Antique Cart Coffee Table: turning something old into something cool
And it only took a weekend and quite a few trips to the hardware store.
So here's the deal: we bought a bunch of cool furniture for the living room but wanted to compliment all the new/modern stuff with a coffee table that had some character. We came across a ridiculously priced industrial dolly of sorts and decided it would feel right at home in our 1890s rowhouse. But who wants to spend that much loot when not spending that much loot is way more fun? Oh here we go!
We wanted the real deal so we got the real deal. As in, we had some dudes in South Dakota train us over a real industrial cart. It was massive, had 90 years of wear and tear (and dirt and grime), and weighed in at over 200 pounds (for real, 236). You could get a splinter just thinking about it how rough it was. But you can already tell, it's pretty sweet.
Getting Started: Operation Teardown
First things first, gotta take it apart and keep everything organized.
Take a Number
We gave each piece a number in case some of the boards had become warped over time and only wanted to fit back next to their friends.
Sand Them Down
With a power sander and a little elbow grease we gave the boards a much improved surface.
Small House = Small Table
Our house is micro(machine), so we really wanted to cut down the depth of the table from about 33" to 18" so that the table wasn't an obstacle to walk around for people coming into the house. This gives us a table that's long (from left to right) and narrow (from front to back), fitting the proportions of our living room well.
Resizing the Axle Rod
Since we're changing the dimensions of the whole table, we need to make sure we can get the wooden base and cast iron hardware to cooperate with the new plans. The problem child here is the solid iron axle rod connecting the two main wheels in the center.
Time for Plan B
Forget cutting this bad boy.
Black Pipe Saves the Day
Our local hardware store is the bomb and sold us exactly 18 inches of 3/4" black pipe. The outside diameter of which was about 1 1/8", just about exactly what we needed.
In the picture above, we're lining everything up to guage the eventual proportions of the table.
Time to Clean Up This Rusty Junk
Before we make these wheels shine, we need to remove the dirt and rust (after all, my mother will be eating off this table).
All Clean! (seriously)
Sure doesn't look that great but with the help of some Naval Jelly we got all the dirt and rust off the hardware. Now they're ready to go bigtime.
We used a flat black Rustoleum spray paint, about two coats.
The detail on these wheel mounts is pretty cool.
Fit and Finish
The boards that made up the rectangle base were appropriately scaled down and bolted back together again.
Above you can see us laying the top boards over the new base to make sure we had an appropriate 1" overhang on each edge.
Multiple Coats of Clear Polycrylic Later..
After applying a number of layers of waterproofing, we're ready start putting frankenstein back together. We started by attaching the hardware to the wooden base (not pictured) and then screwed on the top boards (pictured).
With mostly everything back together again, now we're move-in ready.