Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Tale of a Table

Okay, so you remember that picture of what some thought looked like a butt with a butterfly closure on it?  Well, that was really just my thigh, but this is the story of how that happened.

Saturday K and I went to a cafe and, after dropping her off, I decided on a whim that I would like to investigate the Re-Store.  This is a place down in Ballard that recycles materials that were left over from construction or deconstruction.  They have light fixtures, globes, bathtubs, toilets, doors, windows, cabinet doors, drawers, slabs of granite, corian, sinks, wrought iron, lumber, flooring, chairs, balusters, etc, etc.  I went to find inspiration and found quite a few things.  I had the idea of making a table I could put in front of my futon for drinks, plates, and whatever else.  I found this really pretty window I thought I could use, but then I found the drawer section and, after having seen hinges, I thought it would be fun to make a table that had a liftable top so that you could store things in it.  This would also make the construction easier than just screwing some legs to a top.

The cabinet door I used for the top of the table (look! it used to have a knobby!)

I settled on a cabinet door, a drawer that was slightly smaller in area, and two balusters.  The balusters were kind of long, so I resolved to cut them in half.  I found a pair of matching hinges, some screws I thought would work, and headed to the register.  I had kind of been avoiding thinking about the cost, but it turned out they were quite reasonable!  The entire thing cost me $15!  I was so excited!

C'est un baluster!
The rest of the materials

So my plan had been to screw the balusters to the drawer and the hinges to the drawer and cabinet door.  (I took the tracks off the drawer).  However, the man who rung me up said that wasn't smart because that would go with the grain of the wood, and another person in line behind me said I could cut holes in the drawer to put the legs through and then put screws through two sides to make it more stable.  So I decided on that and now needed more screws.  I went to Hardwick's and purchased those and a drill bit to match (although I got home to discover I already had that size of drill now I have two!).

I hadn't intended to, but I ended up staining the wood the same color as the rest of the wood and doors in my apartment to match, which added a bit of time to the project.  I still need to redo part of the drawer because it had a varnish on it that I sanded most off, but I missed the front of the drawer, so the stain just dripped off.  I sawed the balusters in half and stained them and marked the sizes of the holes on the drawer.  I...didn't have anything that worked quite well to cut those holes.  At first I thought I could drill holes and then saw from there, but my saw isn't small enough.  I wanted to use my jeweler's saw, but the throat isn't big enough and those blades are expensive.  So I settled on...*drum roll* my box cutter.  Yes...that's right.  I decided to cut through wood with a glorified razor blade.

Hole one went alright...

Square peg...square hole!

It worked pretty well, considering.  I cut enough that I could get my saw in and do the rest that way and I only had to cut three sides before I could just break the fourth out of the socket it was glued into.  And the cut came when I was trying to pry some wood glue out my way and I slipped...and stabbed my thigh.  The good news is this is a very sharp razor blade and made a very clean cut.  The other good news is that I got a tetanus shot last September when I fell down the stairs and cut my lip open with my bike's handlebars.  It gaped a bit because of the stretching of the skin on my thigh and I really wanted butterfly closures, but I didn't have any.  So...instead...I used super glue.  No, not surgical grade super glue...the kind you can get...basically anywhere.  But you know what?  It worked.  I limped to Walgreens (to make sure it wouldn't split open) and got butterfly closures (the woman at the counter asked what happened, since I was limping, and was appalled I had used super glue, but one of her coworkers said, "Oh, yeah! They do that at the hospital!" or something. :D ) and stuck those on for good measure.  A word of advice: if you are in the market for butterfly closures, don't get the Walgreen's brand.  They don't stick very well.  I was looking for something that stuck like steri strips (basically they work like stitches, they put them on my incision after removing the staples from my back surgery).  But now my leg is fine.  The cut is healing quite nicely and I am no more worse for wear.
This is the brand I used. I'm still alive, so you can use it too!

So anyways!  Back to the table!  I was a bit scared to continue and hadn't knitted my socks yet, so I sat on the futon watching nothing in particular and knitting.  I think nothing in particular was actually Shrek the Third.  :P  After that I finished cutting the holes and screwed everything together.  It looks pretty nice, actually.  I'm quite pleased.  And to top it all of, I noticed that the indent in the cabinet door is exactly perfect for bottle caps!!  So I'm going to go to the plastic store next and get some resin, decide on a design and cover the top with a few of my caps!  It's small, so it won't fit them all, but at least I'll have used some of them!
The legs go in like THIS!

That white rod thing is one of the tracks that used to be on the drawer. It's just to show the hinge action!

This is how the legs go in.

I unscrewed it!

Hinge #1

Hinge #2!

Sunday my lovely friend, K, invited me to investigate the Tacoma Museum of Glass.  We got to watch a couple of the resident glass blowers create a Roman-inspired pitcher and one of them made a little glass horse.  There were lots of pretty shiny things, including a pretty Chihuly bridge with a bunch of creations of his above so the sunlight shone through them.  They were all very pretty and shiny!  And now I want to be a glass blower.  Or at least find a place I could set up a torch and make some lampwork beads.  I have all the glass and mandrels...I may as well use them at some point.  And I could even use old bottles and be all green about it!

That's probably enough for now.  Congrats to you if you managed to read the whole thing without getting too glassy-eyed!

Until next time!  I think I shall document my adventures in men's tie reconstruction...

PS.  Pics of more of the things I've been obsessed with:


My lamp looks like a Dr. Seuss tree!

and wall...things...yeaaaah...



  1. Yay table! Julee would be proud, haha. You're amazing!
    Love, Wesley

  2. The table is awesome and so are the flowers. Can't wait to see them in person!