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.
In this video I start by finishing off the arcs for the lid that I started making in the previous video. I cut one of them in half on the bandsaw to give me 2x thinner ones (for each end) and one wide one (for the middle of the lid).
I needed to cut a rebate joint in to one side of each end arc and both sides of the central arc. I did this by putting my trim router upside down in the vise to use as a makeshift router table - which worked well.
Then I glued and clamped the arcs in place.
I started cutting some pieces of pine for the lid while I waited for the glue to dry. I cut them in to thin strips, and planed them to the same thickness. I also cut a rebate in to the end of each piece on the tablesaw which would then fit inside the rebate of the sapele arcs.
I glued the pine cladding to the lid, and once the glue was dry I used a handplane to get the pine flush with the sapele.
I fitted an old piano hinge that was salvaged from a dropleaf table to attach the lid. I routed out a small savity in the top of the box to accept the hinge so that the lid would sit on the box without any gaps.
I secured the hinge to the box with screws, and then the lid to the hinge with hot glue which allowed my to position it where I wanted it, then open the lid and secure with screws.
Then I used the belt sander to bring the edges of the lid flush with the box, and sanded the rest of the box with the random orbit sander and detail sander.
I used Rustic Pine Briwax on the whole box, to give it bring out the grain and make it look older, and I thought that this would also help the pine from turning less orange and more brown over time.
I added a couple of handles to the sides of the box, and a latch to the front of the box - I got both of these from eBay.
That's the box finished and I am really happy with it.
In this video I start making a blanket box in the style of a treasure chest using a donated slab of sapele and some pieces of pine from my workshop.
I started by drawing up a 3D model of what I wanted to make in SketchUp.
Then I ripped the sapele in to 40mm thick strips, thickness planed them so that they were 40mm x 40mm, and then cut a 12mm x 12mm rebate joint along the full length of each piece on the tablesaw.
I then cut 45 degree mitres at the mitre station to create 3x rectangles with rebates in them : 1 for the bottom of the box, one for the top of the box and one for the lid. I also cut upright corner pieces to form the box out of the same lengths of sapele.
Then I could assemble the rectangles using glue and tape, and a couple of brad nails.
I glued to corner posts in place to form the box, keeping the edges as flush as possible,
Then I cut a bottom panel for the box from some oak veneered plywood, and that was glued and nailed in to the rebate joint at the bottom of the box.
Next I started to rip lots of pine to clad the box, I used the bandsaw to resaw some of it in half to give me more material and each piece of cladding ended up around 12mm thick,
Then I could glue and brad nail the cladding from the inside, and it sits within the rebate joints - nice and tidy.
With the box assembled, I needed to start working on the lid. I started by using a salvaged piece of a drop leaf table top to draw an arc on to some more sapele that would fit within the rebate joints of the lid rectangle. I cut out the arcs on the bandsaw and shaped them on the bench top sander.
This project was mainly driven by the need to make use of some left over oak veneered MDF. It's the same material as I used for the previous project - the coat and shoe rack, and I needed to clear some space in my workshop which meant using up the rest of it. Because some of the pieces were quite short, I had the idea of making some bedside tables, and when I started using SketchUp to make a 3D model I found that I had just enough material to make 2x matching ones. Unfortunately some of the material had some mould on it, so I couldn't use everything that I had.
I cut the larger pieces to length on the mitre saw and the shorter pieces on the cross cut sled on my tablesaw as they were more manageable.
I assembled them using cleats as they would be hidden by the solid oak trim on the front of each shelf, and I knew they'd be nice and strong and it would be quicker than cutting dado joints. I used some offcuts from the oak parquet coffee table top that I made recently for the cleats.
I used some scraps of oak to cut some trim for the sides of the top shelf to hide the MDF edges and glued and taped them in place I used some boiled linseed oil to better match the colour to the finish on the rest of the pieces.
Finally, I used a rabbet bit on the router to cut a channel on the back where I could flush fit a piece of 4mm plywood. This was then cut to size and glued and nailed on.
I didn't have any use for the bedside tables so I listed them for sale on Gumtree, and they sold within a week!
In this video I buy and restore a secondhand mid century modern style sideboard.
I came across this while browsing through my facebook feed, it looked like someone was going to throw it away, so I bought it from them, paying £20.
It wasn't in too bad condition, but it had some scratches, heat and water stains and one of the drawer runners was missing. The finish was also quite dull.
I started out by making a new set of drawer runners for it, as the old ones were softwood and only attached with staples and very little glue - not very well made...
I made the new runners out of some scraps of oak that I had in the workshop, cutting them to the same size as the old runners.
I carefully positioned them where the old runners had been, using a couple of scrap pieces of wood as "spacers" to keep them at consistent heights. I first glued and nailed them in, knowing that if they didn't quite fit I could pull them off again before the glue set and make adjustments. This method worked quite well. Once I knew that the runners were positioned correctly I attached the new runners with glue and screws making sure to countersink holes in the runners so I wouldn't split the thin pieces of oak.
All three drawers fitted quite nicely apart from the middle drawer, which was a little too low, so I pulled the runners off, placed a couple of shims under the spacers to lift it by a couple of mm and then screwed it in place.
To rejuvenate the finish, I first tried to get rid of the heat and water stains with an iron and a piece of cloth, a method that worked really well when I restored a sapele chest of drawers recently. However it didn't work well on this piece, perhaps because the stains were quite old. So instead, I sanded, and applied some Superior Danish Oil which really brought out the grain nicely and it looked really nice. Finally, I applied some clear Briwax for a bit of extra protection and buffed the whole unit to a nice sheen.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it's a perfect fit in my dining room.
In this video I make a frame for the plywood end grain table top that I made in the previous video..
I used some of the oak hat and coat stands that I salvaged from a local office clearance to make the frame. The design of the frame was influenced by a table I saw in a mid-century modern / vintage shop in Mallorca in Spain while I was on holiday, however mine differed slightly as I wanted to add a shelf to sit beneath the table top.
I wanted to make the frame with no metal fixings (screws and nails) - just nice glued bridle joints. I made a simply tenon jig for my tablesaw (which I'll cover in a separate video) to cut the mortise and tenons for the joinery. This did not go particularly well because I made the mistake of not checking my tablesaw blade was at a perfect 90 degree angle to the tablesaw table before making the cuts, so the joints ended up being a little loose in places. Having said that, once they were glued up and finished, they actually don't look too bad at all.... It was my first attempt at bridle joints so I didn't expect them to be perfect!
I also cut a dado housing joint in the leg frame to accommodate the shelf which I cut from a piece of salvaged oak plywood. I trimmed the plywood edges with some more oak to tidy up the look.
And finally I finished the frame to match the table top trim with Superior Danish Oil and some Rustic Pine Briwax. I'm really happy with how this table turned out and it looks great in my living room. It's definitely my favourite piece of furniture that I've made so far.
I had lots of offcuts of various pieces plywood cluttering up the workshop, and rather than throw them away I decided to make a table top from them, using the laminated layers of wood as a feature.
I first checked each piece had a straight edge by holding it up against my tablesaw fence, and then ripped all of the pieces in to 30mm wide strips.
Some of the plywood pieces had some white paint on them, so I sanded the paint off on the belt sander.
Then I could glue up all the strips in to a piece that was roughly 600mm square.
I then flattened the tabletop surface using a handplane, and then the belt sander.
I filled any voids in the plywood with epoxy and sawdust.
Then I made a mitred oak trim for the table top, which I needed to clean up by re-routing it and sanding.
I finished the tabletop with Superior Danish Oil, and I had to apply quite a lot of it as the end grain soaked it up really quickly. Finally I applied some Rustic Pine Briwax and buffed it to a nice sheen. I was really pleased with how it turned out, I think it looks really interesting.
I'll make a second part to this video where I will build a table frame to fit to this table top.