Useful Little Red Side Table

A while back, I had to replace the sofa in the main living room in my house. Having had an active dog and a pre-teen who then became a teen, the old red couch just got worn out. So off to the local big box furniture store to pick out a new one.

I really had my heart set on finding another red couch, as I still have the matching chair and a half with its matching ottoman. I knew it was going to tough to find one that will match the chair just with the color, let alone the style. And when I didn’t find a red one that I really liked the style, we opted to go with a complimentary color, a sort of golden brown with wood accents.

Well, its not been the best decision. For one thing, it hasn’t worn very well. The Kid doesn’t like it as it isn’t very deep, such that I makes it difficult to lay on the couch, like to take a nap. And for me, I miss the flat arms. The way that our living room is laid out, there isn’t room for end tables. And I don’t have an sofa table, but rather a big soft ottoman before it.

So, why is this important? Well, the flat arms on the old sofa used to be the place I would set my Diet Coke. But since we replaced it, I have tried a number of spots to rest my can.

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There is setting it on the footstool/ottoman. But this is a soft surface and someone putting their feet up can knock this can over…

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The edge of my computer was chosen just one time. Although it is more solid, it is still sitting on the soft unstable surface of the ottoman. I knocked this can over once – all over the keyboard – and I knew that wouldn’t be doing that twice. (BTW: Computer was fine once it dried out. Whew!)

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Here was habit kicking in… back to the arm of the sofa. But the arms are rounded and nothing sits here long. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve knocked the can off.

photo 5So, then I went to setting the can on the floor. This is nice and solid, but also out of sight and forgotten so I am oft kicking the can over. Or forgetting it there and grabbing another.

I needed a solution to this issue. And in comes The Kid. I gave him the challenge to design me something to be able to set my can of soda. I had seen an arm “sleeve” made of wood and suggested that. He went into work mode.

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And this is what he came up with. Of course, I painted it my favorite shade of red. Then its just a matter of taking it into the living room and installing it at the end of the sofa.

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It has been working well for about the past two weeks (I know, I know, what took so long to write about it?). I finally knocked over a can sitting on the table when I tossed the pillow over to the side (see the towel sopping up spilled Diet Coke?). Before installing the table, I had probably knocked over a can at least once every two to three days. Now it took two whole weeks before I managed to. I think that is definite improvement.

julie

End of the Year: Projects Six and Seven

I think these are the last two projects to report on. Geez, if I could only get them all sold, I’d have both my entry hall and garage back!

The last two projects are a fall back to the Midnight Mosaic blue that I used on the two drawer antique dresser a while back. You can see it here:

Project Six: Buffet Makeover

photo 1This photo is actually flipped upside down so that you can get an idea of what it looked like. We picked it up free from Craigslist, as it had been used for a child’s art center or some such thing.

photo 4The outside was covered with sticky letters, which were quite a chore to scrape off, making sure to remove all of the adhesive.

DSCN2895I sanded the top to remove the old finishing. Trust me, I built some great muscles doing this! But under all of that was beautiful grain.
DSCN2909Again, as with all of the blue pieces, the top was stained with a natural color and sealed with three coats of polyurethane. The base was painted the Midnight Mosaic blue. The Kid did the honors of placing the brushed nickel cup pulls. I think this piece turned out exceptional.DSCN3021

Project Six: Coffee Table Makeover

The final makeover piece, a beautiful sofa table or coffee table. This was acquired in an auction some months ago. It was quite a nice piece with the exception of some peeling veneer on both sides of the drawer. I was able to repair it, but it wouldn’t hold up to re-staining, but would work with being painted.

DSCN2904Once again, Midnight Mosaic blue was the star. Not only did I much love the hue, the paint flowed nicely and adhered well. As with the other blue pieces, again the top was stained and sealed.

DSCN3014This piece did not originally have a knob or handle, but in keeping with the style, The Kid placed a single brushed nickel cup pull in the center of the drawer.

With this, I have wrapped up all of the projects that I had started. And just in time to ring in the new year!

3D-Happy-New-Year-2015May your festivities be joyous and safe! See you next year!

julie

End of the Year: Projects Two, Three, Four and Five(ish)

In order to get everything written in the last two days that still remain in this year, I am going to have to include more than one; so much for spreading them out! LOL! So…

Project Two: Rustic Bench from Two Footboards

I have wanted to do this for so long, I can’t even remember. I never seem to find the right headboard or footboards to suit my taste. Recently in picking up pieces from Craigslist, these footboards were included in the pile (!), so I opted to do a test run using them.

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The pieces had an odd number of spindles, so we cut almost in half, just each side of the middle dowel. Then we set it up to see how it would look:

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It was easily assembled, with four screws for each side. We used a countersink bit so that the screw heads were well concealed. As this was quickly turning out to be child sized, I wanted it to be safe for little fingers.

The Kid took the lead on this, God bless that kid. He added supports and then included the board for the seat. My suggestion of putting a smooth lip on the front of the seat was done by way of a router.

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It was then the usual process: primer and three coats of paint. Since we were working on a multitude of pink projects, it just made sense to include this one as well.
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I wanted to add a big cushy pad, but a 39 inch piece of foam was going to cost almost $40, so I went with a little thinner pad (using quilt batting) and a multi-pink colored piece of fleece. In the end, I think it came out okay, but the next project like this, I hope to have a little more fanciful head/foot boards. I’d like to include on in my master bedroom makeover.

Project Three: Turning a Sad Little Desk into a Vanity

You cannot believe how many times The Kid suggested that we junk this piece or throw it away. :-) In the rush of things, I again, forgot to take the ‘before’ photo. This is almost it, although I had already removed the drawers and started working on them.

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The idea from the get-go was to turn this little desk into a vanity. It would entail simply moving the middle drawer down a few inches. It was pretty easy, these older pieces were assembled with minimal glue. Once the top was removed, it only took removing four little screws and it all came apart.

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With a few well placed holes, the whole drawer unit went right back into the lowered space. Using the existing desktop, a piece was cut to fit and placed. Edges were given rounded edges – much like the bench above.

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The remaining sections of the top were also attached and a brace across the back to help stabilize it and make it more sturdy. Then, the usual, the 3 P’s: patching, primer and paint!

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As a side note, the drawers all required new fronts. Once I started sanding them, the veneer had become so thin, they simply disappeared! A piece of paintable veneer was applied to each drawers front with glue, sanded to make the edges even before prep for painting.

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I have this little vanity mirror picked up in my Craigslist travels. It doesn’t exactly match the style of the vanity, but with the paint style, it could. I will offer it to whomever is interested in the vanity at no extra charge, so that the vanity does have a mirror.

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Either way, I think it would be so cure in a little girl’s room!

Project Four: A Straightforward Repainting of a Chest of Drawers

Last year, I had a young couple purchase an ombré dresser in blue for their newborn son. She contacted me recently for another in pink for the upcoming arrival of her baby girl!

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I was able to procure a very nice chest of drawers – manufactured by Broyhill – and although it isn’t exactly the quality of furniture I am used to working on – but The Kid put some extra care into beefing up the drawers, making sure they slide well.DSCN3002

Normally, I would paint the cabinet in the blush pink, but the request was made to paint it white instead. I love the new white paint that I have been using, it has a really high gloss finish – what is called ‘mirror finish’. I absolutely love it!DSCN3001

I keep going back and forth on that little ribbon that bounces playfully between the second and third drawers. I want to paint it some color of pink, but not sure which. And there is another part of me that just likes it like it is, more subtle.DSCN3000 copy

It could easily be done at any time, but easily undone. So we’ll see!

One last thing, sort of a “Project Five-ish” :-)

Project Five: Painting a Large Mirror in Pink

A while back, I purchased three fantastic large mirrors regularly price at $200 for a mere $15, due to the frames being all scratched and dinged. Two were painted and shipped out with their respective victrola upcycles, but a third one remained unclaimed.Square Pink Mirror

I thought with all the pink pieces being completed, any one of them could use a big beautiful mirror!

Whew! So that does it for all the pink pieces. Tomorrow, the last day of 2014, will be a quick rundown of the ‘blue’ pieces. Thanks for hanging in to the very end!

julie

The Sea of White is Now a Sea of Color

Just a quick update. The Kid and I have been our best to get these projects completed. We’ve been hampered by a spate of rainy and cold weather, subsequently we purchased a kerosene heater for the garage. It does the job of heating, but the smell is almost more than either of us can tolerate for more than a few minutes at a time. In fact, we took the day off yesterday as both of us battle migraine headaches. Headaches, I believe, came from over exposure to the smell. We are going to look into replacing the heater with something else.

The other thing that hampers us is that now it is winter, the sun sets so early. And along with that cold and windy weather comes an overcast sky, making working in the garage tenuous. The Kid has come up with an ingenious solution:2014-12-20 18.54.20Here are some more photos of the garage as painting continues:

 

2014-12-20 18.53.54Much of the white has bloomed into one of six shades of glorious pink. Have I ever told you how much I love pink? Could have something to do with being surrounded all my life with the opposite sex?!?

2014-12-20 18.53.43What didn’t turn pink was transformed with that recent discovery of Blue Mosaic – a deep but vibrant shade of blue that’s not quite navy. Its tough to pick out with the garage being kinda dim, but the two pieces are a buffet (far left of the pic) and a coffee table (you can see towards the right, its oblong top peaking out behind the pink cabinets in front). those two blue pieces have wood tops that have been sanded and moved into the house for staining and polyurethane. When finished will look like this two drawer dresser.

2014-12-20 18.53.54One chest of drawers (also known as a 5 drawer dresser) is a request piece. The body is an Ultra White with high gloss finish – actually called a mirror finish. And they aren’t kidding. Every time I look at it I think it was just freshly painted as it is looks so shiny! The Kid in the background is actually painting this piece’s drawers, five wonderful shades of pink.

Okay, for a “quick” update, I got kind of wordy! LOL

julie

Sea of White (Primer)

Work continues on projects, but at least I am moving forward. There is a HUGE part of me that is ready for this bunch of projects to be done so I can do something else. As I was taking photos, I counted now, 8 projects (or 7, one project is questionable whether it is one or two). And completing these, means I will finally (almost) have my garage back. And just in time, too, as I hear snow is in the forecast in a couple of days.

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2014-12-17 14.44.28I’m now in the possession of ten or twelve quilted tops – fresh back from my friend in Arkansas. Now they have to have binding done. I understand that there are another four or five, I forget, in transit. I’ve not been in my quilting room for some time and I am anxious to head there. Sewing is so relaxing and a real catharsis for me, as I don’t really have to think while I am piecing and my brain can chill.

Another advantage? Paint and primer are reeking havoc on the skin of my hands. Not to mention the weather, as well. The dry air coupled with constant washing are drying my hands almost to the point of cracking. When I am done with this particular group of projects, I am going to indulge myself in a manicure and wax dip.

julie

 

Sanding Here, Priming There, Gluing Over There

I think that we’ve fallen into a groove. We are working on about five or six projects, and every day we do a little bit of work on each. You know how it gets, you have one project that has been strengthened and glued and now has to dry and set. So, you go to the next project and again, you get to the point where you have to stop and wait. We’ve gotten to the point that we have five or six ongoing projects and we quickly bring each one up to the same point every day.

The Kid Puts New Fronts on Drawers

Working On A Dresser

Right now, we’re working on getting everything to the priming stage. Planning has to be done to make sure that you’re not sanding on one project while you’re waiting for primer to dry on another. Sometimes it means that one project doesn’t get worked on because it is ready for a stage that will conflict with another. And for whatever reason, it seems to take more time this way. Seems, anyway.

So Many Projects In Process Makes for a Big Mess!

What A Mess!

On top of it, working on so many projects at once, the garage gets so crowded. We keep moving tables to give us access to one project, just to turn around and move it back to regain access to the first thing. And I keep tripping over the compressor cable and the extension cable threaded between the tables for the sander and the circular saw and the jig saw. I took a few minutes and swept up the tool counter of all the saw dust. Whew! Whenever I am overwhelmed, I always seem to revert to organizing or cleaning. :-)

I did begin work on a special project. I don’t know exactly why I decided to do this, but it is something I can work on outside of the garage. Not only fun, but it is something that I think The Kid might like. He is way into MineCraft – this online gaming and building program, where everything is in 8bit graphics. He has been playing and programming ‘mods’ (don’t ask me, I don’t exactly know) for this game since its inception, I guess. Something like 5 or 6 years. Had briefly toyed with the idea of a Halloween costume, but he was too old for trick-or-treating before I thought of the idea.

This is what a pile of gun powder looks like in the game:
imagesSo, I am making him a “real” 2D version of gun powder. I think I am going to either mount it on a base and he can set it on his desk or we’ll hang it on the wall. This is it, so far:

DSCN2950And just wanted to show you, he has a tiny version of the gun powder on his key chain:

photoWell, that’s today’s update. I’m close to revealing quite a few makeovers and re-do’s. I hope you come back to see them.

julie

Working for a Livin’…

So, maybe I forgot to mention, but I am currently not working. As some of you may know (or not), I have a full time job that I usually do as a nine-to-five. I finished my contract the week before Thanksgiving, so, I have had more time than usual to work on projects.

A week before, me and The Kid had put the final touches on five projects. And we both took a well deserved break. In fact, we went to the movies three days in a row. And that’s unusual for us, we’re generally home based kind of people.

But, we’ve picked up several pieces and once again, we’re up to our elbows in furniture again. Let me give you a quick rundown of in-process projects:

Number One: We ran across a beautiful nine drawer dresser at a second hand shop. What I have found lately, is people want the tall chest of drawers and not the long style. But in looking at this piece, what I hoped to do was separate the single piece into two pieces.

Dresser with Dotted Lines

Also, I have been working on a little project of my own. I picked up a sweet little wood children’s desk and am transforming it into a vanity.

DSCN2852I had a mirror left over from somewhere and I am lowering the middle ‘pencil drawer’ down, to create the look of a vanity. Its been kind of fun. The whole thing needs some serious TLC, this thing has been used to almost death! But once this gets its bumps sanded out and the typical pick ombré paint style, this is going to be sweet!

Third project is this beautiful buffet. Well, it isn’t beautiful now, but it has the best bones. Some little person(s) had a great time pasting stickers and letters all over it.

photo 2I “almost” didn’t get a before picture. I had it sitting on its top to protect it from any dings or gouges just from being in the garage.

This is one of those pieces that I can envision well, and would love to keep it, but since the house really cannot take one more piece of furniture, I am going to paint it in the same colors as the little 2 drawer dresser that I did a while back:

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Number Four: DSCN2903I picked these headboards (footboards?) a while back. In fact, at one point in trying to clear the garage, I couldn’t give these away. I just had too much to do at the time, but now, with a little time, this is going to be really cool.

Number Five: DSCN2859The easiest and quickest project, this one is already done. A couple of coats of my trademark “blush pink” and this one was done.

Number Six:

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Not sure what I am going to do with this. I got this in an auction, initially thinking I would use it in my house, but now I’m not so sure. I got it into my head that I would do the blue and natural combination, but The Kid pointed out that it was in pretty condition already. I did some veneer repair and it might be possible to just strip it and then restain it. Guess time will tell.

Number Seven:

This was a quickie project, one I have wanted to do for a while. When sewing (yeah, can you believe how long its been since I had a chance to do any sewing?), I like to do scrap piecing but this always requires many trips to an iron. It would make things so much easier if I had a small ironing surface next to me.

A while back (a really long way back) I had purchased an ironing “set” – an iron storage bag, an ironing board cover and a table mat – all in the same cheerful fabric. The ironing board cover was short lived and the other two pieces went into a cabinet. Recent rummaging uncovered the table top mat and my brain immediately to the television trays that we have and how there is a whole set not being used in the basement.

Long story short:

DSCN2885And I actually carved out a little time to sew Sunday morning and it really came in handy. And if I need the space, it is still collapsible and can easy be store out of the way.

Things have been going out the front door almost faster than we can complete projects. Its great! :-)

julie

We’re Making Headway; Pink, Pink, Pink, Pink and Blue

With everything pre-sanded, fixed, glued and primed, we jumped right into painting today. The Kid wielded the roller and worked on the five pink cabinets, while I got to do the five colors of pink on the drawers. I also, as a side project, painted one cabinet a dark blue – called Midnight Mosaic – and staining, then poly’ing the new wood top.

First, we set up tables and then organized the drawers by their order in the cabinets. Since all but one is going to be painted in the pink ombré style, it would help to keep the drawers organized.

2014-11-17 17.12.19The cabinets are sitting around the edge and we’re including that little toy box chest thing.

2014-11-17 17.12.31In the other stall of the garage is the antique dresser that we made a replacement top for. The top is being stained while the base cabinet is going to be midnight mosaic blue. I love the way this is turning out.

Here is the dresser primed:

2014-11-16 16.00.42And here it is with three coats of paint.

2014-11-17 17.12.48It looks a little purplish, but I think its just the lighting. I will take the after photos in sunlight, and the color should look more like it really does.

2014-11-16 16.02.01Here’s the top: it has one coat of oak stain and three (so far) coats of polyurethane. A light sanding between each coat will make the poly nearly invincible and will last a long time.

Once again, I started in on most of these projects before acquiring the before photos. I’m going to hunt through my emails to see if I have any from the original CraigsList ads.

Hopefully the final paint and polish will go on these cabinets tomorrow or the day following. I still have to chose hardware for all if as well.

I hear a rumor that it supposed to snow again tonight. Sigh… winter has come with a flourish and I don’t mind telling you that I am not happy about it.

julie

Big Push to Clear the Garage, About 5 Projects at Once!

Temperatures in the midwest (all over the country actually) have dropped sharply with the advent of this ‘arctic air blast’. All I know is one day I am driving home from work with the windows down, temps about 70 degrees with a slight breeze, and overnight, there is a light snowfall, winds are brisk and daytime temps don’t break the 30 degree mark. Brrrr!!

What the bigger picture means for me is that I need to get the third stall of the garage cleared, get the car washed/waxed/detailed and then safely tucked into the garage for the winter. Me thinks it is going to be a cold one!

So, to that end – getting the garage cleared out – means getting some projects done (and sold) so that we can reclaim that space. Here is what the garage looks like as we try to tackle multiple projects at the same time… all with some urgency:

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I picked up this cute little trunk at an estate sale. It had a name and some flowers painted on the top, so am really just in the mode to sand the top, prime and then repaint the entire thing. I would LOVE to keep this, as it matched all of the cabinetry in my sewing/craft room, but I don’t think it is possible to square that much space out from the room!

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Dresser Number 1: This five drawer dresser is a solid piece of furniture and has a matching 3 drawer chest as well. These are slated for the pink ombré style and hopefully will be sold together.

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Dresser Number 2: As indicated this one will be finished in the most beautiful shades of pink:

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I use all of the darker shades of pink from the left card and the bottom (Scented Valentine) from the bottom of the card to the right. The cabinet color is the top and lightest pink (Barely Pink) which paints oh so beautifully over the white primer.

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I haven’t quite decided on this dresser… the drawers have ‘cut away’ handles, which I am not fond of. On occasion, I have been known to fill these in with wood filler, but the depth of these are probably too much to fill. I am giving some consideration to doing another suitcase dresser (you can see them here and here), although that process takes considerably more time than just paint. We’ll see how the rest of the projects are going before I decide.

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We needed some room to work tonight, so all of the primed drawers have been piled up on a table in my “paint booth”… no spray painted needed for the next few days, so I am taking advantage of the unused space.2014-11-08 19.19.11

Two of the dresser cabinets required new tops. It never ceases to amaze me how much damage a person can inflict on the top of a dresser. But, honestly, it is so much easier to replace the dresser top than drawers and sometimes it is all that is needed to make on older piece look brand new. We procure two 1″x12″ of pine and look for boards that don’t have too much knotting or overt grain patterns (above). Once in a while, I even just stain the top if it looks nice enough. The boards are fitted together, glued and clamped.

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Once the glue had dried and clamps removed, the board is cut to length (essentially cut in half). Then using the tops that were removed from the cabinets, the exact shapes are traced and a jig saw is used to cut them out. You can see one on the floor and the other on the table. Next step is to route a nice edge and then some sanding.

2014-11-08 19.19.00Here is the mirror and frame for one of the dressers… this is bound to be part of a pink dresser.

2014-11-08 15.23.53A shot of the “other side” of the garage… where my sports car needs to hibernate for the winter.  Doesn’t look like it, but we’ve really made a big dent. And once sold, it should be a nice little chunk of money. The Kid is hoping to use the money as a down payment for his real “first” car. It is giving him some real incentive to keep him working.2014-11-08 15.23.16We started this out on Sunday, things neatly lined up – being accessed, planned and prep’ed. If you’re wondering about the carpets, I collected them from CraigsList. They make standing in the garage much nicer, they help to soften noise and it allows me to run out there without shoes on, if I need. Plus, for some odd reason, The Kid is much more willing to vacuum the garage, rather than sweep. Go figure!2014-11-08 15.23.10Check out my work space! Isn’t it lovely? I so enjoy working here now that things are clean, organized and equipped.

Much work still to be done, but we’re making progress!

julie

 

 

 

My Recycle Project: Blue Corian, Singer Sewing Base and Metal Chairs

Whew! We’ve finally completed this project. It has been a long time in the making, but I finally was able to get it done with the help of The Kid.

DSCN2792So, you can see the starting point here, but I will give you a quick catch up. Months ago, I picked up several pieces of blue Corian countertops, including a smallish rectangular piece that I think was the counter surface for an island. Wasn’t quite sure of what I was going to use it for, but when something like that pops up on CraigsList, you get it while the getting is good.

I had the sewing machine base from one of our abdandoned house hunting trips and had spray painted it white, sort of as a primer. But once I saw the countertop, I knew it was a match made in heaven. Literally, all I had to do was set the top on the base and I could see something really unique.

Initially I was going to just make and sell the table, but I figured it would be cooler if there were a set of chairs to go with it. I kept an eye on CraigsList and almost like it was scripted, a set of four popped up. Now they needed work (of course they needed work, else they wouldn’t be on CraigsList for free) and I opted to pick them up, thinking I could get two good ones if I used the other two for ‘parts’. As luck would have it, three were salvageable.

DSCN2734After removing the seats, I then spray painted everything with high gloss white spray paint. This was not an easy task. It seemed every time I thought I was done, I would turn it upside down or stand at a different angle and would see areas that I missed. I think I have them completely painted now.

I used the seat that came with the chairs as a template and we used more of the Corian countertop for the seats. The Corian worked much like any hard wood, and we were able to route the edges and drill holes to attach the seats to the chairs.

DSCN2774The one thing that we did notice, however, is that working with the Corian results in a LOT of ‘saw’ dust. The workshop looked like it had snowed!

DSCN2775I didn’t want the seat to sit directly onto the base of the chair seats; since the previous seats were actually upholstered, the flat pieces didn’t exactly line up right with the exposed hardware on the chair.

DSCN2770By having and using the right tools for the job, the project went very well. Here is The Kid using our newest addition to the workshop, the drill press. SUH-weet!

DSCN2790Here he is in the final assembly. Note the nice, smooth, rounded edges. And interestingly enough, by routing the edges (top and bottom), it actually gave the edges a polished finish. Nice, happy accident!

DSCN2789By using some spare hardware(found when reorganizing the garage a week ago), I was able to give it a little more ‘polished’ look. And gave the necessary height for sitting at the table. The final detail was to add rubber ‘feet’ to the chairs, to protect the floors that the chairs would sit on.

DSCN2780More about the table: we had previously cut and glued a 1″x8″ on the back side of the table. Then two supports were added to the top of the sewing machine base, allowing the table top to be bolted onto the counter surface. This could be beneficial for the person or family that buys it, allowing for easier transport. Did I happen to mention that this stuff is heavy! And it has a nice solid feel as well.

The Kid’s help was immeasurably helpful in completing this project, and heck, I just like hanging around with him. :-)

DSCN2779In between helping him, I was also prep’ing an additional 5 or 6 more projects… here are the drawers all being sanded and hardware holes being filled. The Kid has been tasked with putting the first couple of coats of primer on all of these now that I have gotten the prep work out of the way. All of these pieces of furniture are all wood and it makes the chore of preparation that much easier. Oh, and by the way, real wood pieces are light. I think a lot of people mistakenly think something is more ‘solid’ or more ‘wood’ if the piece is heavy and that generally is not true. What weighs so much is the glue and the layers of particle board or composite wood. Most of these pieces I can move by myself if I take the drawers out ahead of time. Another thing I really like is that some of the older pieces come with wheels attached and you gotta love that!

So, a few more photos as I close this post. If you recall, the third stall of the garage is where my sports car (you can see it in the background of this first photo) is stored once snow has fallen. And I’ve heard that there is an “arctic blast” predicted for the end of November, so I have to get projects done and sold (and delivered) very soon.

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DSCN2797Off to get this listed for sale on CraigsList. My kitchen is red (as you may know) or I might be tempted to keep this one for myself!

julie

 

 

 

31.5 x 39

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