Tomorrow, September 26 I will be in Arlington,VT from 9 am to 5 pm for the St. James Episcopal Church 2015 harvest festival. Stop by, say hi and check out some of my work. I have a few puzzles, wall hangings and tables to sell. The weather is suppose to be great, it should be a fun day. The festival takes place on the church grounds and the arlington village green.
I have had a half finished mosiac top sitting around for a few months. I had given up on finishing it. Since it was not glued yet I figured I might just use the pieces in another project but decided that I should finish it. I filled in all the shapes three weeks ago and began building a base for it two weeks ago. I made the apron from some scarap piece of cedar I had in the wood pile and made the legs out of some old oak star balusters that I painted black. For addied stabiilty I added a 3/8 ” dowel on the narrow side. I assemebled the base and apron today and it wobbles a bit, though it supports the weight of two cats. I think I need to add a dowel on the long side. The table stood over 3′ tall, I decided that was too tall and so I knocked about 7″ off the legs. I had an interesting time cutting the legs down to size, I marked the height I wanted on a dowel and used that dowel to mark each leg, then I cut it with a circular saw. I had to cut left handed so I could see the blade and the cut mark, good thing I am ammbidexterous. Somehow the legs ened up level, It wobbles less now that it is shorter but I still need to add some extra support. Making bases that will support the weight of the tops, and not succomb to vertical or horizontal pressure is always a challenge. It still may be too tall. I am not sure.
The shutter table is available for sale at Camelot Village! I have it priced now at $89.99. I started a small square end table this week. It’s 15″ X15″ and i have a few more pieces to dry fit before I start glueing. I have also made progress on the other mosaic table I have been working on Since May. For some reason the May table has been hard to dry fit. It’s funny, sometimes they come together very quickly, and other times not so much. I have also been working on more repurposing projects. I used chalk paint to cover an old desk drawer into a shelf and I took some really cool oak drawers and they will also be a shelf. I think I have mentioned that I participate in something called FAWM every february. Fawm is a challenge to write 14 songs in 28 days. It’s great fun and really pushes my creative limits. FAWM has a sister site called 50 in 90. Which as you probably guessed is a song writing challenge to write 50 songs in 90 days. I signed up last year but didn’t post a song. Music generally takes a backseat to other things for me during the summer but I wrote a song today so I posted it to the my 50/90 page and I thought i would share it here too. It’s called Still sitting in this Room. I am not sure I will churn out 50 songs but it’s fun to to play and share music so who knows.
Table # 9 is drying under a fan and will go to the Furniture Barn in the morning. It may need a buffing first but I will do that before I take it in. I also have to add some felt feet. It’s a wee bit shorter than I planned. It stands 16 1/2″ tall but that is because I used the cedar base that i had originally constructed for the toboggan table. The top is a rectangle measuring 22″ X 18 1/2″ and about 1 1/2″ thick. I trimmed out the edges on this one and it looks a lot more polished that way. I went darker with the stain than I intended. I did 1 coat of a stain called fruitwood and 2 of black walnut. I finished it off with 3 coats of spray lacquer, sanding to 400 between coats. I will be selling this table for $125.00.
The shutter table is also almost complete. It still needs lacquer but the top is attached and the last coat of stain was just applied. the shutters were multicolored and beat up when I started and I tried to preserve that a little. The top is made from old flooring.
The mystery of the toboggan table base may be solved. I cut small saw horses to see if the concept worked and then cut out bigger pieces to test and make sure that the legs don’t flair too much. So far so good. I am going to try to glue up the legs tomorrow.
I have been playing musical table bases for the past few days. The base intended for the toboggan doesn’t look right so I made a new one. The toboggan base needs to be narrow because I only have so many sled slats. The base originally envisioned for the toboggan table is now being used with the scrap wood end table. I had played with the idea of using the shutter pedestal as the base for the scrap wood puzzle table, but it didn’t work for me. I had an 8′ section of tongue and groove cedar flooring so I cut them, and glued them up. and then sanded it into, a simple plank top. I am really trying to keep the area under the table accessible for storage. In order to make that happen I took off the shutter and planed the top and bottom so it swings freely. It is pretty humid today in Vermont so if it swings okay now I am confident it will work well no matter the moisture level. The shutters stay in position with wood cleats and metal brackets., and so does the top. I have to attach the knob to the door and do a coat of lacquer or poly and then this table is ready for sale. This shutter table is available for sale in my etsy store.
I have had this toboggan around for a long time. It spent a lot of time outside so the wood turned an ash grey. I disassembled it a few months ago so I could cut the rotten parts and sand the curve. I thought about making coat racks out of the sled slats or maybe even a floating shelving system.In the end I really wanted to make it a table. There were originally 7 sled planks, but one of them is badly cracked. I may be able to fill the crack with wood putty and paint it all crazy and add hooks and get a coat rack too. Pegs would be easy to install , but getting some nice ornate brass hooks would be cool, or copper but back to the table. I was going to use a ladder for the legs and just nail the toboggan directly to a ladder rung. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough ladder parts to make matching legs so rather than try to force it, I put the toboggan pieces aside and worked on other things. I have been trying to design a leg system for the toboggan ever since. I want legs that are structurally sound but also unique. I want it to be both modern and rustic. I built two leg supports today that might work. I cut 4 pieces of cedar to 15″ tall and then I cut matching notches into the cedar.The notch was 2″ wide and I hammered in two more pieces of cedar to make a sawhorse-like table leg. I will strengthen the joint with a dowel or something before I finish it. Once i had the legs I experimented with different ways to arrange the toboggan pieces. Should the curve turn up as it would if you were racing down a hill? Or should it sit upside down? I arranged them in all sorts of ways and so far this is the version i like the best right now. I have two pieces of cedar flooring flanking the 6 toboggan planks. There are 3 on each side which provides a cool visual element. I am not sure if this is the final incarnation of this table, but I like where it is going. The question is, if I leave it like this do I stack the slats like I have them in the picture or do I cut them so there is only one layer of toboggan? I think I will leave it as it is overnight and decide in the morning.
Update June 6 2013: I still haven’t decided how to construct this table. It would be kind of neat to make it modular. I could attach the toboggan pieces with metal or leather and make it moveable. Kyle suggested I turn it into a plant stand. I am going to construct smaller legs on Friday, June 7 and try assembling it without the cedar planks flanking the edges. I played with it some more tonight and set up differently. I am not sure which version I like better.
One last update: Next time I will just write a new post. I took a picture of the table with the curves facing down. I like it but I think the original curve-side-up look is what I am going to go with. I would be really cool to make a belt and put in wooden belt loops and drill holes and use dowels to secure the table so it could be arranged any which way, but I have lots of other projects to work on so maybe the next time I get a toboggan I will try that.
This is the table I am working on now. It measures about 18″ almost square. The outside frame is made from an old ladder. The mosaic section comes from a wide variety of sources.Some of the pieces come from an old cutting board, others are salvaged from book shelves. I am constructing a frame from rough cut pine and will either use shutters or stairway balusters for the legs.
I am working on this table too. It’s a rectangle shape and will probably end up as a sofa or console table. It will stand 39″ or 40″ depending on what I use for the legs. I may use a 4×4 post cut in half, but I don’t know how much 4×4 material I have. The frame is made from 1×2 pine I had lying around. The puzzle pieces are cut from pieces from my shed, pieces from an old futon and the middle shelf from a tv cart.