Continuing in the theme of “Mark, I thought you were a photographer?!” I present: Dawson’s Finest Reclaimed Wood and Steel End Tables!
Once I got into the metal shop and saw all the fun tools I could make things with, then went to the metal supply store and saw all these bad-ass metal shapes to make things with, I did a lot of daydreaming and sketching designs in my head.
Since childhood I knew I could make things (badly) with wood, but making things out of metal was for factories and professionals and big beefy men with beards and welding helmets and 9½ fingers. So to be able to make actual things with legit chunks of steel has been, in case y’all can’t tell, something of an obsession lately.
Anyhow, I wanted to make something relatively minimalist, and just massive, in their own small way. I found a local reclaimed lumber store on craigslist, and they happened to have an 8in x 8in x 36in piece that I felt I could afford to experiment with. I had wanted larger, say 12×12, but in hindsight I’m glad 8×8 was the largest I could find – these things weigh a ton already.
After some time on the wood and metal bandsaws (and some appreciative nods from others in the workshop) I had my two blocks of wood (tapered to fit inside the square metal tube) and two matching steel bases. I welded tabs inside the base so that the wood top piece can be screwed tight – hopefully saving toes when you pick it up to move it.
The tops of of the tables (which match) are flat, smooth, and sealed with a satin polyurethane finish. The sides of the wood piece has been painted with the polyurethane, but are otherwise as rough, split, and pitted as I found them. The steel is similarly rough and rusted, as found.
The end tables are $250 a piece, plus not-inconsiderable shipping, but I would prefer to sell them as a set at $400. Sold!
The table tops are 8in x 8in, and are each 20 inches tall. I would also love to make end tables to your specifications, if you’d like one taller or shorter, for example!
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Just like your dad would have done. They are beautiful and I love the wood – natural. Thanks for sending. Ruth
Yeah, I think of Dad nearly every time I’m working in that shop. He would have LOVED it and spent all of his time there (not sure what he’d think of the fact that 50% or so of the employees have pink hair, though).
I especially can hear his voice in my head whenever I use wood glue. I used to hate it, thought it was not the “real way” to do things, thought it would be weak. I wanted bolts and screws and stuff. And Dad would say “the glue is stronger than the wood itself – the wood will break before this bond will”…and now I glue most of my joints.
I want to show him all the new tools that are available. The woodshop in Bristol Village was fantastic, but what they had there is only maybe 10% of everything at TechShop. Dad would have been, like me, a kid in a candy store. Wish he was there with me.
I honored your dad and his inventions. I honor you now for the talent and artistry combined. R
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