miter to 45* and then set the table saw to cut the opposite side to make sure all panels are the same size.

Modern Side Table -3


Cut Joinery & Glue Up Carcass

I use a domino Xl to reinforce the miters. I do recommend reinforcing them with some sort of joinery, whether its a biscuit, domino, or spline. As the wood moves it will expand apart due to its size. I glue it up using a ratchet strap to get uniform clamping pressure.

Modern Side Table -5 Modern Side Table -6


Create Drawer Front

Cut the drawer front to size based on the inside distance from the glues up carcass. Cut the joinery for the inset pull. I used my Axiom CNC for this, but can easily be done with a router. Then shape your metal handle using basic metal working tools.

Modern Side Table -8


Hand Cut Drawer Box

Modern Side Table -11

Cut a drawer box to fit the chosen slides and sizing specifications you look for. I chose to cut mine by hand, and after 3 screw ups, got it right.


Cut & Assemble Base

Using flat bar, or cutting strips from plate like I did. Weld the base together and grind it flat and smooth. Prep it with your favorite primer and finish combo.


Sand, Finish, and Assemble

Modern Side Table -16 Modern Side Table -18Modern Side Table -17

Final sand the piece down to 220 Grit. I chose a simple and beautiful finish with Minwax Wipe On Poly. I love this finish for projects like this. Its highly durable and so easy to apply.

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