Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Measuring Up

In my last post, I mentioned that I was almost finished with a project I've been working on for what seems like forever. Today I am thrilled to sit back, take a deep breath, and declare it finally DONE! I've mentioned before that one our favorite places to hang out on summer evenings is our front porch, but we've struggled with finding a table that fits both the style of the room and the size of the space.  Finally one day while strolling through the antique mall, we came upon this:

I think its actually supposed to be a bench, but it's the perfect size for a table. Unfortunately, the top was in pretty bad shape:

So I primed and painted the whole thing white, to match the other porch furniture, and Lance cut two pieces of plywood to put over top of the damaged top. This is the one part of the project I didn't do myself because I have a fear of table saws (thanks to the gory tales of my 7th grade shop teacher). Oddly enough, I'm fine with other kinds of saws, but table saws? NOPE NOPE NOPE!

I attached the new top with my old friend Liquid Nails (I'm sure wood glue would have worked just fine too) and put a bunch of extra pieces from the fence posts on top of it overnight.

And NOW for the fun part! A long time ago I'd seen a dresser where the top had been covered with old yardsticks and I'd been wanting to try it myself for quite a while. THIS is the part that took months- collecting the yardsticks.  We foolishly thought they'd be plentiful, but apparently yardstick-topped furniture has been making the rounds on Pinterest and people were buying them up like crazy (which leads antique dealers to price them extra high).  We scoured every garage sale and antique mall within a 50 mile radius, and Lance's mom picked up a bunch for us at garage sales as well.  FINALLY we had enough to cover the top!

I started by cleaning them all with mineral spirits, and then I used a miter saw to cut them down to the right sizes. I stained them different colors after cutting them because I wanted to make sure the cut edges were stained as well.

Attaching them was a TEDIOUS process- I laid them out and re-arranged them a million times, and when I was happy with the layout, I had to very carefully wood glue each one down.  This had to be done really slowly so that the yardsticks didn't shift around before the glue dried, since one crooked stick would throw all of the others off.  Once this was done, I very carefully put every heavy thing I could find on top to hold them in place.

The next day, I was nervous about taking everything off because I was worried things had shifted, but luckily everything was pretty solidly glued in place.

One thing this project taught me is to never use a yardstick to actually measure something. So many of them were not straight, or slightly off in their measurements!

So I used wood filler to fill in the little spaces in between them and once it dried I colored it in with one of these.  It wasn't until later that I realized I could have just used the wood-colored wood filler in the first place, but oh well. This way worked too.  Then I added 3 thick coats of poly, and it was DONE!

I'm really happy with how it turned out! I definitely learned a few things while doing this that I would do differently next time, but overall it came out looking just like I pictured it, which doesn't happen very often :)

Steve likes it too, mostly because it provides a shaded place for him to sleep for his usual 23 hours per day.

Dylan refuses to go anywhere near Steve, so he just sat and glared from his perch above.

Now that it's done, and we have this fancy pants table to set our summer cocktails on, porch lounging just got a whole lot better!

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