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Kitchen Cart and Table

 ·  ☕ 7 min read

    Finished Product First

    Not Pictured: A Lot of Sawdust Covering My New Apartment

    Not Pictured: A Lot of Sawdust Covering My New Apartment

    Piling Up Everything After a Ton of Planning

    I went with walnut, as it is relatively cheap in Tennessee. But this was definitely the no-turning-back moment.
    Showing up to the lumber yard in my sedan was probably hilarious to the owner, but the wood fit (I think these were 8ft S2S)

    S2S = Surfaced on 2 Sides. In reality this was S3S, as there was a straight cut ripped edge. All lumber from Lowes/Home Depot is going to be S4S. For a more detailed explanation from a professional, click here

    DSC00136.JPG DSC00137.JPG DSC00138.JPG DSC00139.JPG

    Table Frame

    Pipe projects were all the rage at this point (Summer 2016), but I was going to put a bit more thought into my project.

    In reality it was easy and I didn’t have a good plan for making legs/frame in an apartment “woodworking” setup

    Left: the design I went with. Right: the design I secretly wanted to do, but pipe fittings are expensive. Also give everyone the opportunity for proper after dinner leg crossing

    Left: the design I went with. Right: the design I secretly wanted to do, but pipe fittings are expensive. Also give everyone the opportunity for proper after dinner leg crossing

    This was surprisingly expensive. Probably Lowes/Home Depot’s way of cashing in on the pipe crafting trend

    DSC00311.JPG Here you can get a sense of the design I was going for. I took some time to improve on the designs I had seen as to maximize the distance between the bottom edge of the table and someone's thighs as well as making all 4 sides usable. This X-shape gives everyone room for knees and thighs. And yes I did a few simulations in Adobe Illustrator DSC00312.JPG DSC00313.JPG DSC00314.JPG DSC00315.JPG DSC00316.JPG DSC00317.JPG DSC00318.JPG As well as being a necessary connector, these also gave me some wiggle room to level out the table. Since I didn't have a large planer to ensure that, I gave myself a few places where I could level things out. DSC00320.JPG DSC00322.JPG DSC00323.JPG Mockup of the final table dimensions to ensure I was in the right ballpark. Also I needed a work surface to cut the wood later.

    Kitchen Cart

    DSC00324.JPG DSC00325.JPG DSC00326.JPG DSC00327.JPG DSC00328.JPG DSC00329.JPG DSC00330.JPG DSC00331.JPG I kept having to go back and ensure everything was parallel & screwed in the same. If they weren't, nothing would come together in later steps DSC00332.JPG DSC00333.JPG It might be obvious to some, but at first I designed an impossible structure. There was no way to get everything to screw together if not for the union couplings DSC00334.JPG The union couplings allowed me to build 2 identical top & bottom pieces of the frame and actually get it together. It did take me a few days to figure out these existed. Luckily I caught my impossible design in the planning stage and not after buying pipe DSC00336.JPG DSC00337.JPG DSC00338.JPG DSC00339.JPG DSC00341.JPG This was the main inspiration for this entire project: a way for me to hang my pans DSC00342.JPG I couldn't find any S-hooks that were designed the way I needed them to be, or be large enough to fit into the holes in my pan handles, so I got these and figured I would try bending them 90 degrees DSC00343.JPG DSC00345.JPG With 2 wrenches, this wasn't that difficult. I think they were even stainless steel DSC00346.JPG DSC00347.JPG DSC00348.JPG DSC00349.JPG Here is a way I could adapt my casters to fit in the cavity of the pipe fittings while staying somewhat upright. I did have to replace the wood about a year or 2 later. DSC00350.JPG DSC00351.JPG DSC00352.JPG DSC00353.JPG DSC00354.JPG DSC00355.JPG I was so happy at this point, but I was slightly dreading that I had finally come to the point where I had to cut the wood

    Cutting the Wood

    DSC00356.JPG Yeah, a circular saw is all I could manage on a tight budget. That blue jig in the top right would serve as the rip fence for the rip cuts a few pictures down. I'm sure I committed some woodworking crime but it worked. Also thankfully, I lived between 2 hard of hearing elderly neighbors (or they were very nice and lied that they couldn't hear anything) DSC00357.JPG I made some random chop cuts first so I had some experience with the saw before making the rip cuts, as well as making the rips a bit more manageable. Yes this was the first time I had ever used a powered saw let alone a circular saw. Circular saws still scare me to this day DSC00358.JPG Probably a lot of time passed between the previous picture and this one. I planned a bunch and psyched myself up to make the cuts. DSC00359.JPG I actually had the foresight to go with an edge-grain style butcher block style table. The main reason is that I knew the circular saw was not going to be very accurate with respect to the angle of the blade, which would make glue-up impossible if trying to glue 2 cuts together (which would be necessary in end-grain or face-grain cutting board aesthetics). By doing edge-grain, those inaccuracies wouldn't be glued to anything (here: facing up) and could be planed/sanded down. DSC00360.JPG After a lot of cutting to make the pieces random in length. I used the foam as a sacrificial cutting surface to minimize tear-out of the wood DSC00361.JPG DSC00364.JPG Here you can see the idea coming together a bit better DSC00365.JPG Well, this is what I get for using a circular saw. Inaccurate cuts means more time sanding the end grain and using wood filler DSC00366.JPG DSC00367.JPG Progress. I can work with these smaller gaps DSC00368.JPG DSC00369.JPG Failed clamping attempt. It's hammered-down knowledge to clamp from above and below a surface for symmetric clamping, but it was obvious here that I needed a flat surface to do my glue ups. I had to laugh as I had taken a lot of time planning what pieces looked best where. Oh well, laugh while you can DSC00370.JPG


    Kitchen Cart Glue-Up

    Doing the glue-up on the kitchen cart first so I had some practice on a smaller piece before doing the table glue-up

    DSC00371.JPG Flipping the pieces for the glue-up DSC00372.JPG Went very quickly and glued as fast as I could, but happy with the clamping at the end. DSC00373.JPG Removed the piece to make everything flush on the left edge, cleaned up as much excess glue as I could, and left it clamped overnight DSC00374.JPG DSC00375.JPG Eek DSC00376.JPG I stupidly took the time to make and apply wood filler, which was all going to come off after planing/sanding, so don't do that until after you've planed DSC00377.JPG Cut off the excess overhang. I probably should have trimmed the pieces individually most of the way so they would be more usable, but I managed to use all the off cuts for other cutting board projects later DSC00379.JPG DSC00380.JPG DSC00381.JPG Leaving this for now until I have my table glued up

    Table Glue-Up

    DSC00378.JPG Marking off how much more wood I needed to make my table 36" square DSC00382.JPG After a lot of rearranging, I ran out of excuses and went for the glue up DSC00383.JPG In retrospect, I should have done this glue-up in 2-4 separate sections. Gluing a 1ft width section at least until the glue was tacky would have given me a much better glue-up and a ton less stress. You can see the hammer I had to use to bang the pieces together to minimize gaps. Don't do what I did if you recreate this project

    Sanding, Wood Fill, Planing, and More Sanding

    DSC00384.JPG To make wood filler, you take sawdust from sanding and mix it with glue, then smear it into any gaps. Again, I did this first one too early in the process, but at least I had practice DSC00385.JPG Here you can really see the issues with using a circular saw for the rip cuts. This all needs to be sanded down. At this point, my parents pitied me knowing how much sanding this would take and bought me a hand-held planer. Thanks Mom and Dad! DSC00386.JPG DSC00387.JPG I started off timidly, but learned to love this little planer DSC00388.JPG Much better already DSC00390.JPG Resting in its final location, waiting for final sanding and attaching it to the frame DSC00391.JPG DSC00392.JPG DSC00393.JPG DSC00394.JPG Now is the actual time for wood filler DSC00395.JPG DSC00396.JPG After much sanding

    Finishing Steps

    DSC00397.JPG Not shown is where I flipped everything upside down and attached the frame to the underside of the wooden surface with some wood screws through the holes in the pipe flanges DSC00399.JPG DSC00400.JPG At the same time, I was also brewing and bottling the beer for a friend's wedding, so my apartment was a mess

    Mineral Oil Coat

    DSC00403.JPG I had to remember to take a picture; the first coat of mineral oil was magical. Walnut looks good regardless, but now it really shined DSC00404.JPG Now I know why I saved the best dark wood for the table DSC00405.JPG DSC00406.JPG DSC00407.JPG Here it is finished. I put of a few more coats of just mineral oil and finished it with butcher block conditioner (beeswax and mineral oil) DSC00408.JPG
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    Alex Nackenoff
    Alex Nackenoff
    Personal Website of Random Food, Tech, and Beer Projects