Monday, November 28, 2011

In which I make a really simple table

Ages and ages ago, back when we were still apartment dwellers without any tools or space, I saw this DIY reclaimed wood bench online and fell in love. It had to be mine someday. Not this one specifically, but an awesome reclaimed wood bench with industrial-style metal legs. 

Fast forward a few years, and we were in need of a sofa table. Due to our somewhat awkward living room setup, there's not really room for a coffee table. My DIY side tables work pretty well, but I've wanted a sofa table behind the back of our sofa to get some good use out of that area.  We had our old coffee table chillin' behind the couch until we sold it on craigslist, but it looked terrible and was totally the wrong size.

Awkward, right?

So, what better solution than to DIY a sofa table version of my beloved reclaimed wood bench? 

This table was freakishly easy. Ok, maybe not entirely, but the concept at least. 

First, I sent Sean to buy a huge stab of re-claimed pine at E&K Vintage Wood, here in LA.  And I can't say it was cheap.  I nearly had a heart attack when Sean told me the price, but he assured me it was a beautiful piece of wood (that's what she said).  It's got lots of really quaint imperfections, that scream "I was expensive and not purchased at Home Depot."

The damage was $17/foot for a slab of 2x10x13 Oak, but they only sell in the sizes they have in stock, so we bought 13 linear feet.  So we paid $221 for a piece of old wood.  I know, I know, we're stupid yuppies, but what are we going to do, we live in LA and we can't exactly drive on down to grandpappy's old barn to grab some beautiful reclaimed wood.  They cut it for us into 3 pieces - 1 5-foot or so piece for the console table, and 2 other pieces to sit in the garage until we figure out a use for them.

Then, it was as simple as ordering 4 legs online at to complete the materials phase. 

The hardest part of this really simple project was sanding down the wood. It was in pretty rough shape, so it took an hour or two with varying grits of sandpaper to get a nice, smooth finish.  During which time I'm sure my neighbors cursed me for using my small but incredibly noisy hand sander outside on an otherwise quiet Sunday afternoon.  Take that, tuba player in the apartment complex next door.  Anyway, I haven't yet put any finish on the wood itself, which I should probably do at some point.  I'm just not sure what. 

Back to the table building tutorial.  Um, then I screwed the legs in.  It was really that simple. 

Here's a picture: 

...but if you need step-by-step instructions for probably shouldn't be operating power tools. 

So, now we have a table.

The total cost was $100-somethingish if you only count 1/3 of the wood cost, so it definitely could have been cheaper.  But still a decent price compared to some fancy store bought industrial-type consoles I was looking at (see here and here).

Oh, the cool box?  I'm glad you asked.

I bought it at the same time I bought my bar cart at Magnolia and Willow.  They had a bunch of these cool old tool boxes that I promptly fell in love with and bought several of.  I think this one was $15, or something.  It was kind of grungy, and I'm sure some old gruff mechanic was rolling in his grave as I cleaned out his oil-stained tool box with eco-friendly citrus cleaner so I could use it as a decorative accent.  Whatever, dude, I like it.  I kind of like having it on display, and I use it to store dog toys and other random junk I want to hide from company.

That's it for the latest living room update.  I'm digging it.  I was worried the decor was becoming a little too modern with my Crate and Barrel media stand and the new West Elm chairs, so I'm trying to bring it back old school with some more vintage-y type things.  

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