So what to tackle that can be done in a weekend and make an impact? How about a console table for the sectional in the basement TV room?
I talked about this sofa when we bought it - it's a monster, but a comfy, cozy monster. We love that there is room for everyone, and then some.
We estimated that we could go with an 8 inch wide table without encroaching too much on the necessary floor space. No one wants to have to squeeze past the couch to get into the room, right? An eight inch wide table isn't very much, but it's not like we're going to be putting big lamps or books on it - it's more for convenience than show.
We measured the length of the couch on each side - 10 feet on one side, 8 on the other - wow! - and discussed how we wanted to support the table. We decided on two 2x2 legs at either end of a board plus one pair in the middle, for a total of 12 legs. Plus we added a length of 1x8 at each end for a nice finished look. The table is almost completely behind the couch so there was no need for shelves or fancy woodwork on the ends - no one is going to see it! Tom also wanted to put 2x2 cross braces diagonally between each set of legs to keep them from bending in towards each other.
The build was pretty straight forward - each "arm" only took an hour or two.
Here is a tip to make lining up the cross pieces easier - use a piece of wood cut to the length you want, clamp it to the support leg, and use it as a jig so that your cross piece is at the exact same height on each leg.
To attach the cross pieces to the legs we made pocket holes using our Kreg Jig R3 - a pocket hole jig that is AMAZING. This baby is only $40 and will change your life. You clamp the jig to your piece of wood, drill through the guide holes, and it puts an angled hole exactly where you need it. When the screw is attached, the screw head is hidden and you can putty over it if you want.
While Tom built the second half, I started staining the first half. I tried out my cerusing skills again but I don't know, I'm still not getting the paint into the grooves made by the wire brush. I used Minwax stain in Jacobean, and a sample can of grey paint. I wonder if I'm watering it down too much. This time I scrubbed it really well with the steel wool after waxing it, and I can't believe how smooth it is! I love that I learn something new every time I refinish a piece.
Oh, and you see that piece of white plastic beside the paint cans? Yeah, I got in trouble for using it as a stir stick. Apparently the piece of what I thought was scrap plastic was actually a $5 piece of heat-shrink tubing. That you can only buy in $100 lots. And it was his last one. Sorry. (Said with a Canadian accent.)
Let's go back to admiring the table surface, shall we? Smoooovvvve.
Another thing that's always a pain in the butt with large couches is that electrical outlets end up behind the couch where you can't get to them easily. Tom came up with the idea to add an outlet to the table top, one on each side. They are just standard outlets like you'd have on your wall, built flush into the top of the table, with a cord to plug it into the wall outlet below. Clever, hunh? I swear I liked the idea so much it brought tears to my eyes. I like to use my laptop downstairs and I hate running the power cord across the room because I'm always afraid of the dogs tripping over it and yanking the laptop out of my hands. Now I can plug it in right behind me. And we can add a small lamp if we need to.
Update: I've posted a step-by-step tutorial here with instructions on building an outlet of your own.
Further update: We've recently upgraded to an outlet with built-in USB ports and switched out the cord to a grounded (3-prong) wire. See tutorial for additional instructions.
The two ends of the table fit together in the corner with carriage bolts screwed in underneath. I forgot to take pictures of it, but you probably get the idea. A carriage bolt, a washer, and a wingnut
Taking pictures of this thing in place isn't easy. And pay no mind to the staging, I just added some random objects so it wouldn't look so bare. We really like how it isn't obvious - the cushions are a little higher than the back of the couch so it's hidden - yet it's the perfect location for holding your drink.
All together it cost us less than $100 for wood, outlet parts, and screws/bolts - we already had the paint & stain - and about 6 hours work. Nice!
I'm linking up here this week!