Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wood Shop and Home Economics

You may have gathered from my seemingly extravagant lifestyle that I sit around bathing in champagne while lighting Cuban cigars with hundred dollar bills. That I have 10 expensive bikes to choose from. That I have a mansion in the hills. That I have a plush vacation home on a lake. This is simply not the case. I only have NINE bikes.

Although I bought a vacation home, I am still one cheap SOB. In fact, in order to furnish it, I acquired a number of pieces off of Craigslist—in the free section.

One piece was an oak dining room table and chairs. The table had a leg that was falling off, and the chairs were a little grungy, but I thought we could work with it.

The legs look like the one below. This one only needed a new bolt, which the previous owner had stripped. I picked up a four-pack for a couple bucks.

The other leg was in far worse shape. The wedge shaped piece of wood had split along the bolt holes, so the legs could not be tightened to the table. The owner had tried spooging glue all over the place and screwing no less than EIGHT wood screws in the general area. None of this worked.

I pulled out all the screws and chiseled out the wood and glue, which was a bit of work. I then needed to replace the wedge. I wanted a piece of oak in order to have it match and because it's a fairly hard wood. It needed to be 2.25 inches square.

The local Home Depot had the piece of oak I needed, but it was 18 bucks. I looked around and found a 3/4 inch piece that was only four bucks. I quickly calculated that I could laminate three layers and get 2.25 inches.

I cut the 24" board into three pieces and glued them together. Here's the finished product:

It looks kind of messy, but after the end cut to produce a nice 90 degree angle, you can barely tell it's laminated.

Then a 45 degree cut and we're in business.

Glued in place:

I put the bolts in and the leg mounted right up. Then it was on to the chairs.

The chairs were white and, although not super dirty, were not quite clean enough for my liking.

We have a red theme going on in the condo, so we picked out some appropriate fabric. My mom sewed the backs and I took care of the rest. Here's the finished product:

After spending about $40 on raw materials, I am pretty happy with the end result. I'm not a huge fan of oak, but it will do for now.


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