Phoenix Rising

2 Materials
4 Hours

Constructing the mancave and craft studio in the basement has been a long 2+ year process for hubs and has generated many trips to the waste station. On one such trip, this caught my eye:
Someone had thrown out an old sewing machine on a metal stand. At the waste stations in our city taking materials is strictly prohibited, but I didn't let that stop me. It happened to be my birthday that day and I was able to convince the person monitoring the site to let me take the base home with me (with great hesitation on his part) It just pains me that something so beautiful and potentially useful would just have gone into landfill!

The base made its way onto a shelf in our garage and was re-discovered a few weeks ago when hubs was reorganizing:
Hubs was looking for a base on which to make a table top using reclaimed skid material and I thought this base would make a great conversation piece at the entrance to the mancave.

Hubs spent a few hours sanding it down all the rust. He was going to repaint all the metal, but I just loved the old patina as-is (especially the gold lettering of the three Phoenix plaques). He eventually agreed with me and ended up clear coating it to protect it from rusting again. The refurbished metal looked awesome!
Hubs then set about creating a new top for the base and took apart all the pieces of a skid. He wanted to preserve the rustic look of the wood so only gave it a light sanding to keep all the dings and dirt (i.e. character) intact. He then screwed each slat onto a piece of MDF at either end near the edges and clear coated to seal it.
To hide the screws and edges, hubs bought some raw steel L-brackets and cut it to fit around the top, mitering the ends. A friend helped solder the seams together from underneath to give it a clean look on the surface and hubs finished it by drilling holes along the edges. The steel also got a coat of clear finish to prevent rusting.
Soldered metal ready for wood top
Skid top with finished metal edges
Hubs used gun blue creme to blacken zinc coated round head screws:
He then poked the screws through a piece of cardboard and clear coated them:
Screws clear coated on piece of cardboard
Hubs predrilled the screw holes through the metal into the skid top....
and fastened each screw into the top:
Here is the finished top:
All that was left was to screw the top onto the base. The mancave is still a work in progress so this was the best shot of the table to could get amongst the cardboard covered floors and messy boxes.
Although the table is unique and decorative, it has a practical purpose too. Just behind where it sits is our full sized freezer. When I was designing the basement, I inset the freezer into the wall to hide it away from the main living area. Having a table right around the corner to drop things when we're loading and unloading the freezer is very handy!

Just above the new table is where we recently mounted our airplane propeller:
Once the mancave is complete, I'll be able to get some better reveal pictures of the space.

Follow our blog right here on Hometalk, or our own site Birdz of a Feather (link below) if you're interested in seeing the mancave, and rest of the basement, take shape in the next few months! You can also follow us on:


Suggested materials:

  • Sewing table base  (Garbage find)
  • Wood top  (Skid)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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4 of 70 comments
  • Grace Smith
    on Jan 4, 2017

    Really nice and so handsome. Great workmanship, too.

    • Birdz of a Feather
      on Jan 4, 2017

      Thank you - and the table isn't bad either! That's a joke about my husband (he's handsome and he does great work :)

  • Dee
    on Jan 26, 2017

    What a find! I love that table. I have a couple old sewing machine frames that I use as tables also, but have never seen the phoenix brand. Very nicely done.

    • Birdz of a Feather
      on Jan 26, 2017

      Thank you Dee. I still pinch myself that we were able to get it; persistence almost always pays off :)

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