ICEngineering Subjects

Monday, January 28, 2013

Miscellaneous Projects: Coffee and Side Tables

This isn't remotely car-related, but it's still fabrication...

My fiancée Jackie and I are trying to make our house look less like a hodgepodge of stuff that we got while we were in school, so we're starting to decorate with a specific aesthetic in mind. However, we're still um...frugal people, so we decided to build some tables rather than buying them.

Jackie loves the idea of a thick wooden tabletop with thin metal legs, which she had seen in some expensive designer furniture.

I felt pretty confident that we could do this a little cheaper and with a bit of our own style, so we started by copying a pretty popular concept of using an IKEA Lack tabletop that we already had and building a steel frame for it.

Of course I can't start a project without CAD

We went and bought a bunch of 1/2" square tube:

We cut it up and started welding it together

And it quickly became a great looking side table!

With that great success, we decided to tackle a bigger project to replace our IKEA Lack coffee table. Instead of re-using that tabletop though, we decided to make our own out of solid wood. Conveniently, there were two boards of some nice-looking wood nailed down to my garage rafters to serve as walkways. I took them down when I renovated the garage and left them outside for about a year because I had no place to put them. They ended up being perfect for this project.

I'm not a woodworker at all, so I had no idea what I was doing here, but I needed to join three lengths of board side by side to make the tabletop. Luckily, the look that we're going for doesn't require a perfectly smooth surface, so I didn't bother with jointing or planing the boards. I opted to pocket-screw the top together as it was the easiest and cheapest option.

I drilled a bunch of pocket holes with a super cool Kreg pocket hole jig:

Then I used wood that I had lying around as clamping cauls and screwed the boards together.

My race car is sad that it's being ignored for furniture. And that it's being used as a storage cabinet.

The build of the table's steel frame was pretty much identical to that of the side table, so I won't show any redundant pictures. This is how the final product turned out:

It looks like it's super fragile, but it's sturdy enough to stand on. I wouldn't try jumping or dancing on it though. I think we're going to leave the heat coloration from welding and just spray both table frames with clear.