Scrap Wood Table with Welded Steel Legs

After cleaning out my parent’s garage, I had some scrap redwood and steel lying around and a friend in need of a table/desk for her new apartment.  As per usual, finished product first 🙂

Step 1 – Design

I usually use Sketchup to figure out dimensions, cuts and the overall design.  It can be a little challenging at first but is very intuitive once you get the hang of it.

Step 2 – Cutting

I put my little brother to work.  He wanted to learn how to weld and I wanted someone else to do the daunting task of cutting the steel.  I use a miter saw called the “Evolution Rage3” which cuts plastic, wood and metal.  It can cut through 1/2″ steel like butter and leaves very little burring.  Great all in one miter if you are looking for one.

Benny Boy Cutting Some Steel

Step 3 – Grinding

Grinding is an equally tedious process so Ben was at with a fine grit flap disk.

Step 4 – Welding

After marking up the angles and weld points, it was time to make some jigs.  Once that was complete, on to welding.  I suppose Ben deserved a go on the MIG, so after some practice on some scrap pieces, we hit the joints with the Hobart.

Step 5 – Grinding the Welds

Same flap disk process except this time we uses a metal brush to get in the crevasses as well.

Legs Welded Up and Ready for Patina

Step 6 – Patina Time

If you aren’t familiar, a Patina is a method of oxidizing (rusting) metal with acid.  It’s pretty much as cool as it sounds.  The purpose is to A) make the metal look cooler and B) add a layer of oxidation so the metal doesn’t oxidize further.  Check out the results.

Step 7 – Wipe it off and Apply a ClearCloat

If you prepped the surface of the metal properly before applying the patina, the metal should oxidize on touch.  The metal comes from the depot coated with a thick oily substance to prevent it from rusting (oxidizing), so you have to make sure the surface is clean and prepped for the patina.  The end results should look like this.

Step 8 – Onto the Wood.  Design

It was time to figure out what to do with the top.  I did a quick Sketchup to maximize the wood I had and cut it up.  Next it was on to gluing.  Wood glue is awesome.  It dries with pressure, so clamps are important.  No time or tools for any fancy joinery, so glue it was.

Step 9 – Sanding

I employed the help of grandpa Karpovich for the sanding and he happily obliged.

Step 10 – Staining and Finishing

For the stain, I used some stuff I had lying around.  The clear coat is polyurethane.  Some tips: Apply thin coats, sand with very fine grit and apply a thin coat again.  Rinse and repeat until you are happy with the results.  Try to do it in a dry, temperate environment.


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