Monday, April 16, 2012

The Table!!

 It's probably one of the projects that has taken me the longest to complete.  I wanted to take my time and not skip steps with something that Hubby and I are going to be sitting around and praying around and family is going to be around.

I wanted it to be right!!

 With that said...

What was my inspiration?  I found it on Pinterest.  It was just a picture and no link to it.  So I uploaded it to Google image and sought it out. You can find the information at Restoration Hardware for this 2,500.00 table.  Choke! Cough!  Why do I have to like everything that is so expensive!!!!

I don't know what it was about this table that I found so appealing.  But I starred at it for weeks on my computer.   Trying to figure out how I was going to #1 find the money for it and #2 find the space in the tiny home for it! 

Then, one day while up in the shop I spotted old left over wood that was left over from making the bathroom sink in Garland and it hit me.... Use it to make the table!!

The bathroom sink table I made in the garland house!  I miss it!

So I ran up to the garage and started the project.  First cutting and gluing 2x4's together to make them 'look' like the legs.  Then gluing the table top together.  Then leaving it and not messing with it till the glue was dry.  The one thing I would do differently - Make sure NO glue got anywhere near the edges or any area that I would be staining later on.

I had 3 1/2 of the boards left over.  Since I wanted the table close to 27 inches (small house) wide I planned to cut the short 1/2 board in half and use it in the middle.  Making it the perfect length.  I did this... all though not perfectly, I had to keep reminding myself, I want the table to look old!!

With the legs dry I started cutting out the section for the cross bar to fit into.  Slow work, but fun when you get to chisel it all away!  I had to get over my fear of the table saw after I had built the cabinets in the garland house!  Eeeek!!  Nothing like really really really wanting something to assist you in getting over a fear!!!!

Here is one wall of cabinets I built... This is the office at Garland.  (Yes, you know, I miss it!)

Then the sanding..... 

And more sanding....

Till it was time to stain it.

I heard about a technique with Tea and Vinegar and steel wool so having never done that before I headed to the computer to do some research....

My computer tech wanted to assist in the research but got carried away with the paint brush.....

 Till she couldn't stand it anymore and started batting at the computer screen trying to get at the paint brush.  Yes, Emily, the brush inside the screen is playing with you!!

Who needs fish!!!?

 When you have You-Tube!!!

I also stopped in at Lowe's, where I was being waited on by what turned out to be the manager!  Note to self, don't make jokes about calling people to get information to the person helping you because if he ends up being the manager he literally picks up a cell phone and makes the call to the person that no longer works there to find out how to do what you want to do!!! I wondered why the female co-worker gave up her phone so quickly when he asked for it.  Eeeeekkkk!!! 

 Finally, armed with the information needed and having put the cat to bed so I could actually 'see' the screen I made the strongest tea I could find and headed up to stain the table.

The tea stain was the first of 4 different techniques I would ultimately do. 

I tested my sample piece of wood.  You don't spend an entire week sanding a table and not use a test piece of wood!!!  I'm just saying!

The color on the left is straight tea.  The color on the top right is water brushed over, then tea.

Having consulted with Hubby we both decided we liked the left and I headed up to apply step 1. 

Waiting for it to dry I stepped back down to research how much I needed to mix of step #3.  The vinegar and steel wool stage, which was the stage I was most scared of!

 Emily appears to be getting bored with me!  Or tired! Or waiting for her friend the paint brush to come out and play?

I headed down and made 2 mixes.  The first being vinegar/water equal parts and steel wool thrown in. 

Second mixture was Apple Cider vinegar and steel wool.  

I did the 2 different mixes simply because I was reading that they each treat the wood slightly differently.  And they were right.  They do.

Now we have to let these sit over night.  So waiting is something that I have to do! By force! Against my will!! Grrr!!!!!

In the mean time I start on process #2.... Which is burning the wood.  I don't own a blow torch so I ended up taking the fire starter wands that you get at the grocery store (like a big lighter) and using those.  I went through 3 of them! Just as I finished my neighbor walked down the drive with a small blow torch!  Gotta Love timing... and my neighbor!

I have to say I had to close myself up in the dark garage because of the wind, but I like the way it turned out! 

I burnt the edges and made some marks along the wood.  Each one was just awesome.  Adding more character to it.  But I am glad I started on a piece that was really hidden.  It took a bit of time to get the technique of how and where to hold the flame to the wood.

Back to step #3 and the waiting game.... It's over!!!

Take a look at my test swatch (over the tea stain).  The one on the left is the white vinegar, the one on the right is the apple cider vinegar.  See the bottom right corner?  that's my burn mark, I love how it totally changed the depth of the burn mark and made it look older!

I did learn by looking at the top right corner that drips of any kind are not forgiving in this process!!!  So proceed on the next step with caution and once you start, don't stop!

Everyone on Facebook and Hubby (and myself) chose the right.  So I was off to the shop again.  The mixture has to sit over night to (marinate?) age.  I was a little skeptical, I mean the mixture was still clear to me!  How is it staining the wood?  But, it does the job!  

And I love the result!!

Let's stop for just a moment and tell you what happens, I am brushing this mixture on and it looks like I am brushing on water.  Nothing really but wet wood and the horrid smell of apple cider vinegar.  It's when it dries that the process starts to take effect.  You can see on the cross piece above the parts of the wood that are still somewhat clear are wet... as it dries, they turn grey!

And the top of the table!  The piece that the store manager was laughing at me about.

Rightfully so!  I would laugh also if I was saying what I was saying! "I am going to throw tea on my table and burn it and rub it with a steel wool vinegar junk... but I want to seal it in the end but not change the whole sheen or look, just seal it so someone doesn't spill Marinara sauce on it and stain it!" 

I am sure he thought I was a crazy female!

Actually, reading what I said, and was doing to the table... Oh My Gosh I sounded crazy!!!!

But seriously, didn't the table top come out wonderful?

For step #4 we (my new manager friend and I) decided on a danish oil in natural.  You can find it at Lowe's.  Just under 8.00 a container I got 2.  Glad I did because I was near empty on the first one and while I didn't use the second one, I have it if I need to make any touch ups. 

So I gathered another foam brush and started slathering it on per the instructions.

 After 2 coats I wiped the excess off and waited for it to stop raining long enough for me to take the pieces in and assemble the whole thing!

I needed to go back to Lowe's and purchase a 1X8 piece of lumber.  I was quite upset I didn't have one on hand and while I was going to use the last piece of this wood I had saved up, For the bottom cross member, I put it on and felt it just totally over took the whole piece.  While I am glad I waited and got the right size of wood for the bottom of the table, I am a little upset about the staining process. You see, the 'stain' mixture is not an exact science, so one should really start your project and stain all  the pieces AT the same time.  I on the other hand couldn't, having run out at the last minute with the stain already mixed and being well over an hour away from any Lowe's or store that would carry this wood that I trusted.... I was at the mercy of the stain.

So I took my chance, and sadly, slightly lost.  It is said that the stain would get darker as it 'sat'.  Whether that happened I don't know, by the time I got the board ready and was staining it the 'stain' was totally deactivating before my eyes.  I already had on coat on it and then two and now going for a third and it wasn't changing the color at all.  So I oiled it up and used it anyways.  I attached it to the table and really needing 2 people to do this attachment, this one person just gave up and let the screws show.  I am actually glad I did.  You see the board is totally a different color, and this just makes it look like the table is really old and someone along the way, fixed it!  Fixed it poorly I might add, but fixed it they did!

So, what do you think?  

Does it look exactly like the table that inspired me?  Naw, but it's pretty darn close!  And what did it really cost me?  Using left over lumber I had from a project I did 7 years ago, stains I had literally around the house and shop, I purchased wood plugs at 5.00, extra sand paper at 4.00 and oil at 16.00.

A 25.00 Table?  Not bad!!

Now of course if you don't have left over wood that you have hauled from one state to the next (Yes, some thought I was crazy as I loaded the U-Haul with my shop wood scraps) the table will cost you more.  But will it cost you 2,500.00?  I highly doubt it will even come close to 200.00!!  Unless of course you buy the beautiful table in the photo! Of which then I will be totally jealous!

Give it a try at making your own!  And send me pictures!!
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