Saturday, June 14, 2014

Paws Awhile Tiny End Table

During the big condo remodel, we decided to move the sofa to the opposite wall so we could mount the TV on the wall where the sofa had been and see it from the new kitchen. The only problem with our plan is that the new location for the sofa is not as big as the old location. To avoid having the sofa stick out past the wall, we needed a tiny end table.

I did a good bit of shopping for an end table that would fit our requirements but could not find just the right thing, so I decided to try out my carpentry skills. I didn't want to spend much money on my effort since I had very little confidence that I could create something we would actually use.

I thought I would re-purpose the wood from the bathroom cabinets we had removed during the great bathroom remodel of 2012 at our Smyrna home. I had already re-purposed one of the cabinets in another bathroom so I was feeling pretty "green".

Tony had already disassembled the cabinet and put the pieces in the discard pile.  I would have to glue two pieces together to get a piece of wood big enough to make the table top. I applied the glue and fashioned two braces to hold the pieces together in case the glue didn't hold.

As I was working with the old cabinet door, I discovered that it was not solid wood, but pressed board with an oak veneer over it. When I cut it to size, I would be left with raw pressed board edges - not pretty. The edges of the cabinet doors had been finished with brushed aluminum trim. I decided to try to reuse this. The trim was embedded in a groove in the pressed board. I was able to leave the trim as-is on one side of my table top but I had cut off the part with the trim on the other side. To re-install the trim, I would need to cut a groove in the pressed board. I enlisted the help of my husband who can be quite ingenious at finding solutions. He suggested that we use the dremel tool. To get the groove in the exact center of the wood, we mounted the dremel on the side of the drill press table at just the right height and then we could slide the board across the table and get out groove. Genious (or so I thought).

After we broke one dremel blade in half, and decided that the groove wasn't wide enough, we tried attaching two blades to the dremel. This wasn't really working either, so I resorted to doing it the old-fashioned way, using hand tools.

The hand saw worked great, especially since we had already started the groove. I was able to continue to the cut until it was deep enough to accommodate the trim. Next, I used a hack saw to cut the aluminum trim to the right length.

With the trim applied, the table top was finished. Next, I prepared a box that would be mounted on the bottom of the table top to hold the table legs. The box would be inset from the edge of the table by 1 inch on all sides.

I glued the box to the bottom of the table and left it for several days to dry.

I toyed around with using left overs for the legs, but decided that I could get some cheap stair spindles ($1.79 each) that would do nicely. I didn't splurge on the oak ones, but the oak stain I used matched the table top well enough.

I cut the legs to the right length, being careful to subtract the thickness of the table so that the height would measure exactly 22 inches.

Next, I glued and screwed the legs to the table top & base.

And Voila! Here's the finished product!  Less than $8 and just the right size. I can't wait to get it down to Paws Awhile and try it out! In the mean time, it can sit next to our sofa here in Smyrna!

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