Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Double Project: One for me and One for him

It all started with Jack Daniels.

Well, a Jack Daniels barrel, really.

For Father's Day last year I wanted to get The Hubs the perfect gift - something he wanted but he wouldn't buy for himself. I finally decided on a Jack Daniels barrel for his man cave. He could fix it up into whatever he wanted, and according to Pinterest, there were a lot of options.

He chose to turn it into a pub table. All he needed to finish the project would be a base to raise it to pub table height, and a glass top. After searching online, he finally decided to fashion a base together using piping, to create an industrial feel.

I would go into detail about he fashioned this base, but I have no idea. Oops.

The glass top took a little longer to find, but a few weeks later he finally found one at Pier 1 for $100.

Hours before he left to buy it, I searched online and found the exact size he needed on OfferUp for $10. Score!

It may not look like much, but I have a vision!

Even better? The perfect sized glass top was actually a coffee table and was attached to a steel framed bottom that I wanted to use for my own project. Double score!

All he had to do was drive halfway across town (Okay, so I might have thought it was in a closer city than it was and he might have driven almost 45 minutes to get it, but....whatever!) and load it up. The glass came off from the bottom part easily, and all he had to do to finish his pub table was place the glass on top and buy some bar stools. Easy and looks spectacular in his man cave!

My project was next.  I had seen how to make a pallet coffee table online and decided to tweak the picture to better fit my style. I had at first wanted to ask my neighbor to weld me the legs for the table, but it turned out that he frame on the OfferUp coffee table was exactly what I needed!

First up, I grabbed one of our pallets that I keep around just for projects like this. I looked for the one that was in the best shape. Unlike most of my other pallet projects, I wouldn't be using just the pallet wood, but the actual pallet itself. I needed the whole thing to be pretty.

I had The Hubs saw the pallet down about 3/4 of the way. This happened to be where on the underside there was a curve, and this made it even on both sides. That left me with five boards on top and gaps in between.

We took a few boards off the remaining 1/4 of the pallet, and combined with a few others we had lying around, we were able to fill in the gaps to make a complete table top.

Whoa. Talk about uneven!

You can tell from the picture, it was pretty uneven, which is not what you want when you're putting your drink on it! The Hubs grabbed his planer and began planing it down. A few minutes later and we had a relatively even top.

I grabbed the sander and went to work. I've worked with many a pallet and the worst part for me are the splinters. Since this was going to be an outdoor table, used by kids and adults alike, I wanted there to be no splinters whatsoever. If you had been around for the Great Camping Splinter Incident of 2015, you would understand. I still have trauma from the screams.

It was at this point that I decided to tried to push my luck with the frame.  On the legs was an awful particle board/fake wood veneer piece.


The first time I pressed on it, it wouldn't move, and I thought maybe I would have to texture and chalk paint it. But today I was feeling lucky and I went at it with a hammer.


After a few minutes of solid hammering, I had popped out all four ugly fake wood pieces and transformed the frame even more.

I was content to leave it as is, but The Hubs the perfectionist convinced me to add two larger wood pieces on either open end to cap off the table. In my pallets, there were two different sized slats. One size fit on the top of the table, the other fit perfectly to finish off the side ends. Don't tell The Hubs I said this, but it did look better his way. He also convinced me to stain it. Multiple times. Ugh.

I hate staining because I hate waiting the required time between coats.

The first three layers worked great with a stain that deepened the pallet wood and allowed the different colors shine through. I was actually getting into this staining, waiting and re-staining process. The fourth layer was a minor setback, though, as I grabbed the the wrong stain and turned my beautiful pallet top a shade of brownish-orange. Oops.

I wound up not being able to completely get rid of the orange top, even with repeated sandings, so I followed up with a deeper stain. It took away some of the color variety I had loved, but seeing as the orange had seeped into the grayer pieces, darker was what needed to be done.

After I was satisfied with the stain, I followed up with a few layers of tung oil to provide an extra layer of protection to the wood from spills and sun.

I was ready to finally have a finished piece and frankly, was tired of doing things the right way, so I fully intended to zip-tie the leg frames to the bottom side of the pallet piece. The Hubs knows my reputation for getting bored with projects though, so he grabbed the coffee table and secured it properly to the bottom with screws.

Here is a view of the finished coffee table in my patio sitting area. Love!!!

A table big enough for everyone to use!

I thought about cleaning up for this pic, and then thought....Nah....

Home Sweet Home!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Finished man cave....almost

It took nine months and the threat of a Super Bowl party - lots of people! lots of kids! You'll need a space just for the guys! - but we finally made it happen.

The man cave is DONE.

Go Tech!

Okay, so technically it's not actually done. The Hubs wants to refinish a sentimental piece of furniture into a TV stand with an oh-so-awesome handmade barn door closure. MUCH better than our current TV stand of - wait for it.....a huge office filing cabinet. See that up there? UG-LEE. And really just a catch-all for junk. According to Marie Kondo's tidy house rules, it needs to go. So I will get to that....eventually.

He also wants to replace the windows with a sliding garage door type window and install a bar on the outside.

So, really, it's not actually done. But it's as done as it will be until we get the kitchen and bathrooms in the house updated. Priorities. Sorry, Hubs, but a new bathtub trumps sliding door bar window.

The man cave (which we have taken to calling the family room now) is exactly what we wanted it to be! We had a few people over for Super Bowl and while most of the time was spent basking in the beautiful weather on on the patio, the last part of the night was all about relaxing in the man cave. Ahem. Family room. Sorry, I'm still getting used to the name change.