Sunday, October 09, 2005

DIY coffee table, maybe sand garden

Last week on a day off, thought I would create a coffee table for my living room. Nothing special, but a place for drinks, folding clothes, my son's monitor and that could be done for a minimal budget...i.e. sub 40 dollars as I was between paychecks.

At the local chain hardware/lumber store I purchased 3/4 plywood pre-cut in a square two foot by four foot, perfect for a table.

Purchased four pre-done legs (basic spindles, with a threaded bolt sticking out of the top), and four adapter plates for the bottom of the board.

Board $9.99
Brackets 4 x $1.59 = $6.36
Legs 4 x $2.99 = $11.96

(your prices may vary but basic for the table cost me only $28.31 plus tax, not bad for a quick afternoon DIY project). Took a cup and used it to draw a line to round off the corners (cut off with a cheap ten dollar clearance skill saw from a department store - could also have been done with a hand saw, but would have taken more time - maybe use a keyhole type saw...not sure of name, basic hand version of skill saw.)

Once I had rounded off the corners, next I measured in from end and side for all for corners to create a mark for the brackets, then simply placed the brackets at that point and screwed them to the main board using the provided screws with my drill (with screw head, much easier than by hand).

Flip over, screw on the legs and walla nearly instant and effortless table.

Have a few more ideas, finishing it another day, think I will give it a thorough sanding, and some kind of simple finish (have to research and see what works, paint is always cheap and easy.) Of course I will need to fill in some of the rough surfaces with wood filler to create a smooth surface.

Another idea is to create an indoor sand garden. Idea is to use molding, with corners miter cut, nailed to top edge of table, creating a bowl effect. Then all edges sealed, around the top edge of the table, fill with sand and create sand garden, rake, Then cover with glass. Large piece would blow the budget (unless I could find something cheap at a yard sale) but maybe could use smaller pieces together, say two or three pieces. Then would be a functional table and relaxing indoor art.