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Making A Mid Century Modern Vinyl Storage Unit (part 2 of 2)

In part 1 I did all the cutting and assembly for the main carcass of the unit and in this video I need to build the leg assembly, add the back panel, apply finish and then deliver the unit at my brother's house
First I found some wood that looked to be a good match for the veneer on the chipboard panels that I could use to trim the chipboard edges.  I used my thickness planer to plane it down to 15mm in thickness which is the same thickness as the panels.  Then I set up a sacrificial fence at the front of the tablesaw using a scrap of pine and some hot glue. Doing this  enabled me to move the tablesaw fence in between cuts up to the block and cut some consistently sized thin strips of material in a much safer way that cutting thin strips against the actual fence.
I added wood glue and used some pin nails to secure the trim and hide the chipboard edges and then cut the trim pieces to length.
I then sanded the trim pieces flush and eased over the sharp edges using my random orbit sander and sanded the rest of the unit too.
Next I'd make a back panel. I used a rebate bit in my router to cut a channel raound the back edges of the panels and finished off the cuts to the central dividers with my multitool and a chisel to square up the round corners.  This created a recess at the back of the unit for the back panel to sit in.
I'd used a 3mm thin piece of plywood for the back.  The piece I had was salvaged and a random shape so I first needed to mark up a square and straight edge which I the cut on using my circular saw before measuring and marking up the panel to the size I needed and making the rest of the cuts.  
When I first offered up the panel it was slightly too big in one corner so I made some refinements with my block plane and then it fitted quite nicely.
The back panel would be painted green to match the colour of the wallpaper in my brother's living room.  As usual I like to make use of what I have in the shed rather than buying things, and I had some paint in a green colour called Sea Moss.  It had quite a blue-ish colour tone so I added some magnolia which I also had in my shed to it to give it a warmer and lighter colour.  
I applied the paint with a mini roller.
I sent a photo to my brother and he asked for it be less vivid and have of an olive green tone so then I mixed in some brown paint that I also had  It would have been much better to mix this while the paint was in the glass jar rather than the mixing tray but I just mixed it up as best I could in the tray and it turned out ok.
In order to choose a finish for the unit I first did some tests on an offcut.  I tested some shellac sanding sealer, boiled linseed oil, then Rustic Pine Briwax and Clear Briwax.  The Rustic Pine Briwax looked most like the colour I would associate with mid century furniture as it had a brown almost teak colour so that's what I'd use, but before applying the wax I first applied some spray varnish to the unit to give it an extra layer of protection. This brings out the grain really nicely. 
After applying the first coat I sprayed on a bit of water and then wet sanded at 400 grit just to de-nib the finish and keep things smooth and then applied a second coat of spray varnish.
And then I could apply the Rustic Pine Briwax which would add a brown colour tone, another layer of protection, and also a nice subtle sheen. 
I left it over night and then used a buffing pad in my drill to buff out the wax finish and it looked and felt really nice.
Next I needed to add the back panel and I first made some refernce marks where the section dividers were  I connected the marks with a line using a straight edge and I could then use those lines as a reference for where to fire the brad nails. 
With the nails added I was quite nervous to turn over the unit just to check to see if there were any blow outs from the nails - as that could have completely ruined this project especially because the veneer on the chipboard woud have torn out and it would have made for a really difficult repair but fortunately there wren't any which was a relief!
Because the plywood back was so thin at 3mm I was a also a it worried that the nails would fire right through the plywood even with the nailer set to fire them in gently, and it seemed to be fixed pretty well but just for an extra bit pf piece of mind I also added some hot glue around the perimeter to help hold it in place.
Next I could find some wood to make the legs and again I checked it would match the veneered board ok - I added some water to see what it would like like with finish on and it seemed a pretty good match.
I cut the legs to length at the mitresaw and these were cut at 16cm as that's the heght the unit would need to sit off the floor in order that the unit would sit above some electrical sockets on the wall where the unit will be placed.
I wanted the legs to be tapered on two sides so I used my combination square to mark up the tapers. And I used the bandsaw to cut the shapes and a hand plane to clean up the bandsaw cuts.
I also rounded over the sharp edges on the legs using my block plane.
For the apron rails between the legs I could use some offcuts of the veneered board.   
I positioned them where I wanted them to meet the legs and used my marking knife to mark up where I could cut a housing joint.  
I decided to cut all the joinery by hand.  Usually I'd drill out the excess material with a forstner bit and then chisel it away but I was in the mood for using chisels, so that's what I did.
And then I did a dry assembly and the joints fitted ok.
 So I marked up the opposite side and cut that in the same way.
And then I glued up the legs and used a couple of bar clamps to pull them tight. 
And I wiped away the excess glue with a damp cloth
So that was one short side complete, and I did the second leg assembly for the short sides in the same way.
Then I cut some more chipboard for the apron rails for the long sides at the tablesaw.
I positioned the legs the right distance apart for the size I needed the leg assembly to be and then offered up the rails, marked them for length and cut them at the mitresaw.
And I wouldn't need to cut any joinery for these rails as I could just glue and screw them to the inside of the legs. That would be plenty strong enough and also it means the apron rails would be less visible on the front of the unit as they'd be further back.
I sanded the bottom of each leg  - this should help prevent tear out of the grain when the unit gets moved around.
 To attach the leg frame to the unit I cut some cleats out of some scraps of veneered blockboard.
I glued and nailed the cleats to the unit to hold them in place temporarily before re-enfor cing them with screws.
And then I drilled holes through the top for the scews to be added later.
I gave the leg frame a sanding and then wiped on some boiled linseed oil for finish. This was a different finish than I used for the main part of the unit but that won't really matter.
I added glue to the cleats and apron rails flipped the unit upside down and then I could position the leg frame where I wanted it and add screws.  
Finally I added one of my stickers to the bottom.
Then I could deliver it to my brother.
Here's a time lapse we took of putting the records in.  I can't vouch for his taste in music.
I'm really happy with how the unit turned out and my brother is too.  
It wasn't a project I particularly enjoyed though, mainly because working with chipboard can be pretty frustrating, it's very unforgiving because if you damage the veneer then it's pretty much ruined unless you can find a way to patch it up or repair it.  I much prefer working with plywood or blockboard to a veneered board, because you don't have to be as careful with it.  But I'd much rather make use of it in a project like this than throw it away and the veneer on this board is actually really nice looking it's pretty decent quality stuff compared to most of the stuff you can buy nowadays
If I were to make this again I would have cut a housing joint in the side panels to accommodate the central shelf as I mentioned in the first part of the video.  The only other thing to mention is that I think the apron rails look a little bit too prominent when you look at the side of the unit, so perhaps I could have designed the leg frame joinery and assembly slightly differently.  
This project took about 22 hours in total to complete.  And all of the materials used were either salvaged or given to me so the costs were minimal.
I hope you enjoyed this project, please subscribe if you haven't already and thank you for watching
 

Making A Mid Century Modern Vinyl Storage Unit (part 1 of 2)

 In this video I'm going to be making a record unit for my brother.  He recently bought some nice mid century style furniture and he's been looking for something in that style to hold his records but hasn't been able to find anything suitable, so he asked me to make something. The unit would need to be 1m wide, have two shelves to store records with dividers inbetween, and sit around 15cm off the floor so that it sits above power sockets on the wall where it's going to be placed. So I did a drawing in SketchUp and this is what we came up with. As records are heavy, there'd be a leg frame assembly with apron rails to support the weight of the records, and the section dividers would also help to support the shelves and prevent them from bowing.  The side panels would be tapered to add a bit of visual interest, and the back panel would be green in colour to compliment the wallpaper in the room.
I positioned the marked up side panel on to another piece of the same material so that I could cut both the side panels together for consistency.
But before making the cuts I first applied some masking tape to where the cuts would be made to help prevent tearout to the material on both pieces.
I set the cutting depth on my circular saw to just over the thickness of the two pieces and then I could make the cuts following the lines I'd marked up.  And I made the cuts free hand being careful to stick to the line.
When I peeled off the tape, I found that the masking tape had helped keep the cuts nice and clean.
Next I wanted to cut a bottom and top panel so I first measured the width of the tapered side panels at the top and bottom.
I ripped the bottom panel to the right width at the tablesaw and then went to rip the top panel to the right width but then realised that the material was not wide enough. But that was an easy fix, I just marked up a line at the back of the side panels 30mm in from the edge, set up a straight edge with some F clamps and ripped them down to be slightly less wide so that I could use the full with of the chipboard as a top panel.
This did mean that I needed to rip a little more off the bottom panel.
To cut the top and bottom panels to length I used my panel sled on the tablesaw as these boards were slightly too wide to cut at the mitresaw.  You can see here I'm using a weight just to help hold the board on to the sled without moving around.
I squared off the ends of the housing joints using a chisel.
And then I could route the next joint in the same way
And they were a really nice fit.
Next I ripped another piece to the width I wanted the central shelf to be, and cut it to length at the mitresaw. And it didn't have quite enough reach so I finished off the cut with a handsaw.
I could then mark up the central dividers to the central shelf and route them out in the same way as I had for the bottom shelf.
Then I could start assembling the unit.  I'd start by securing the bottom panels to the side panels - I applied wood glue and used some masking tape just to make up clean up of the excess glue easier.
I used some corner clamps just to hold the pieces in place and then I drilled pilot holes with a countersinking bit through the bottom panel and in to the side panels and added some screws. 
I could then flip the unit upright and remove the tape.
As the side panels measured 720mm in length I divided that by two to get the postitioning of the central shelf and then I marked that up.
I'd use some of theses metal angle brackets to help support the shelves.  I picked lots of these up at a car boot sale.  In hindsight I wish I had cut some housing grooves for the central shelf to sit in to but I think I was worried about doing that just because this sheet material was so thin at 15mm but I think it woud have been a better option.  Not that there's anything wrong with these brackets, they'll do the job just fine and they won't be particularly visible either because they'll be below eyeline and also hidden by records.  I drilled pilot holes and screwed in the brackets using a speed square to keep them straight to one another.
After applying some glue I could fit the shelf in place using a sash clamp  to get a tight joint and then secured the brackets to the underside of the shelf.
Next I measured up the distance between the section divider housing groove and the top of the shelf so that I could cut the section dividers.  I ripped a new panel at the tablesaw to the width I wanted the dividers to be and by flipping the board over between cuts I could retain each of the veneered edges.
I set up a stop block and cut the dividers to length.
I added more angle brackets to what would be the top of the dividers and then I could apply glue to the joint and knock the dividers in place with a mallet before securing the angle brackets to the shelf above.
Then with the unit upside down I could secure the top panel using glue and more brackets.
And I could then secure the section dividers for the central shelf in the same way as I did before.
 

Beech Waney Edge Slab Coffee Table Frame (part 2 of 2)

Beech Waney Live Edge Slab Coffee Table - Table Top (part 1 of 2)

Recently I got a few waney edge slabs of what I think is beech.  Here's one of the lengths, which I'd already cut in half so that I could fit in my van.  This piece had been stored in a disused warehouse for over 10 years so I expected it to be dry and when I checked with my moisture metre, it was showing at only 6% moisture content.  So I knew that after all this time the wood should be stable enough and ready to use.  It looked like it'd be a really beautiful piece of wood once cleaned up and as it was also a really good size it seemed like it would be a huge shame to cut it up in to pieces so I decided I'd use it to make a really simple coffee table top and retain most of it's natural shape.  
This piece measured around 117cm in length, between 48 and 54cm wide and 4.2cm thick.
Sighting down the length of the board, I could tell that there was a slight twist in the slab - you can see here that the back left and front right corners are high points.
And across the width of the slab there had also been some warping you can see here that the sides are higher than the centre by around 10mm.
I started to flatten what would be the bottom side of the coffee table top using my cordless planer. I'm making several passes down each edge to try to get it more flat.
I took some passes at roughly a 45 degree angle to the grain too to even everything up.
Then I rotated the piece so I could work on the other side which had a high point in the middle, so I worked on flattening that side too.  
This was a pretty lengthy process so I took this timelapse footage.
I kept using a ruler to check my progress. 
Then I brought the slab in to the workshop so that I could work on removing the twist from the board.  By placing the slab on to the flat surface I could use my hands to figure out which corners were the high points, and then I rotated it again, marked up the high points and removed more material.  This is the bottom of the table top, and I wanted to get this as flat as I could so that the table frame that I'll make later can support the top evenly.
And I kept turning it over, brushing away the chips and checking for wobble again.  And you can see here that one corner is getting quite thin at this point, but that didn't really matter as I knew I'd be cutting away some of the length later. 
Here I'm checking again for flatness with my ruler marking up any high spots with a pencil and doing some more work flattening with the planer.  
At this point the bottom was flat enough so that all the wobble was gone, and I'd been working on it for a solid 6 hours so I was pleased with the progress.
Then I started working on the top side of the slab again and i'm trying to flatten it, remove all the rough sawn areas, and keep the thickness consistent across the whole slab - so again, there was lots of stopping and checking.
Recently I made a video about all my cordless makita tools, and in that video I said that this planer was a tool I bought on a bit of a whim and that I could definitely live without it, but it was a "nice to have".  Well since working on this project, I've realised that there's no way I could have done this without this tool.  The slab is too big to manouvre on to my jointer, and too wide as well, I couldn't have done this with a normal hand plane because it would have taken me weeks if not months to remove the amount of material I've removed with this, and I couldn't have used my belt sander with a course grit because that probably wouldn't have been an accurate enough way to get the slab flat and it would have also taken much longer.  So my opinion on this tool has changed, it's handled a whole day of almost constant planing. The batteries have lasted really well I think I've swapped over for a freshly charged one maybe 5 times.  And now I consider it to be a really good tool to have, especially for a project like this one.
 
Next I started to remove the bark from the edges.  If all the bark had been entact I probably would have left it on there, but there were a few areas missing it so I decided to take it all off.
That was the end of day one.
On day two I had an idea to use some winding sticks to check that the twist had been removed. And I don't have any winding sticks, so I'm just using a couple of straight offcuts of particle board.  These help to emphasise any twist so that it's easier to see, so by placing one at each end, I could sight along the top of each of the sticks to check for twist, and it looked pretty good, but I could see that there was still some twist in the board, so it was back to flattening the bottom and checking for wobble once again until I was happy that it was as flat as I could get it.
And finally I took some really light passes with the planer in the direction of the grain just to get as good a surface as I possibly could with the cordless planer. 
Next I started planing with my no.5 hand plane with a freshly sharpened blade, and I'm just taking light passes to remove any ridges left by the electric planer and get everything nice and smooth.
To cut the table top to it's final length, I first marked up a centre point at each end of the slab, and then clamped on a straight edge lined up with those marks, and then using a framing square I could mark up a cut line knowing that they'd be at a perfect 90 degree angle to the centre of the slab.  There might be another method to do this, but this is just what I came up with at the time and it worked well. I did that on both ends and then extended the line the full width of the board. 
And then I clamped on a straight edge and made the cut in two passes to make it easier on the blade because this wood is really quite thick and dense.  I cut both ends.
Then I moved on to sanding, I started at 100 grit with my random orbit sander.  The top was already very smooth from the hand planing but I decided to sand mainly because there were a couple of small areas of grain tear out where there were some imperfections within the wood grain caused by the electric planer and sanding those away seemed like the best option.
And then I did some scraping with a card scraper to get a the finish nice and smooth and remove any swirl marks left by the sander.
I did some more sanding to ease over any sharp edges.
To clean up the edges I used my electric power file, I also used this to round over the corners.
Next I could add finish, and I first applied some boiled linseed oil.  I applied quite a lot, and just left it to soak in to the wood as much as possible. The end grain really soaked up the oil quickly so I re-applied a few times until it stopped soaking in.  I gave it three coats of oil in total.
The oil raised the grain slightly, so using some 400 grit wet and dry paper I smoothed it over again.  It didn't take much time or effort to get it super smooth again.
Then I removed any dust with a cotton cloth.
To make the table top more hard wearing I used some spray varnish. I applied three coats of this in total, and did some de-nibbing inbetween each coat once it was dry with some 600 grit wet and dry before applying the next coat.
And then I could clear away all the shavings, of which there were enough to fill two big black bin bags!
It took much longer than I expected to get the slab nice and flat, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out so far.  This project has taken me a day and half so far, and with the table top now done I can start working on the frame for the table.  And I've got some good ideas about how I'm going to go about making the frame and what it's going to look like, and that will be covered in part 2 which will be coming soon.
I hope you enjoyed watching this as much as I enjoyed working on it.  Please subscribe if you haven't already. Thanks for watching.

Radio Studio Desks Commission

In this video I make some desks for a local radio station studio as a commission

Circular Plywood Coffee Table

I had a few small offcuts of this 18mm spruce plywood, and they were kind of getting in the way in the workshop so I wanted to find a use for them.  These were offcuts from the hifi unit commission that I made recently.
 
I wanted to make another plywood table top because I really like the last one that I'd made.  But I wanted this one to be quite different in style.
 
I started by ripping the pieces of ply in to 35mm wide strips at the tablesaw
 
Then I laid out the strips to check for any imperfections in the layers of ply, and this is good quality stuff so there weren't really any voids in it but there were one or two knots, so I pulled out the worst pieces.
 
And I was left with enough material to cut a circle around 570mm in diameter. 
 
I found the centre point and then marked up a circle by measuring the radius of the circle from the centre point. This didn't need to be an accurate circle, this was purely to help position the strips correctly and to help line up the pieces correctly during the glue up.
 
Next I applied wood glue to each piece, spread it out and lined up all the circle markings. 
I used some bar clamps to clamp the pieces together.  
 
Originally I was planning to glue up the whole lot in one go, but as the glue up took some time I wanted to apply clamp pressure before the glue set, so I ended up doing the glue up in two halves instead.
 
I used the edge of a steel ruler just to make sure that the pieces had been clamped nice and flat.
 
And then I could glue the two halves of the circle together.
 
After a few hours I removed the clamps and used a cabinet scraper to remove any glue squeeze out.
 
I could then work on getting the pieces of ply perfectly flush with one another and ensure the table top was flat, so I used my no.5 hand plane.  It was close to flat anyway so it only needed some light shavings removed. 
 
Next I needed to cut the circle, and I'd do this using the tablesaw.  I needed to make a quick jig to help with this.
I first ripped a piece of oak to the width of my tablesaw slots.  On first attempt it was a bit too tight, so I moved the fence by a very slight amount and took a second pass and then it was a nice fit.
 
I glued and nailed it on to a scrap piece of veneered MDF, making sure that it would overlap the blade by a few centimetres, and then made a zero clearance cut.
 
Next I needed to add a pin at the distance from the blade that I wanted the radius of my circle to be.
I used a nail for this, which I hammered in place and then used my angle grinder to remove the head of the nail. I made a few tweaks to ensure it was upright.
 
 I was all ready to make a start cutting the circle, but then I decided it would be good to add a slight angle to the sides of the table top so I ended up flipping the jig on to the other side of the blade. SO I needed to reset the pin again.
 
I could then drill at the centre point of the underside of the table top, and put it on to the pin on the jig.
 
Then I swapped out my insert and angled my blade to 5 degrees.
 
And I could start making the cuts.  
 
I'd never tried this method of cutting a circle before, and I was a little bit worried about the blade possibly catching the circle and kicking back as I pulled the workpiece back towards me before making the next pass.  But I just made sure that I was applying enough downward pressure to the circle so that it wouldn't twist, and fortunately I didn't have any problems. 
 
When it was almost a perfect circle I could then slightly advance it forward in to the blade and spin it to shave off the rest of the material.
The layers of ply looked really cool. 
 
Next I did some sanding with my random orbit sander at 80, 120 and 240 grit. 
 
And then I sanded by hand at 400 grit.
 
And then I applied some boiled linseed oil to pop the grain. 
 
For the legs of this table I'd use these painted hardwood dowels which came from an old broken parasol. You can see one of them has a crack in it.
 
I cut away the pieces I didn't need
 
Then I set up a stop block and cut them to length and I only had enough good material here to make three legs, but I thought that would make for quite an interesting look.
 
I used a cabinet scraper to remove the paint. I'm not sure what wood this is.
 
I wanted to taper the legs, and I don't have a lathe so to do this I first marked up a smaller circle on the end of the dowels just as a reference and I used my spoke shave to taper the legs.
 
And the legs kept getting away from me while I was spoke shaving and scraping
 
So I ended up putting a couple of scrap pieces of wood in the vise to stop them jumping away, and that worked well.
 
I also used my block plane to do a bit more shaping.
 
And then I sanded the legs by hand and this is how they looked.
 
Next I needed to make some leg support blocks, and I'd use this piece of pine pallet wood.
 
I first cleaned up the faces with my hand plane. 
 
Then I cut it to the right thickness at the tablesaw.
 
And then I cut the blocks to length.
 
Then width.
 
And then I cut a 45 degree angle on one side of each of them so that the blocks would be less visible.
 
And I marked up the centre of each block ready for drilling.
 
Next I made a simple jig to help me to drill consistent angles through each leg block.
 
This was just a scrap of ply with some small pieces of wood nailed to it. 
 
And this shot is just showing what the angle of the leg would be once the holes were drilled
 
The dowels were 36mm so I chose a 35mm forstner bit to drill the holes. 
 
I moved the jig so that the drill bit was lined up with the centre mark , and then clamped it to the table.
 
And then I could drill the hole for each leg.
 
So I cut another 45 degree angle on to the other side of the blocks,
 
And then cut a 90 degree angle on to the other side.
 
Next I needed to take off about 1mm from the diameter of the dowels so that they would fit inside the leg blocks, so I used an old sanding belt for that.
 
Then I could add glue to the leg blocks and push the legs in. And I drilled a hole with a countersink bit for a 40mm screw which would re-enforce the joint.
 
Then I needed to remove the excess material at the top of the block which I did on the bandsaw first, and then I cleaned it up with a hand plane.
 
Next I needed to position the three legs, and I knew that the inside angle of an equalateral triangle was 60 degrees so I set my protractor to 60 degrees, and that helped me to mark up a triangle. I made sure that each point was roughly the same distance from the next, and they were within a couple of mm which was ok.  I wasn't bothered about getting it perfect - I just wanted the table to be supported well and for it to look right by eye.
 
So now I had the position for the leg blocks.
 
I decided not to glue the leg blocks to the table and just use screws instead, as I was making this table for sale to be listed on my Etsy shop online - and if I need to package it up and send it to the buyer, it'll be a lot easier to do that with the legs removable.
 
Finally I just needed to shape the bottom of each leg, and I used my electric file for that.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Images: 

Converting A Dining Table In To A Coffee Table - Habitat Kilo

In this video I convert a Habitat Kilo dining table in to a coffee table for a friend.

Restoring A Mid Century Modern / Ercol Style Coffee Table

In this video I restore a mid century modern / ercol style coffee table that was given to me at car boot sale. 

It had one or two broken legs, and the top had some heat marks and stains and generally looked dry and in bad condition.

The legs had wooden threads which screwed in to the leg mounts on the bottom of the table.  I didn't really like this method of construction so I wanted to come up with something better and more solid.

I started by sanding the top starting with 80 grit and then on to 120. It cleaned up really easily and revealed a nice bookmatched graindesign..

Next I started working on the leg mounts which were glued and screwed.  I used a mallet to knock them off after removing the screws.

When I removed the mounts I could see from the tearout that the table top was plywood.

I next worked on the solid wood legs, cutting off the threads at the bandsaw, and sanding them down, 

I then glued up some scraps of beech which I would use to make the new leg mounts.  When the glue had dried I cleaned up the work piece with a scraper and hand plane, and cut the leg mounts to size at the mitre saw.

I then rounded over the corners of the blocks on the disc sander to match the old mounts.

Next I needed to create a simple jig which would allow me to fix the tapered legs at a slight angle.  I used a wedge of wood to get the angle I wanted and mounted it to a scrap of plywood.  I then placed a leg mount on the wedge, and added some small pieces of wood around the mount which I attached to the plywood with brad nails.

The jig could then be clamped to my drill press table and would allow me to keep all of the holes in each leg mount nice and consistent and centred.

I used a 35mm faustner bit to drill the holes - the top of the legs were around 36mm in diameter.

I drilled all the holes and could then work on getting the top of the legs to the right size to fit the mounts.  I used the belt sander to remove material from the top of the legs and eventually got them all fitting nicely.

I glued all of the legs to the leg mounts, and then trimmed off the excess leg material on the bandsaw. Then I sanded the top of the mount on the belt sander to make sure it was flat.

Then I could glue and screw the leg mounts to the bottom of the table.

Because the leg heights had been altered, I next needed to level the legs.  I placed the table on a flat surface and used my electric file to remove material until the table sat on all four legs with no wobble.

I did some final hand sanding with 400 grit wet and dry paper.

I then applied Teak oil (two coats) with a cloth.

Finally to give the table a more hardwearing finish, I applied 3 coats of spray varnish, gently wet sanding with 400 grit wet and dry in between each coat to keep the finish nice and smooth.

I posted a photo of the finished table on facebook and the same day someone got in touch to buy it and I took it to it's home - the buyer seemed very happy with it.

I was happy to be able to give this nice looking table a new lease of life.

Images: 

Custom Desk And Speaker Stands With Ikea Lerberg Legs (part 2 of 2)

In part 2 of the build, I got started making the monitor stands.
 
I used some scraps of ply I had in the workshop, and they were varying thicknesses – so I needed to compensate by cutting some of the panels 3mm wider to keep both stands looking consistent.
 
I cut and assembled a simple plywood frame consisting of two side panels and a top panel with glue and nails.  Then I cut a back panel, which I cut a 35mm hole in the centre of for cabling as the inside of the speaker stands would be used for devices such as external hard drives, etc.
 
Then I started cladding the monitor stands with the remaining offcuts of the floorboards that I had.  These were cut to size, and glued and brad nailed to the ply.
 
I also added a mitred trim to the front of the monitor stands to keep them looking consistent with how the desk top looked.
 
I cleaned up the stands with the hand plane and sanded them on my bench top belt sander, followed by my random orbit sander.
 
Then I applied the same finish to the stands as I had for the desk top – walnut stain, and three coats of spray varnish, wet sanding in between each coat.
 
I added some adhesive backed felt feet to the bottom of the monitor stands – these would help to minimise vibrations from the speakers and also protect the desk top from scratches.
 
The next job was to fit the Ikea Lerberg legs to the underside of the desk top.  The Lerberg legs do not come with any fixtures or fittings, and I originally thought about simply drilling some holes and screwing them to the bottom but then I realised that if the floor was uneven where the desk would be sitting, or if the desk gets moved at any point, the screws would eventually end up tearing out of the plywood.
 
So instead, I cut some bracing pieces out of some pine (reclaimed bed slats) to encase the top of the legs.  These pieces were glued and screwed to the bottom of the ply wood, and the legs simply push snugly in to the bracing to support the desk while also allowing for some movement.
 
That was the desk completed, and the client seemed very happy with it.
 
I enjoyed the build (apart from my belt sander breaking!!!) and it took around a day and a half of my time in total (spread out over a week or so) to complete.  The cost of materials was around £40 in total – the Ikea legs were a bargain at £5 each, the ply was around £18 a sheet, and the varnish and stain came to around £16
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Custom Desk And Speaker Stands With Ikea Lerberg Legs (Part 1 of 2)

In this video I make a custom desk for a friend, who is a local musician.  She was looking for a desk where she could sit and work on music production and mixing with some stands for her monitor speakers.  She wanted a desk with character in reclaimed wood, and she sent me a few photos of the sort of thing that she was hoping for.  I did some 3D drawings for her in SketchUp and we settled on a design.
 
For materials, I’d use some reclaimed pine floorboards which I acquired from a neighbour (they were going to be thrown away).  They were 15mm thick and various lengths, and I’d had them on my wood rack for a couple of years just waiting for a project like this one.
 
The floorboards were not thick enough to glue up in to a strong desktop on their own, so I went to my local timber merchants and found two 18mm thick 8x4ft sheets of spruce plywood that had been pulled out because they were dirty and had some damage to the edges.  They offered them to me for half price, so I bought both (even though I only needed one, I like a bargain!).  The damage wasn’t an issue as it would be on the waste part of the board, and the dirt could simply be brushed off.  The timber merchants cut the ply to 1.5m length which was the length that the desktop needed to be and also allowed me to fit it in to my car.
 
I started by cutting the ply to 750mm to give me a 1500mm x 750mm piece of ply. 
 
Then I laid the floorboards on to the ply to get an idea of how much material I needed to clad it, and marked up the boards to keep them in the order that I wanted and also figure out which boards would be butted up against each other.  
 
I cut the longer floorboards to length using a speed square and circular saw, and the shorter ones at the mitre station, and then I made some light repairs to the boards as some pieces were torn out – I used glue, masking tape and spring clamps.
 
Next I needed to rip each edge of each board to get clean edges and straighten them up.
 
Some of the floorboards had a lot of paint/varnish which needed to be removed, so I used my belt sander with a 40 grit belts.  The belts clogged up pretty quickly with the paint/varnish so I went through 3 or 4 of them in the end.
 
I used glue and brad nails to fix the boards to the ply, firing most of the brads near the existing nail holes in the board so that they would be hidden.  I also glued the edges of the boards together, until the whole desk top was covered.  I wiped off excess glue with a damp cloth and filled some small gaps with a bit of sawdust.
 
Next I knocked the nails beneath the surface of the wood with a nail punch and then used my hand plane to remove any high spots and get the desktop flat and the boards flush. I worked across the grain first to even up the boards, and then with the grain to get a nice finish.
 
I used a flush trim bit in my router to get the edges of the boards flush with the plywood.
 
I ripped some more floorboards to 30mm wide to use as edging trim for the desk top.  I mitred the corners at 45 degrees at the mitre station, and then I could glue and nail the trim to the edges.  The trim gave the desk top a nice chunky look.
Then I did yet more sanding to the desk top with the belt sander, sanding in direction of the grain with 80 grit, and later switched to my random orbit sander with 120 grit.
 
Unfortunately my belt sander (Ryobi EBS 800) broke at this point – something was rattling inside and the drive wheel wasn’t turning…  So I used a combination of my hand plane and random orbit sander to clean up the edges.
 
I used a block plane to break the sharp edges of the desktop to create a subtle roundover – mainly so that it would be comfortable on arms and elbows.
 
Then I applied a walnut stain by Liberon which the client wanted, to match the walnut stain applied to her floorboards in the room.
 
I used a spray varnish to finish the desk top – I chose it because I knew it would be hard-wearing and provide a seal to the surface.  I applied 3 coats in total, wet sanding in between each application with 400 grit paper to help keep the surface nice and smooth, then removed the dust with a wet cloth prior to the next coat.
 
I applied my makers mark to the bottom of the desk top
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