Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's an entertainment center, no wait, it's a desk!

The past couple of weeks I was working on the Monster table for the Docs.  There was a lot of  time between finish steps when I was basically "watching paint dry".  I needed something to do.
Camper daughter had mentioned that she wanted to redo her son's bedroom but that she'd need to redo the closet organization before she could do anything to the bedroom.  She also mentioned that she'd like a small, simple desk for her office.  Well, the office and her son's room are going to be going through their changes at the same time since furniture in one room will be switched out and moved to the other room.  I figured it would help if the desk were completed, and the closet organization stuff was ready to go once the "move" got started.  The closet stuff is started, and Thanks to a lucky find, the desk is complete.

I've mentioned before in this blog that I have a couple of favorite thrift stores that I like to scrounge for tables and things that I can use for my projects.  One day shortly after my conversation with Camper Daughter I was in the thrift store when all furniture was 50% off.  I eyed an oak entertainment center - you know what I'm talking about, I think we all had one.  Like this:

This isn't the one I bought, but it's very similar (see mine in the truck bed).  In any case, I saw it and thought "desk".  So, I brought it home and had my way with it!

I had to take all the doors off of it before I could get it out of the truck.

Here, if you look closely, you can see the black line I drew where I planned to cut it to desk height.

The top came off easily.

And, it was pretty easy to get it cut down to size.

Here it is, right after I took the circular saw to it and redesigned it to have two sides and an open center, and with the top just sitting on it.

I added another short piece to create a small open area on the right side. (disregard that piece in the back - it was there temporarily to stabilize the piece while I worked on it.) And, sanded and filled areas, and added a taller base moulding (not seen in this picture).

And, almost ready for stain and paint

And, finished.  I used a homemade chalk paint and applied a couple coats of polyurethane.  The top is stained with Minwax Dark Walnut.  There are shelves for each side so that she can add baskets to hold her paperwork - or, if she decides that a drawer on the left side will be better use of the space, I can use the door I saved and painted to make one.

Not too shabby for an old piece of furniture.  And, for $35 it's darned close to just what she wanted!  This has been delivered and is in place.  I don't think she's had time to sit down and work at it, but I do know that Camper granddaughter used it as a sewing table and confirmed that it's a great work space!

First part of the reorg done.  Closet organizer due about July 10th!

It's hot as heck right now - hopefully after a couple weeks visiting Logger daughter and family it will be cool enough to work here.

Happy summer!

Another Monster Dining Table - DONE!

Well, the Docs finally figured out that I'd somehow screwed up the measurements on the original dining table I made for them.  Remember this one?

I'm not sure how it happened (ok, I just read the measurements wrong - no big deal, right???), but the width of this table was only 33".  It really worked just fine for dining, but the problem was that with plates on each side of the table there was no room for serving dishes in the center of the table.  When we ate at the Docs, it was always buffet style!

Several months ago they mentioned that they might want to increase the width of the table.  We talked about just making a new top and replacing the original top with that.  However, I wasn't sure if the base was wide enough to support the additional 7-10" they were looking for.  

I didn't jump right on this project, but after 5-6 months I started feeling bad and brought it up again.  I asked if they wanted the same style or something different, and most importantly what size they wanted the table to be.  They came up with the size and said they were open for something different.  During the time I'd been thinking of this I came across a web site for a designer of some very interesting furniture pieces.  ( I absolutely loved a leg that he'd used on a table and showed that to the Docs.  They loved it, too, and decided that they liked not just the leg, but the table.  Here's what started this whole, challenging process:  

Isn't that the sleekest, simplest leg EVER???  Well, I thought it was cool, and so did they; I had a starting point.  I wasn't sure I could pull off this leg - and I really didn't.  But, I came kind of close.  It took a lot of thought,  
My starting point - which underwent several changes when I just couldn't work out the angles!!

A whole lot of planning and trial runs:

A whole lot of glue:

And sanding:

And, then I had the table top:

And, then I had legs:

 And, finally, a table!  The legs aren't as beautiful (nor are they as neatly done!) as the inspiration table's legs, but they are still sleek and pretty.

After adding a lot of support to the bottom of the table and legs, it was ready for the staining to begin.  The Docs wanted a finish that was a little more brown than the old table (that was a gray-brown).  Since the original table was built, they've added a few mid-century pieces to the mix.  This table sits adjacent to their more modern style living room pieces - the color of which is a warm reddish brown.
So, finishing went like this:

  1. Apply Minwax golden oak stain, let dry overnight.
  2. Sand off most of the golden oak.
  3. Apply Minwax weathered oak stain, let dry overnight.
  4. Sand off most of the weathered oak stain.
  5. Apply another coat of Minwax golden oak stain, let dry overnight.
  6. Sand off most of that stain.
  7. Wipe off fine dust with damp cloth, let dry.
  8. Apply coat of polyurethane, satin finish, and let dry overnight.
  9. Lightly sand and wipe clean
  10. Apply coat of polyurethane, satin finish, and let dry overnight.
  11. Lightly sand and wipe clean.
  12. Apply coat of polyurethane, satin finish, and let dry 2 hours.
  13. Apply coat of polyurethane, satin finish, and let dry overnight.
  14. Lightly sand and wipe clean.
  15. Apply coat of polyurethane, satin finish and let dry 2 hours.
  16. Apply coat of polyurethane, satin finish and let dry.
  17. DONE!!!
Then, build bench and finish as above!  (did reduce the number of coats of poly to 3! - call me lazy!)

I delivered the table and bench today, Father's Day.  

They are very happy with it.  The table is a good mix of their rustic and modern style, is sturdy - DIL Doc can dance on the table if she wants, and it's big enough to easily sit 8 - 10 with room for serving platters on the table!  I'm happy to have challenged myself and followed through to the finish - the math for this one had me wishing I'd paid more attention to geometry in high school (well, in grade school, too - even a better understanding at that level would have helped!!)  And, I made sure that every inch of this sucker has been sanded smooth - so,  Little Doc can crawl and stand around this table without worry of splinters.

I'm looking forward to dinner at the Docs!