Home-Made Table
I recently took up sewing and  needed a light-weight work table. Beautiful was not a requirement just functional and inexpensive so that I could have a flat surface to cut fabric on.  Also, because I might need to move it around, it needed to be light weight.  Being a single gal on a budget, I wanted to spend as little money as  possible. 

Six years back, I had work done on the second floor of the house which resulted in a lot of left over materials.  So, I thought that I would put some of these materials to good use, and decided to give a try at building a table myself.  I headed down to my basement --no wallet needed.    I was able to find all that I needed in my basement.  I used an old hollow door and frame and left over banister bars.  Here's how I got my work table.

Please note that the project described below is by no means a class or instructions on building a table.  It is simply my account of what I did.  I do not claim to be an expert on building tables.   And, by all means, if an expert happened to be reading this blog, please chime in...your experience and knowledge is always appreciated.

Preparation:
1.  Put down paper.  I did not have a specific work area and instead made space where available.  The paper protected my floor. I could have used old newspapers instead of painter's paper.  Also, I worked barefoot and kept my shoes just outside the papered area.  This allowed me to slip on the shoes before moving into other rooms in the house, preventing me from tracking paint which had spilled on the paper into other rooms of the house.  
  
2. Charged my drill.  If there is something that I find most annoying, it is turning on my drill only to find that the battery is exhausted.  So, one of the first things I do is charge my drill. 

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Ingredients:  These were all in my basement: 
- paint, about 4 cups  (I used white since the sewing  room will be busy with colors of fabric, threads, etc., and the whiteness of the table will help to give the room a clean, organized look. )
- small paint roller and tin.
- painters tape and paper (or newspaper).
- wet rag
- pliers
- measuring tape
- wood glue
- saw
- drill gun (charged)
- 16 two-inch screws
- small paint brush

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Recipe:
Step 1: Laid out my materials.
·    Left  over banister bars for the legs.
 ·    Door  frame pieces cut into lengths that 
        are about 2 inches shorter
        than the table sides for the apron, or frame.
 ·    Door for the table.



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Step 2: Glued the apron pieces together and to the under-side of the table. 

I first positioned the apron pieces on top of the under-side of the table, meeting at the ends.  Then, one at a time, I ran a line of glue on the bottom of each apron piece, where the apron piece meets the under-side of the table, and then at the end, where the apron piece joins another apron piece.  I allowed the glue to dry overnight.  I learned that glue droplets near the corners should have been cleaned up right away.  You will see why in Step 4. 

I liked working with this door because of its hollowness, which  made it very easy to lift and move. 

I should add that before laying the apron pieces on the table, I removed all protruding nails.  Because the door had been in use at one time, a few nails were still present on the frame.  This was easily done with a pair of pliers.   

The  door knob hole ended up being a wonderful, unplanned advantage since it allows me  to place the table flush against the wall without having to worry about  electrical cords getting in the way…they just go thru the hole.

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Step 3:  Added screws to the apron pieces for additional support. 

Although the glue worked wonderfully, I thought it a good idea to add screws where the apron pieces meet since the legs would be attached here.   I drilled two 2-inch screws at each corner.  This, I think, will reduce the risk  of the apron pieces coming apart.


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Step 4: Glued the legs to the under-side of the table.

I added glue to two sides of the top of the leg, where the leg would join the apron.  Then, I added glue to the top, flat side of the leg, where the leg  would join the under-side of the table.  

Then, I first positioned the top, flat side of the leg, against the under-side of the table. Dried glue droplets prevented the leg from lying flat against the table.  I had to pry the droplets off with a flat screwdriver.  Once the corner was clear, I  once again placed the top, flat side, of the leg against the under-side of the table, and then slid  the leg outward to make sure it was tight against the apron sides.  I think that the top flat part of the leg has to first sit flat against the table, and then be joined to the apron.  Otherwise, the leg height may not be even on all four sides.  

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Step 5: Fastened the legs to the apron.

I drilled 2-inch screws at either side of the leg, fastening the legs to the apron.



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Step 6: Painted the sides and legs of the table. 

I needed something to add a bit of a rise to the table, so I placed two yoga blocks underneath the table. Since the top of the table was not painted, the yoga blocks were fine and provided just enough rise.

I really like working with the small paint rollers.  They get the paint on quick and pretty evenly.  They seem  to work best for a wall, but are ok on wood, too.  In this case, I rolled on the paint first, and then followed with a small brush for those areas that could not be reached with the roller. 

I also stuck a wet rag on the waistband of my pants so that it was with me as I painted.  Even though I was very careful, small drops landed outside of the table occasionally. The rag  was always handy and allowed me to wipe these up right away.  I didn't want paint on any of my books or knickknacks.

I started to paint the under-side of the table, but quickly realized that there was no benefit to this.  Since I am not planning on putting this table in a public area, it is unlikely that its naked belly will ever be known to anyone but me.  So, I chose not  to  waste the paint.

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Step 7: Added support for the legs.    

This step is thanks to my brother, the engineer.  The wooden blocks added extra support to the inside part of the legs.  This should  prevent my table from buckling.  I just used the wood that was left over from the ends of the door frame.  I added glue to one side of each block, positioned it tightly against the leg, and let dry over night. 



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Step 8:  Flipped the table over and painted the top.

I used about two cups of paint.  Because the hollow door is so porous, the roller left a slightly bumpy surface.   I could have used the small brush to smooth out the surface, but I think that I like this look. 

And voila, once dry my table was ready for use.  It's perfect for cutting fabric and it did not cost me a dime!