a funky table, Good view of the top

A Funky Table

I bought some metal tables from a local on-line auction with no particular use in mind. They were cheap enough ($15) and I liked their industrial look. They went into my “inventory” until I was recently given a 30 inch by 6 ft solid core veneered door that I thought would make a great table top for the industrial base. The friend that gave me the door was relocating and didn't want to move it.

an assortment of coffee tables

An Assortment of Coffee Tables

This posting is a collection of coffee tables I have done over a number of years. For most of them, I only have one photo of each, so I will try to describe the challenges or unique qualities of each table. The first table is one I built for our personal use over thirty years ago. It was made from a wooden shipping crate. I added the top and the feet. The Hood Rubber Company was a Watertown MA based company started in the late 1800's (http://snaccooperative.org/ark:/99166/w6qs25tv) that manufactured galoshes and rubber boots, not prophylactics. It is still in use in our TV room.

repurposed deck table, Completed table on Linda and Tim s deck

Repurposed Deck Table

My wife is very supportive of my woodworking and repurposing. But she often reminds me that just because someone doesn’t want something, I don’t have to take it off their hands. My position is- it often works out you just have to be patient.

repurpose foundry pattern, Poor photo but you get the idea

Repurposed Foundry Patterns

This was a fun project, because it was quick and of a much smaller scale than some others I have been recently involved with. The Heritage Company is an architectural salvage business and probably my most favorite haunt. I have been friends with and done business with the owner (Rodger Parzyck) for over 30 yrs. Recently they acquired some small wooden foundry molds.They were all about 12 inches high and 4 to 6 inches wide. All were stamped with “Young’s Iron Works” and serial numbers.

one shipping crate equals two home bars

One Shipping Crate Equals Two Home Bars.

About two years ago I purchased a plywood crate from a local on-line auction house. I bought it because it was cheap ($19) and it had a bunch of plywood, that generally proves useful in a variety of projects. I pushed it into a corner of the basement.

cabin table with folding legs

Cabin Table With Folding Legs

My tax accountant learned I was a woodworker and asked me if I could make a table for their cabin in Northern Michigan . The aesthetics were not as important as much as they wanted it: 1) to be counter height (36"); and 2) foldable (so they could store it away when not in use). They have a kitchen bar they usually eat at.

headboards i have made, Headboard footboard and rails

Headboards I Have Made

I have been a hobbyist woodworker for most of my adult life and started repurposing almost 30 years ago. Consequently I have pictures of projects that were completed before the internet and before Hometalk. Most often I have just one photo and it could be a "before" or an "after photo". I decided to post some of these pictures and describe, rather than show, some of the details. I hope you enjoy the tour.

stripping paint from door hardware

Stripping Paint From Door Hardware.

This is a tutorial for a technique to which I can't claim ownership to. The Heritage Company (www.heritagearchitecturalantiques.com) and/or HeritageKalamazoo) is an architectural salvage business in Kalamazoo Michigan. They have some antiques but the bulk of their inventory consists of antique and vintage lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, claw foot tubs, doors, windows, millwork, reclaimed lumber, barn beams, porch posts, and hardware. I have been friends with the owner (Rodger) for about 30 years and it has been a great relationship. I have purchased/traded parts and pieces, repaired/reconditioned items, and actually sold items on consignment after converting them into furniture and furniture accessories. It has been fun.

using and tinting auto body filler for wood repair

Using and Tinting Auto Body Filler for Wood Repair.

I have posted some rustic tables that had defects (knotholes, voids, and hole) that required filling. This posting is a tutorial intended to explain how to use and tint two part auto body filler in your wood projects. There is a host of wood fillers on the market in a variety of colors- they come in tubes and cans and are great for filling small imperfections and nail holes, but none of them have the holding power of two part auto body filler, common brandname Bondo. If you are going to paint the project you are working on, you can use the filler as it comes- part A which is usually gray or tan and part B (the hardener) that is usually red or white, although I have seen blue. It can be shaped, carved, and sanded to do most repairs.

aging galvanized metal, Pipe legs afer darkening

Aging Galvanized Metal

The purpose of this posting is to share a method of distressing/aging galvanized metal. At the end I will share some projects that have included galvanized metal, but this post is more about the aging process, not the projects. Safety is primary concern. I am a retired chemist and comfortable with chemicals yet don’t want to downplay the importance of protecting yourself from hazards material. My method uses muriatic acid, also know as hydrochloric acid. It is highly corrosive. - hazardous to the eyes, skin, and lungs. and needs to be handled with the utmost caution and requires personal protection equipment- long sleeves, long pants, gloves, safety glasses/goggles, and really good ventilation. It is used to clean and etch concrete and to lower the pH of swimming pools and is sold in most hardware stores. You must read and adhere to the handling instructions. If after reading this post, you are not comfortable with working with any or all of these chemicals then don’t attempt it. I would certainly have you consider achieving a similar look by over spraying with black and gray paint. I usually do this type of work in warmer weather- outdoors with good ventilation. Circumstances required me to work on a coffee table with legs made from 1/2” galvanized pipe during our cold Michigan winter. I decided I would try to make this tutorial at the same time. I like the looks of galvanized metal., but I really prefer it to have an aged look. Note that galvanized metal is steel with a zinc coating- do not confuse it with a aluminum. This process will not work with aluminum. I am going to walk you through the steps with 1) a piece of galvanized flashing, also called flat stock, leftover from an earlier project; and 2) some 1/2” galvanized pipe that form the legs of a coffee table. Please note that when using pipe you can spend an inordinate amount of time: 1) standing in the aisle of a big box store determining the fittings, pipes, and nipples required; and 2) removing the stickers from the pipe and fittings.

John Biermacher
John Biermacher
About meI am a retired chemist, but have been into DIY for for about 43 years and have been into repurposing/up cycling for over 30 years. I thought it was a fad but am happy it has become an integral part of furniture design. I primarily do projects for friends and relatives, but occasionally do work for clients and am happy to add industrial into the mix. I have also have had a lot of experience with refinishing and metal treatment.