Muschamp Rd

Upcycled Furniture

February 26th, 2013
The Home Depot Logo

I read recently about a woman in Alaska who makes her living blogging about woodworking. Apparently that is another niche I missed out on when I set up Muskblog and Muschamp.ca, I’ve always liked working with wood. Ana White’s website supposedly gets 100,000 of readers a month, enabling her to sell advertisements and pay for her family expenses. Good for her.

Finished Upcycled TV Stand

This project isn’t going to win any awards it is not my best work. Middle school shop class was a long time ago and I didn’t even have the best tools or workspace. The project came about as my mom wanted a really low TV stand on castors to fit into her family room. She wanted to put her largest TV in the room she spends the most time in and she wanted it on wheels so it could be tucked back into the recess when my sister’s dogs came over. The TV can also be rotated for when she is sitting at her computer or has guests.

Tables to be Upcycled

She had been looking for one or something that could be adapted when we decided to brave the dangers of her basement and see what we could use from down there. The two end tables were someone’s school woodworking projects that were abandoned and saved by my Aunt. They were going to become just scrap wood, the best of them had already been upcycled by my grandfather and I years ago. I decided with some cutting of legs and merging two end tables together I could make a sturdy but small TV stand.

Both end tables were not well built, they were not finished, they were not planed well, they wobbled, etc. The first thing I did was put glue in all the gaps and cracks and really clamp it down. This made it sturdier but it became obvious that the tables weren’t perfectly square or level. I never had the best tools to work with, an old rusty handsaw, a rusty and bent t-square, I did have a sander which means about the only thing well done is the sanding on the table top. But you can’t sand out flaws in the wood.

More clamping and gluing

I did some measurements and calculations and once we found some really small casters I cut the four legs down and attached the second tabletop to the base of the better end table’s shortened legs. I then disassembled it for ease of painting and I tried to use a rasp to level the table, by removing a little from the uneven legs. Eventually it had to be deemed good enough and it currently holds my grandmother’s old TV just fine. I wish it was a tad wider, but the whole thing cost less than ten dollars.

At some point my mom got her kitchen countertops replaced and a tile backsplash put in and some other updates to her house in Deep Bay. She got the bright idea to change out the old sockets and switches to the new style, but in black with aluminium trim. Unfortunately the holes in the tile were very tight and replacing one switch in particular took a lot of grinding with my poor Dremel rotary tool. We bought a special bit but this tile was really strong and thick.

Working Socket

I was going to blog about these projects sooner but they dragged on. The kitchen project in particular required a lot of frustrating work, replacing sockets and switches is easier when the wall is drywall, tile is the worst, but wooden walls can also be problematic. I recommend buying one of those little socket testers and of course turning off the power at the breaker. The other tip is you may need to break of a brass tab when replacing the sockets in particular.  Look at the old plugins before you unhook them and see if they have the tab broken off.

In addition to sockets and switches I also had to rewire a phonejack. Maybe I should go on Canada’s Handyman Challenge or Canada’s Biggest Know-it-all or even King of the Nerds though I fear I’m too old for the latter. I could definitely do better than some of the contestants that do make it on to TV. I took some pictures during the process for friends, family, and the blogosphere. I’ve actually been working on a bunch of other projects that use PHP, JavaScript, and Objective-C, stuff that will hopefully help me get a job.

Necessary Tools


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