Tuesday, January 17, 2012

- I Used a Jigsaw!

Remember when I was toying with the idea of a round coffee table?  No.  Well maybe it's because that idea only lasted for like a day because I just couldn't reconcile it in the space.  But, as an end table?  Well that was something that had some potential.  The main problem in floating a couch in the middle of a room is that your end tables aren't on a wall.  Which means they are not close to outlets.  Well, the one on the left of the couch is.  But the best furniture placement pulls the end table off the wall quite a bit and I didn't like the larger gap because it meant it would be harder to hide the cord.

So this round end table idea, well it had some leverage.  Especially if it was bigger and allowed for a tablecloth, which could disguise all the cords and take up more space beside the couch to make the furniture placement more logical.  I kind of fell in love with the idea of a round end table a while back when I found this on Pinterest:
I really like the idea of having more heigh on one side, and the lack of matchy matchy tables.  Plus, I just happened to have a round glass table top left from the outdoor furniture that I had back in Raleigh.
A glass table top and an Emma.

For the last year it's been hidden in the back of a storage closet wrapped in paper because I didn't really know what to do with it.  Until now.

I started with this Ikea side table.
You can only do this project if you have a matching rubber chicken.

Side note: Emma was useless.

I have two and used them as end tables when I first moved up here but I never really liked them.  But they were $7 each so it wasn't really something to cry over.  I was planning to donate them when I moved, but I just couldn't actually bring myself to part with them.  First I thought I would make covers for them and use the two as coffee tables.  But then this round table idea kind of took root.

And I just happened to have a leftover piece of plywood from my headboard construction that was perfectly sized for a 3 foot circle.  Also, I borrowed a jigsaw from a co-worker.
I didn't have any safety glasses, so I used some oversized sunglasses because you know, safety never takes a vacation.  
This is the first time I've ever used a jigsaw.  It went quite well.  Except that it was 9pm on a Sunday night, so sorry about that neighbors.

Once I had the circle cut (Guess what?  My circle is NOT perfect.  Since it barely fit in the piece of leftover plywood two sides are flat-ish.  Also, it was my first time using a jigsaw so there were some points where I wavered.  But it's going to be covered in a heavy material and it matches up with the glass top close enough.) I placed the table on and tried to center it as best as I could.  Then I traced the outline of the table top.  The dots on the inside are where I marked to place the screws.  I decided to place the screws 2 inches in because at 1 inch is where the legs screw into the table top and I didn't want any interference.
I pre-drilled the holes into the top first then placed it back on the table.  Then I laid on the floor and looked up to make sure everything was lined up in the outline I traced.  I pre-drilled the holes into the top of the red table by going through the holes I had already drilled in the round top.  That way I knew that everything would for sure line up.  The only thing kind of disappointing (but expected) is that the ikea tables were hollow.  To give myself something to screw into and guarantee some more stability I used wall anchors.
Then I just screwed everything together.  And I would totally have been done except that the table is still about 6 inches shorter than I would like.  So, while I still had the jigsaw I used the last bit of my leftover plywood to make some "stilts" as a way to gain more height.  Since the table legs are 2 inch squares, I cut a bunch of 3 inch squares so I would have some leeway on placement and they wouldn't have to be completely exactly centered to be stable.
Pre-drilling all the holes in these pieces was probably the most time consuming.  I used the largest drill bit I had for the stilts so that the screws went through relatively easy.
I made a template to find the center of the legs, but used a smaller drill bit here (probably about 1/8 inch) so that the screw would have more to "grab" onto in the legs.  I had to attach the stilts in two sections because I didn't have anything longer than a 4 inch screw.  I used those for the first 4 shims, and then a 3 inch screw for the last three.  It doesn't look exactly awesome, but it will all be covered up anyway.
And I got it perfectly level on my first try.  Which was when I really wasn't trying, so clearly it doesn't have to be exact, especially since it's sitting on carpet.
Not only is it level, but it's also surprisingly stable, which is what I was most nervous about.  I still need to sew the round tablecloths that will go on top, but I did a quick mock up even though everything around it is an absolute disaster.  
And no, you're not drunk (or you might be, I'm not judging) - that lamp is totally crooked.  It got beat up in the move and needs some lovin'.

I actually would have preferred it to be even taller, but I don't have any more plywood to build up the legs and at this point it's even with the height of the couch which is at minimum what I wanted.  Also, the taller it is, the more material I need for the table cloth and if I'm doing my math correctly I'm already getting close to maxing out as it is.  

But still, not too shabby for using materials I had on hand (except for some long screws) to get a table that suits the space perfectly.  I bet you a million dollars it will look better once everything is cleaned up and it's styled with some accessories.  But for now I just focus on this side of the room, which looks a lot better.

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