Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 3 Furniture Building

Yay! Day 3! I know I technically skipped yesterday, but it was Friday (Date Night) and I don't feel obligated to blog on Date Night. Yesterday pretty much consisted of me trying to get my kids to clean the house, and me using "it's Mother's Day weekend, and all I want is a clean house for Mother's Day" as a good excuse to encourage my kids to do a REALLY good job.

We detailed the family room on Friday. Here are three kids organizing the game cabinet. We have a "Game Piece Lost and Found"  which is an old empty mayonnaise jar where we put pieces of games when we find them in random spots in the house. It was filled, so they went through it and put all the pieces in their correct boxes.

Today my husband and I finally built our new kitchen table top. We built some benches last weekend. Just so you know, carpentry is not something in which my husband and I are very skilled. So it pretty much seemed like a miracle that we were able to produce something like that in one day.

We currently have a table that seats about eight people. It was getting to be a tight fit and we've had a couple chairs break. New tables and chairs are terribly expensive so we decided to see what we could DIY. After perusing the Internet, we designed a way to make some benches and a new table top to fit on top of our existing table legs. (Our current tabletop easily comes off its legs.) By building a new tabletop we are able to extend the table nearly two feet and widen it about ten inches. It should be able to seat between 10-12 people.

Now going back to my statement about my husband and me not being skilled carpenters and a little story from our history:

A little over 12 years ago, a week or two before we got married, my husband was determined to build a bookshelf for our new apartment we were about to move into. He went to the lumber store and bought all the lumber, had it cut to his planned dimensions at the store, and also bought all the hardware to put it together. One evening we went to our future apartment and began to assemble it. We didn't have our electric turned on yet, so we were working in the twilight. He screwed some boards together to create a frame, and when it came time to insert the shelves, they didn't fit! They were too short. Since we didn't have a square to check our angles, we assumed they must have been off. At this point, we were using a flashlight to try to see what we were doing. He tipped the bookshelf frame on it's side and had me sit on it to try to get the sides of the shelves to fit into the frame. Nothing was working. We used a tape measure to measure our pieces of wood. That was when we learned that a 2 X 8 isn't really 2 inches by 8 inches. It's really about 1.5 inches by 7.75 inches. Who would have thought? So since my husband was going by what he thought were the dimensions, nothing fit together.

To make a short story shorter, he had to go back to the lumber store the next day and get new pieces of wood cut, so that we could complete his bookshelf project. The second time we did it in the daytime. And I must also mention that we were very poor, so buying new lumber was a BIG deal. We used the unused scraps to build a makeshift shelf that was very poorly constructed. We still have the nice bookshelf. However it does not reside inside our home. It is in the garage with cans of paint and tools stored on it.

My husband is a computer programmer. He doesn't deal well in the physical world. It frustrates him that he can't "Control Z" (delete) when something goes wrong or "Control C" (copy) when something goes right, and he wants to do it quickly again.

Anyway, we felt triumphant today when we finished the construction of our table top. It's made out of five 2in X 10in X 8ft lumber. The thing is HEAVY!! We debated using a nice birch plywood, which probably would've been a lot lighter, but decided against it. We wanted a farm table look and our current table was also made from 2 inch thick lumber. It's definitely not perfect craftsmanship, but it's sturdy. We still have to sand and stain it, so there are no final pictures of it yet. They will probably be ready next weekend.

Here's some in the meantime:

This is us securing the 3 middle planks together. These are the ones that fit nicely on top of our existing table base. 

We attached the outside planks with wood and metals strips. They actually worked nicely, but I think the use of so many metal strips takes away the "old-fashioned farm house table" effect. But the metal is all underneath. My husband said I shouldn't post a picture because it spoils the illusion of our carpentry craftsmanship.

This is the underside. All 5 boards are securely fastened. It took some engineering to flip that tabletop, but we got it done with minimal effort and lifting. I think we spent more money on the metal hardware than we did the lumber. But it was was still cheaper than buying a new table.

That's all for now. Time for bed.

1 comment:

  1. Nice a family that builds together forms a strong bond among its members...