Typically, when people are redecorating or renovating their home, they tend to throw out obsolete items and old furniture that have just been sitting around and collecting dust. Oftentimes, this is an incredible waste of perfectly good furniture that may just be in need of some refinishing or repurposing. Instructables contributor, Lofgren, had a fantastic idea for his old coffee table that had a nice, big drawer in it. Traditionally, people had designated work desks in their home because of desktop computers. Nowadays, people like to curl up comfortably on their couches with their oh-so-portable laptops.
The project started out with the removal of the old hardware and metal accent pieces. The finish of the coffee table was looking pretty rough, so the entire thing would eventually be refinished.
The top, trim, and legs were removed with the help of a crowbar. The interior drawer was also removed to allow easy access to the wooden frame of the table.
At this point, Lofgren decided to use cantilever hinges that would prop up the tabletop whenever needed. After measuring out the desired height, he purchased some pre-made ones from the local hardware store.
Since the tabletop would be made to lift up, Lofgren took the opportunity to add additional storage to the unit. He eventually decided on using tray shelving, as seen below:
He added supports for the tray shelving just above the existing drawer and placed it in position for a dry fit.
Since the finishing on the table was in poor shape, Lofgren took the opportunity to refinish the tabletop. At this point, the entire unit was disassembled and all its pieces were sanded down using a belt sander.
“Incidentally, it was ‘old teak’ and the original manufacturer was quite rough in putting it together, slopping in parts (as you can see from the first photo in the intro) and only sanding roughly to give it that ‘rustic’ look,” Lofgren explains in his post. “Sanding the whole thing gave it a more finished look in the end – and removed old coffee rings!”
With everything sanded, the table was ready for reassembly.
The parts were reassembled with the inclusion of the new tray shelf and cantilever hinges. Things were already coming together very nicely.
The wooden trim of the table was also sanded down in preparation for being refinished.
For the finishing, Lofgren bought a Wattyl product that is designed to both stain and seal the finishing simultaneously. This is both cheaper and less time-consuming than purchasing and applying the separate products. Unfortunately, the finish wasn’t to Lofgren’s desire, so he ended up buying a different Wattyl clear sealer that ended up giving him a nice gloss finish.
All that was left to do was to put back the drawer and then reattach the metal hardware. This coffee-table-work-desk hybrid is a fantastic addition to his living room.
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