Feb 25 16

Recycle & Reuse Furniture & Materials

Ms. Rita Rents

RecycleCoverPhotoI am fairly fortunate, I come up with some pretty crazy ideas for design projects for my house and then without a plan or drawing, I dump my ideas on my husband and by some miracle, he makes them come to fruition. We work well together. My ideas are usually rough, like really rough and pretty far fetched a lot of times. And while I can make fairly decent computer projects, my drawing skills didn’t make it past kindergarten. And paired with that, I’m always on a budget! But that’s good for him because he’s super creative, interprets my crazy ideas and decides in his own way how to make it happen. So together, I come up with the idea and let him figure it out in his own method. One other element that makes this all work: I’m ok with flaws and even prefer a lack of perfection.

This process is good for a relationship, really any relationship, personal, work, neighbors, etc. Use your talents to come up with something better together than you could individually and be ok with flaws, because those flaws make the projects unique and real, not machine cut, mass produced. And best of all, you learn from those flaws because you expect them and are ok with them in advance and use the knowledge for the future!

While I try to keep most of these posts to simple, easy, quick projects, I thought I’d share a more complex, although fun project I (we)  just finished, a new office desk (converted from a kitchen table). As always, I was on a tight budget, had some old, left over wood from another project and had a crazy idea in my head.

MATERIALS: ($84 – $234)

TABLE:
Discontinued floor model table at Wal Mart – $50 (negotiated from $200)

TABLE TOP WOOD:
Raw, rough-cut floor planks – $0 – warped, cracked, holes, pieces from our completed flooring project (good excuse not to throw good scraps away!)

TABLE TOP FRAME:
1x4x8 poplar boards for frame from home goods store – $24

SCREWS/STAPLES:
Left over from various projects

STAIN:
Left-over stain from multiple projects + 1 new accent color (Cherry Blossom) $10.00

RESIN: OPTIONAL
This was the most expensive portion of the project and isn’t absolutely required, but I loved the idea and built it into my budget (if you don’t have the budget, you just have to plan the framing to fit flush with your boards, not elevated to hold the resin and then sand your top and apply a standard clear finish)- $150.  Even with the resin, this project was WAAAAAY less than buying it new!

PROCESS:

1WalMartTable

2RawWood

3MaterialsForFrame

4FillInLip

5BuildFrame

6GLueTheGaps

7GuideLines

8RipBoards

9MitreSaw

10CutBoardsAt45

11StainandGlue

12ApplyResin

13Imperfections

14Knots

15FilledWithResin

16ShineFromResin

17VividStainCOlors

If you try this project at home, I would rank it on a medium difficulty scale only because it requires specialty cutting machinery and if the table isn’t perfectly square, you’ll have to do some finagling with one side to make the boards fit precisely.  As much as we attempted to make the non-square table square with the frame, there were still some areas that we had to shave the boards at odd angles to make them fit.

One other thing we learned was that the resin WILL go everywhere you don’t want it to!  So, make sure you glue each of your boards tightly and if there are gaps, glue them in first – with copious glue.  The glue is much less expensive than the resin.  We probably ended up using an extra box of resin just because the initial pour filled in all the invisible gaps first!

Good luck and remember, it’s ok to throw some unconventional color in there (like my cherry blossom), just make sure it isn’t too much and it acts as a natural accent.