Wednesday, April 24, 2013

a cure for boardom

Now that it's warmed up our main task is sorting through all the piles that we've accumulated in the past two years. Most of these are marginally useful building materials, things like fir porch boards and true 2x4's, that we keep around for patching. The problem in the case of the wood is that the longer it sits outside, the less and less useful it becomes (in addition to attracting things like carpenter ants and termites, which have already claimed a set of corbels), not to mention how heinous it all looks. We knew it was time to begin cleaning it up when a current aerial of the house was worse than it was before we bought it (when there were piles of trash, a collapsed garage, trees taking over the fire escapes and junk cars). We'll hopefully finish moving all the bricks next week when reinforcements arrive, until then, we took on a project that will hopefully prove that hording these things serves a purpose.

The purpose in this case is a table top for an antique industrial drafting table base. The plan is for a long, console type table to sit behind our main office desk, with our filing cabinet underneath and printer and such on top. We're using the beautiful straight-grained fir porch boards we removed from the stair addition. We had hoped to use the full 10 foot lengths, but doubted the edges would support the weight of the printer (the drafting table supports are only 28 inches apart). We cleaned up the usable boards with 80 grit, and then nailed them to 1x6's.

yes, we build stuff at night, we wouldn't
want our neighbors getting sleep or anything!

We couldn't nail them properly because most of them were missing their tongues, which means ugly, impossible to hide nail holes - but it will be covered in office supplies most of the time, so I doubt anyone will notice. We then used 1x2 on the edges, both to hide the end grain and the nailers, and to stiffen the table top (which worked much better than expected - there is no flex).

We couldn't resist writing on the inside of one of the 1x2's, if you can't read it, it says something like "this was made on my birthday, 4/23/13, from floor boards removed from the stair addition." Yes, it is indeed my birthday, if you need proof, here it is . . .

Those are for me. Because I'm awesome. And my mother-in-law loves me.

Here's the first coat of stain (just dark oak gel stain), it needs another coat of stain, then some poly. In a day or two we should have our 1/6th of a bowling alley to put our printer on. Hopefully it keeps behaving itself.

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