One Mans Trash is Anothers Table

We were on out driving one day when I see this cast iron table base setting by the side of the road in the garbage and point it out to my wife, and my wife says to me stop! and pick that up. Now that alone cause me to jerk the car to side of the rode so fast I almost caused a wreck, mainly, because she usually deplores my occasionally ventures into dumpster diving even thought I have found some pretty interesting stuff even by her standards. I looked at her and said damn! after 25 years I am rubbing off on you. She looked back at me and said don’t get your hopes up buddy that we’ll rummage thru dumpster together, cause it’s not going to happen, I just think that it will make a nice table and as you know we do need one, so get your ass out there and grab it, then we can talk about what kind of a top I want you to make me!

I did the dutiful husband thing and I jumped out of the car and grab the base. It was a nice find and to be honest I would of picked it up anyway. I loaded it in the back seat of the car, crawled in and off we went with our new treasure. After a few miles I look at her and asked, so do you have something in mind for that piece of crap in the back seat? mocking her loving. Yes, yes I do, she said, I want you to make me a knotty pine top to match the hutch. I said pine, not pine, she said why not pine?

I said because it isn’t the best material to make a table top out of. She said “but it’s what I want”, and then said “my minds made and I counted to three”, quoting the lady on Oh Brother Were Are Thou meaning there was no changing her mind. All I said was “dang gone it you done went and counted to three”, meaning I got the message and pine it would be. After a few more miles she explained “I want a small round table with the edges rounded over, and I would like left a natural color with maybe some kind of inlay in red or something in the top. Just do your thing and make pretty”.

Do my thing? make it pretty? pine, ok I can work with this, I think. It seems when ever I build things for my own home it ends being pine. Some time in the late 80s before all the kitchen manufacture offered pine cabinets the shop I worked in started building pine kitchen cabinets, not because we wanted to work with pine, it can be a pain to work with, but because there was a market for it. We were good at it and build a lot of kitchens. Ever since then pine has seem to follow me as a material that my customers seem to chose even when I try to recommend other choices, even my wife. Lucky for her I just happen to have some 2 x 8 yellow pine under the bed drying out. Don’t ask why that’s another story.

I hand planed the 2 x 8s and glued them together trying to get them as flat as I could. What twist that is in the top I hope to take out with a sliding dovetail cleat. I left the two end boards off and after the cleat is inserted I will glue them on so that the dovetail can’t be seen. The base will be attach to the cleats with four rail bolts and ¼ 20 nuts so the top can be removed. Then with the top attached I will plane it flat and route it into a circle then decide how to make it pretty? Out of all the people I have done work for and no matter how silly she is about my skills my wife is the one person I never want to disappoint.


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