Welcome back and Happy Labor Day Weekend.
If you remember my trip to the 40 mile yard crawl a couple of week ago I showed you all my treasures and I promised you I would soon have a great makeover for you. Well, I finally got busy and tackled the old, rusty, crusty hand cart.
I’ve seen them called hand carts, hand trucks, hand dollys (did I miss any?) but I think they are all the same thing. To me, it’s a coffee table.
There’s my little hand cart on the left. Labeled “Fairbanks” on the side with the cutest little cast iron wheels, he is going to be my first flip from this flea market treasure trove.
I know there are a lot of pictures but none of the steps are too difficult. It was just easier to take a lot of pictures than try to describe what I was doing.
First step was to take a trip to the salvage yard for this beautiful old piece of lumber. I could have beaten up a newer piece, but the roughness of this wood went perfectly with the aged hand cart.
This piece measured 2″x 12″x 9′ …and that was a true 2 inch width, made when boards measuring 2 inches were really 2 inches wide.
The remainder of the wood that makes up this coffee table is all pallet wood so make sure you have a good supply.
I cut the wood into 2, 34 1/2″ and 2, 20″ pieces. You can see the start of my coffee table box above.
I predrilled 2 holes on each corner and used 6″ bolts to join the box together.
Box is all screwed together. This is just a dry run to see how tall the coffee table will be. A coffee table should be not quite as tall as your couch if you want to be able to put your tootsies up comfortably.
Supposedly a standard coffee table is 16-18 inches, but a higher couch may require a taller table.
I ran the sander over my box to get rid of any splinters but I liked the saw lines so I didn’t sand those out.
The cut corners were stained to appear closer in color to the aged wood.
The box was given a clear coat of danish oil which brought out the richness of the wood.
I’m want this coffee table to have storage, so on the inside of my box I nailed a 1 inch strip of scrap wood to the bottom of both sides. This will serve as a ledge to attach a bottom.
Pallet wood was cut and sanded and nailed to the ledge at the bottom of the box.
For a little pop of color I painted the bottom with red chalk paint.
The red got a bit more sanding to give the paint an aged look, then finished with a dark wax. The wax really tones down the brightness of the red.
Out of 9 pieces of pallet wood I constructed a barn door looking top for my table. The size of the barn door is slightly smaller than the box frame.
Lay out the bottom pieces. Cut 2 pallet wood pieces the exact width of your door and nail to the top and bottom edges. Wherever the vertical pallet wood hit the end piece, I used about 4 finishing nails to attach.
After all the boards were secure another piece of pallet wood was cut for the diagonal. More nails wherever it crosses over another piece of pallet.
The barn door top was treated to a few layers of chalk paint.
First up red and white haphazardly painted on.
Once the red and white was dry my husband insisted my door needed an X instead of a Z…hey, I’m flexible, so more pallet wood was added. The pallet wood was followed by a coat of the light blue.
After the blue was dry, once again hit the pallets with the sander revealing a bit of the red and white.
Not too much difference in the last photo but it has a coat of clear wax mixed with just a bit of tinted wax. The wax was painted on then rubbed off with a rag.
For a little more detail I decided to frame my coffee table box with even more pallet wood.
This pallet wood was mitered at the edges like a picture frame. In order for it to sit flat over top of the bolts, I had to drill out a small hole on the trim piece (see arrows above).
I once again attached this trim with finishing nails though this time, I followed up with 1 1/2″ screws. I figured if people were going to put their feet up, this piece would get the most wear and tear.
You may notice that this trim piece was attached about 1/2″ above the level of the box so that the barn door top sits inside.
This frame trim piece was painted with some barn red followed by black chalk paint. It too got sanded, followed by a coat of tinted wax.
The top of the coffee table was finished but I needed to be able to attach it permanently to the hand cart base. Because of all the metal at the end of the cart I wouldn’t be able to drill directly, I needed to add a wooden support.
Holding a 2×4 directly over the cart I marked exactly where I needed to make my cuts so that the piece would fit between the two sides.
The piece I just cut was screwed in from the sides to the hand cart. Now I had something to screw to.
I did have something to screw to, but I did have one final problem to solve…hand carts are not always level.
Mine was close. How perfect is that, that the levelness of my box was just off by one pallet thickness.
One more piece of pallet wood was cut, not quite as wide as the width of the coffee table. I mitered the ends to have a nice finish.
This last piece of pallet wood was centered then screwed onto the 2×4 piece that was inserted a couple of steps ago…
…then the entire coffee table was flipped over and this last pallet piece was screwed into the side walls of the box. I also predrilled 2 holes and screwed the arms of the hand cart into the end piece of the box (screws were put in where there are arrows above).
For a finishing touch I added rustic looking handles from Hobby Lobby.
If you don’t have a hand cart, I have some alternative leg ideas for you.
If you like wooden legs, you may like my Carpenters Tool Box, it uses cut spindles for legs or my Vintage Door Coffee Table which takes advantage of premade legs from the hardware store. Another idea are the legs I used for my Chicken Coop Coffee Table, that were originally ball top finials for a deck. Lastly, and most expensive, are vintage looking cast iron wheels I used for my Faux Industrial Cart Coffee Table.
Have a great holiday weekend and thanks for stopping by.
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