Heavy Metal


Last year my dad bought an old luggage cart with the intention of converting it into a table. It looked solid and the wood had a cool patina, but once we got it apart we found much of the wood was rotted beyond saving. The original plan was to clean up the hardware and recondition the wood, but now we had a blank slate, so we went crazy. This process can be suited to refinish any table or stand. How-To Step 1 – First, we measured all the dimensions of the table so that we could recreate the frame. We also took photos of the original to note placement of the hardware. If the wood from your project is intact, then you can skip this step. Step 2 – For the frame, we simply cut a rectangle out of pine. For the top, we trimmed a piece of salvaged plywood. We wanted our top to look heavy but be light, so we cut strips of plywood and fastened them to the underside of our top and lined them flush to the edge. This doubled the tops thickness using minimal material. Step 3 – Next, we coated the frame with a dark cherry stain. Once it dried, I hand-sanded the entire frame with sandpaper, giving extra attention to the corners and edges to achieve a worn look. I then applied a second coat of lighter grey driftwood color stain to the frame. The top will be covered with copper and doesn’t require stain. Note- be sure to always wear a mask and gloves when sanding and using stain. Always work in a well ventilated area. Step 4 – I decided to use antique copper boilers to cover the top. These can be found in most antique shops. It took two boilers to fully cover our top with some to spare. We cut ours in to squares and flattened them before nailing them in a pattern to the top. Be sure to leave enough material to wrap around the sides and overlap the bottom. Using metal brackets, the top can be secured to the frame and easily removed. Step 5 – We used crushed walnut shell and a sandblaster to remove the rust and grime from the hardware without ruining the patina. They are then fastened to the frame with steel carriage bolts. We pre-drilled the holes for these using the hardware as a guide. The hardware and wood is then coated with a furniture wax to seal and preserve the piece.

Tags: converting, metal, table, Train, wood

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