In our quest to thrift an affordable apartment, we've picked up a bunch of free items. Free pallet+free fencing=free table, right? Actually no. This project was kind of a comedy of errors. When it came to all the money we spent on supplies for this baby, we could have bought something new. And not spent multiple weekends building it.
But when it came time to calculate all of the things we were buying, and I turned to my husband with a defeated sigh, and offered to give up, he rallied. He sweetly reminded me that this table (and life) wasn't ALL about saving money. I had goals and ambitions that building a table would meet. I had dreams of learning how to woodwork. I had fantasies of a beautiful recycled fence table. If we had to spend a little more money for me to have this experience, he felt it was worth it. Even if he kind of hated the idea of eating dinner on the gross old wood in the trunk. Love that guy.
So I bought a blade for the blade-less saw our friend had. Also we bought a face mask, and I donned some goggles. Because "safety first" my friends.
Also, when using a saw, safety suggests that one should focus on one's work, rather than the camera. So this is my safe action shot.
I started by cutting the fence boards into manageable pieces. The I started doing the math. I wanted the finished table top to measure 30"x42" which would give a small overlap on all sides of the pallet. With 6" wide boards I needed 5 rows. I cut the best parts of the boards down to 21", and then I cut those pieces somewhat randomly so my mosaic would look more lovely. I also cut one AMAZING slat 42" and then left it as is. Alan pointed out that the holes that I felt gave it its beauty were also the places that would drive everyone setting a glass down crazy, but with it placed in the middle, I think we'll only be setting serving dishes there.
Then I laid it next to the pallet we had spray painted for this project, and all of a sudden I HATED the turquoise. I even hated it when I sanded it down a bit. So we stopped our project there and went to pick up some navy.
I laid out all the fence pieces in a way that I loved, and then I flipped the whole thing over, and laid the pallet on top. Notice that the way I cut my fencing, the pallet slats lay perpendicular to the fence slats, rather than parallel. I have a feeling attaching would have been much more challenging the other way around.
I checked all four sides to make sure that they all had an even amount of overlap...
Then I screwed it in with a million screws. I may have gone a tad overboard, but the table top is secure, which was the goal.
I got hot and cranky right before the last slat, and Helpful Husband jumped in. Thank goodness.
Because this may or may not be lead-based paint (don't judge me) it was super important for me to cover it with a sealant. First though, I would have to remove all dirt, grime, and spiderwebs...
I used an entire can of sealant, which allowed 5 solid coats. While those were drying I sanded and painted the 2x2s we picked up for temporary legs. (I really want some super industrial looking legs like metal hair-pin legs, but those guys are EXPENSIVE, and we aren't sure how much we're going to love this table yet).
We drilled the legs in using some L-shaped brackets. And our project was complete!
I am so happy with how it turned out. We've only had one thing tip over because of less-than-careful placement, Woo-Hoo! If we end up LOVING this table too much to get rid of it, we'll probably get some glass cut to cover it, but for now I have a fun place-mat craft planned.
Total Cost and Time Spent:
Lots of time... 10 hours over 2 days?
Ceder fencing: Free
Safety mask: $4.97
Sand paper: $9.97
Teal Spray paint: $3.87
Navy Spray paint (2): $8.98
Table legs: $5.48
White paint: Free (left over from chairs)
In the end, it's unlikely we'll ever make our money back on this table, but it was fun to build and it has "Hella character." Thanks for saying so Bryan!