When we left off, I had just purchased the materials needed to build a table.
Step 1: Stain the tabletop.
I lightly sanded the surface of the plywood, then applied a layer of stain. Allowing the tabletop to dry overnight, I then lightly sanded again, wiped with tack cloth to remove dust, and stained again. This part was easy.
Now, the dilemma of the other side. The unstained side. Do I half-ass it and leave unstained? I am lazy and impatient. An idea comes to me. Let the kid paint the underside. That way, she can be involved in the process and I don't have to wait two more days to complete the table. The one mistake I did make was having the kid use tempera paint and not acrylic. Still, it's good enough for me.
Step 2: Put together the pipe base
Assembling the base was surprisingly easy. Too easy, in fact.
I attached the tees between the 30" and 10" pipe. I attached the 10" end to each flange and the 30" end to a cap (I should have done the reverse). I then attached an 18" pipe to the tees to connect two legs and repeated on the other side. Ta-da!
Step 3: Attach base to top
Only one more step and we are good to go. My work table will be done and the creative magic can begin. (insert screech sound effect here)
Not so fast.
I found a simple stool at the Reuse Center (one of my new favorite places for basket hunting). It's too short, only it's not. The table is too damn tall. I want to be able to stand and work but not all the time. It's also a bit wobbly. Because it's too damn tall. And because I didn't add any support pipe along the length. What do I do?
Feel free to skip the next paragraph as I ramble and rant about my many subsequent trips to various hardware stores.
I return to Lowe's and return the 10" pipes and exchange them for I don't even know what at this point. Nope. I return to Lowe's for more pipe. This has quickly become a running joke of "that's what she said" between Lefty and me. I bring the kid with me to Lowe's this time, and a lovely older woman compliments me on her behavior (#humblebrag). As a frazzled mom dragging my 4 year old through a big store, I really needed to hear that. Thank you, kind lady. Alas, this trip was also unsuccessful. I finally think I have it figured out. Where do I go? You guessed it. Lowe's. They have everything I need, except one goddamned pipe. I head down the street to Home Depot. No pipe. Time to pick the kid up from school. Drag the kid to another hardware store. The kind, and quite amused, worker at Agway suggested I just have my pipe cut to fit. If I give him the measurements, he can do it. Do I have the measurements? No. Are you still reading? You really can just skip ahead. I won't mind. After arriving at home, I enlist the kid's help to disassemble the table. I have enough pipe; certainly I can figure something out. One more trip the next day for 4" pipe. The kid helps put the table back together and ta da! No, really, this time. Ta-da!
Step 4: Use the table
Thank the DIY gods above (or whoever you pray to). It is not perfect; I may tinker with it in the future; but the table is done enough. And isn't that the case with a lot of our life. We just need to be enough. Done enough. Good enough. Happy enough.
I couldn't take a very good photo of the completed desk because the other side of the garage is full of junk and bikes and snowblowers. But this little area is mine. I can sit at my desk, open the window, and look out into the backyard and "decompose," as Lefty says.
And I did it all by myself. Well, with a little help from my assistant the kid. She used her screwdriver like a pro. Proud of that kid.
I love to hear about your failed and almost-failed DIYs. How did you save/salvage them? How do decide when to scrap a project and start over? Share in the comments.
who am I?
modern punch is me, Becky, mom of a kid and a dingo, wife for 20 years. I grew up on the Florida coast watching rockets launch from my backyard. Now I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes amongst the wonderful weirdos and waterfalls.
All opinions are my own. I am not an expert. I am not paid for anything. I have only one rule: don't be an asshole.