It occurred to me at some point, in the planning stages for our coffee table project, that I had not actually made anything out of wood since 8th grade shop class, when I built a wobbly CD rack out of dowels and wood glue. My dear husband Drew had built a rather impressive bar for his apartment a few years back (he is really motivated by things involving beer). So I trusted he would more or less know what was going on. Plus he owns not one but two power drills, so I figured we were pretty much set.
However, we definitely don’t own much else in the way of power tools. Drew’s dad gave him a light hacksaw for his birthday the year we got married (that does sound a little strange in print…anyways…) but we were definitely not going to be sawing down 1 x 4s with that. So I consulted with my dad who is a wordworking guru, and he felt pretty confident that the guys at Home Depot would probably be willing to chop up some boards for us.
Can I tell you that I never realized how much fun Home Depot is before? They have all kinds of cool stuff in there…but I digress. The guy with the power saw was more than obliging in helping to saw down our boards to size, although they wouldn’t do cuts under 12″, I suppose because that’s a little close to be putting your hands next to a rotating saw blade for .50 cents a cut.
The night before, we had tea-stained the crates as per Vintage Chic‘s directions, which was fun although it didn’t seem to make too much difference:
Can you tell which one is tea-stained?
I had also tried a steel wool-apple cider vinegar DIY stain, also from the Vintage Chic directions, but it just turned the wood an old-weathered-barn grey. Which was also kind of cool, but not really what I was going for. I think may have had to do with the fact that I got my “steel wool” at a dollar store in mini-Chinatown (six blocks from our apartment) and it may not have been the highest quality. In fact, it may not have been steel at all. So we had to forgo the DIY stain and just use Minwax, which gives me less DIY street cred. But since I was not that great at applying the stain evenly, it ended up looking “weathered” anyway:
I really hope the landlady doesn’t mind we did this in her garage.
Building the frame with dowels was really challenging with our limited (aka non-existent) shop setup, and getting that stain to look right was a challenge as well (mostly because I was obsessing over it). By Monday night, after two trips to the hardware store to find the right size screws, we were really ready for a break (and a glass of wine…or two….).
And drumroll…continue to Part III for the big reveal!