Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on…

Posts tagged ‘reuse’

26 Million dollar table

This Summer there were a few days that hit ‘roast’ on the thermometer. On one of them I hosted a few friends  for a BBQ on the terrace.  I don’t think any of them realised what a miracle it was that we were seated at a table.


See this was my table.


And this was my table the day before…

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And this was my table leg…

2014JAN12 005aNot only had the bottom broken off, but further inspection found it soft and spongy all the way up.

When the leg first started breaking off I thought I could maybe cut all the legs shorter and put on castors. But when I realised the extent of the damage I was devastated. This was MY table. I bought it from a clearance table when out shopping for a 1/5th of the original price and somehow managed to fit it in the car. I then had a prolonged ‘discussion’ with a man in K&D who insisted I didn’t want to varnish it as I would have to sand and recoat it every year. He insisted I should ‘oil’ it. I didn’t want to oil it, I wanted a table I could wipe clean before eating off it.

I pointed out that the tin of oil he had handed me instructed one to “sand back and recoat every 12 months” and that having grown up with wooden boats I certainly hadn’t had to revarnish them every Summer. I finally walked out with my can of marine varnish. I loved how that table came up.

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That was 8 years ago.  It was re-coated in the third year.  It should have been redone a couple of years ago but somehow it never made it to the top of the job list. (Funny that, since I was stripping and varnishing floors and painting walls etc that year.) There were a couple of cracks in the top that were starting to lift with the rain. Two years on these were serious rifts in the wood. But it was usable. At least it was until half the leg fell off.

‘Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability… ‘

Well I thought I did, until I tried to replicate the angles cut at the top and bottom of each leg. I turned it, turned it again, picked it up, looked at it closely, stepped back, held straight edges across the angles,  but I could not find a way to cut the new leg to replicate the old. I ended up coming inside and phoning my reno guru who talked me through how to cut them – which still didn’t make much sense. I walked outside, picked up the new leg, turned it  around and wham, there was the angle, so easy to replicate. Don’t know why I couldn’t see it before, I tried holding it every way possible.

Once it was cut I needed to replace the bolts. This was the tricky bit. I thought I would have to figure some new way to bolt all the way through, but amazingly Bunnings had exactly what I needed – furniture bolts (and an employee who could tell me how to install them – put a nut or two on the top section, then use them with a spanner to screw the bottom section into the leg.)

2014JAN12 007a 2014JAN12 008aI eyeballed the angle for drilling the holes for the bolts and no one was more surprised than I was when I got it right the first time – the bolts slid into the table bracket like they had been made for it.  I’ve also put plastic ‘feet’ on the end of each leg so they are no longer sitting directly on the cement.

TaDah! Dinner is served.2014JAN12 017

Later I pulled the table back into the carport and dug the bad wood out of the cracks, scraped and sanded  the varnish back to raw wood. The biggest of the cracks had almost rotted out the entire piece –  the ends of the slats were barely resting on wood at all. I knew my skills didn’t extend to replacing the edge of a circular table, so I stuffed the hole with wood glue and sawdust, clamped it, let it dry, stuffed in some more, let that dry and then filled the top with wood filler.

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I thought I would probably have to paint the edge of the table black to hide all the filler, but  after the first coat of varnish it was not that noticeable.

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Eight coats of varnish later and the table is back to it’s former glory… although it’s a different colour. Much more like teak and a range of tones  instead of the solid gold that it used to be.

I like it.

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(Yes, every time I tried to take a photo it had been raining.)









So many ideas, so little brain

I swear my head will explode one day soon. Probably tomorrow, I hear that’s the new ‘use before’ date on the planet. Of course the world would end the day AFTER I finally commit and spend the day ripping up carpets, pulling staples from the floors and generally moving every book in the house twice.

The main bedroom floor has to be polished – by the time I took out the built in bed (no carpet underneath it), cut around the new ensuite, took out the built in dressing table (another bare spot) and then moved my new bed into a different spot in the room it was jsut going to look too weird. Besides, I LOVE polished wood floors.If the flat wasn’t directly below the living room, separated only by the carpet and underlay and a thin layer of some sort of precursor to plasterboard that looks like hard felt, then I’d have that carpet up in a moment. As it is – some sort of insulation will have to be installed before I dare go bare in that room. Anyone with proven soundproofing in a ceiling? Seems the only thing people can agree on in the topic is that it is going to cost $$$.

So I get quotes to polish the bedroom floor (5m x 4m room) which I’ve already pulled the carpet off and taken out all the tack board and nails. 4 quotes later I pull myself off the floor and ask if the rate would be better if I was doing more? Turns out it would. Also turns out I can save a heap by doing the varnishing myself. Quite frankly if I thought I could get the drum sander in and out of the car I’d be doing that bit too. Finally yesterday I found a young guy who will sand the bedroom, the lounge (future study) and the front hall for only $200 more than the first quote I had for sanding a single room.

So today we pulled up the carpet in the lounge /hall and after crawling around under the house (where no woman has ever been before) I discovered (well I had pointed out to me) that several of my brick foundation pillars were sitting there quite unattached to the floor joists they are supposed to be supporting. Using scraps of timber lying around we managed to fix that (so nice to have a friend’s husband who knows what he’s doing, and who can use a pinch bar to lift the whole house up while I shove wedges under it!) Not sure how well I’m going to do alone when I go back under to see why the floor seems to drop away from the skirting in the middle of the window and to see if I can get under the front door and fix that squeak. However, I’ve just been dancing around in my totally empty lounge/study and not hearing a single squeak. Unlike this morning when it sounded like a deaf violin orchestra tuning up every time you approached the doorway.

I was going to tell you some of the myriad of ideas that occurred to me today – everything from colours for skirting boards to what to decorate the walkway with and to how make a porch for the front door.

Mostly though, isn’t it amazing how different an empty room is? It’s like blank paper and stationery shops – so full of promise and opportunity. While spinning around my newly empted carpetless lounge room on an office chair today (what? you think you wouldn’t when confronted with a huge smooth surface? LOL) I completely changed the intended layout for that room. The nail salon part has swapped sides, bookcases have moved, cupboards have moved. I hope it all fits because it felt so right when I sat there and thought “this feels like a salon”. The other side of the room felt like a cell.

Now I need to fall into bed – of course I chose to do all this heavy work (yesterday was spent shoving boxes of stuff around and sorting mountains of clothes for vac packing) and my sister had to move house TODAY. It was 30ish C yesterday didn’t get below 22 last night until after 2am *insert insomniac emoticon here*, it was too hot to sleep and today was 22 by 9am and didn’t cool down until after 4. It’s October for crying out loud. What on earth is summer going to be like if this is spring?

Photos soon!


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