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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kitchen Workbench Table In A Day

A friend of mine has been complaining about lack of kitchen storage space for a very long time.  We talked about kitchen island carts, console tables, workbenches, you name it.  They're all too expensive.  I have an old workbench in my living room that I took with me in my last move and more than once he's said "something like that" would be perfect for his kitchen.  I like to collect furniture for the memories they evoke in the same way that other people collect tourist souvenirs for their scrapbooks.  My house is my scrapbook and that table reminds me of a time when it was my only kitchen counter and I used a laundry tub to wash my dishes (oddly, not the first time in my life that's been the case).  If it wasn't for the emotional connection, I'd have just given it to him since he needed the storage more than I do.  Instead, since I had nothing pressing to do yesterday, I decided we should finally build a suitable piece of furniture for him and get it over with.  I designed how it would look (with input), figured out the dimensions and structural issues and his job was to cut everything to the correct size and attach all the pieces together.  Using my workbench table as a basis for the design and the Tryde Console Table by Ana White    as inspiration for the top I drew up some rough plans and a shopping list.  If I remember correctly, it took the following supplies to complete...

2@2x4x8 studs (leftover from the loft bed project) my donation to this venture ;)
4@1x3x8's (I think)
4 nylon furniture glides for the bottom of the legs 

Tools used were; a mitre saw to cut everything, a pneumatic nailer to attach everything but the shelf support (screws and drill for that) and lots of glue.  It still needs the holes to be filled, sanded and stained but is pretty darned impressive for a $40 investment (that total includes the cost of sandpaper and 18gauge nails to top up supplies).  Total time so far, including shopping for supplies, design changes and coffee breaks, approximately 6 hours.

Please excuse the state of my basement, though if it was clean I wouldn't allow construction in there - catch 22 I guess.  I think the table looks amazing and I can't wait to see it stained!

This is a detail of the top.  Only thing I'd do differently is to really pay attention to the crown of the lumber when attaching the end pieces since they have a definite curve to them.  Also, a lot of the boards were skewed one way or the other and even though we checked each one in the store, some not so good picks got through.  I was so proud of my eight year old, standing there in the lumber aisle sighting down 1x2's while saying "Mummy, this one looks like a hockey stick.  We can't use it!"

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