Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tin Topped Farmhouse Table

    I'm writing this post mainly to dispel the possible idea of me knowing exactly what I'm doing, a serene vision of productivity.

     It all started with me and Stefanie, Crystal, and Debbie scavenging through Stefanie's barns. Stefanie and Debbie had fun for about 2 hours, then they were out. Crystal and I continued for quite awhile longer, and had such fun rummaging through decades of forgotten bits of farm life. I found a cool old piece of tin in a turkey barn loft and decided to make a table to fit under it.
 I had already run across Ana White's website (awesome!!) and I picked out a plan. Now, the plan was for a slightly bigger size, so I had to shrink it down.  This entailed such math skills that I could feel Mr. Kalich and Mrs. Krnavek shaking their heads at me.  Finally I got it figured out and built, but I was so nervous about the drawer I just did a false front.

halfway done:

my helpers:
 I had to run to Home Depot 3 different times for this project, each time with 3 urchins.

The bottom was supposed to look like this:
Farmhouse Bedside Table
I finally, after about 2 hours of trying to figure it out with various widths and combinations of wood (because I was NOT going back to Home Depot for one.more.thing), gave up and put slats on it.  Notice the two liquids on top.  One is vinegar and steel wool, one is black tea.  I figured that I would pickle and stain it before painting, since I was painting with milk paint, which don't adhere great and would flake off nicely in parts exposing the dark wood.  So I did.  And then I painted.  And the paint stuck.  I had to sand to distress, down to bare wood, so then I swiped the whole thing with a Minwax stain.  Good grief.  This project was now 5 days in the making.
And what are my children doing all this time?  Blake and Seth are pretty decent, but Cullen is trying to ruin us all at the moment, so that means he could not be unsupervised for one second.  So if I worked on it during the day, Cullen was right there playing on my phone, creating art like below, and serving me up a bevy of pretend food.  I cannot tell you how many pretend pizzas, muffins, brownies, and fish that workshop has seen.  All of which must be carefully eaten and enjoyed.  Which I gladly do.
The metal on top is easily twice as thick as what you would normally hammer on top, so I used liquid nails, and carpet tacks on the edges, and a ton of hammering the edges down!  I was incredibly sore the next day.  So to sum up, if I did the exact project again it would take me half the time.  I did learn a ton and I love the final product.  If I had room to put it anywhere, I probably wouldn't have sold it!

See those decorative vertical cuts on the front?  My awesome new saw did that.  I can adjust how far down the blade can go and make cool decorative cuts.  I'm in love.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

From Toy Chest to Conversation Piece

Someone from church just hired me to change the toy box they grew up with, a plain jane brown box on casters, into a conversation piece. I don't know what you would call it now, but it's cool. I glammed it up. She requested it to have legs, a shelf, and neutral colors. Here's the before:

Pretend like my workshop behind the chest looks all cutesy like it belongs on Pinterest...

It's easy to see the finished project and think I always know what I'm doing.  So far from the truth, but I'm learning.  For instance this time I learned that you really have to have bracing for legs if you can't add them underneath a lip to secure them to.  I also learned that the way to attach bracing is with a kreg jig (thank you woodworking forums!)  This is what it looks like and what it does:

Here's the cool way I attached the shelf:  I screwed eye hooks into the legs, rested the shelf on them, and then screwed a short screw (plus a washer to make it even shorter) through the eye hook to hold it in place.  Pretty nifty.

Once done with the construction part, I painted it Yound Kansas Wheat by Cece Caldwell, whitewashed it with Old White Annie Sloan, and wet distressed.  This combo is a great way to keep it neutral but not boring.  I finished with clear wax.
Here's the after: