Friday, January 14, 2011

Trash to Treasure: Coffee table

I've been a cheapskate for a long time and my coffee table is a project that I did a long time ago.  Well, it was a total fluke actually.  I feel today may be the time to tell it's story though. 
*please ignore ugly apartment carpeting*
When I was in college a couple of 12 (yikes!) years ago, I worked at a custom frame shop in the mall called 'Prints Plus'.   The store was located next to an eclectic furniture and home decor store (name rhymes with 'Pompey' Company).  My store manager knew our neighboring store's manager and learned that when items at their store were damaged, they were required to throw them away.  If it was a "set" of some sort though, the different pieces of the set had to be thrown out on separate days.

Being a mall store, all of our trash was put out in the back hallways for trash removal.  That means our trash was put out right next to the trash of the eclectic furniture store.  One day our store manager came back from putting out the trash lugging a heavy iron circle.  She didn't know what it was or what she would do with it, but she wanted it - it had great detail.   It sat in our back room for a few weeks until it found the way to her home..  

Weeks after that when I was putting our store's trash out to the back hallway, I came across 4 legs to something.  I swear I wasn't even looking for trash-- they were just set out next to the bags-- not even IN anything.  They were really pretty.  So... in our store they came.  I wasn't sure what I would do with them either.  I thought of cutting the screw part off and using them as decorative pieces somehow.  

By this time my manager realized that she couldn't figure out exactly how to use her iron piece,  so she said she'd bring it back in for me if I wanted-- she noticed that it had holes in the bottom, roughly the size of the screws in the top of my table legs she thought.    

yeah, we both squealed when we saw the perfect fit
Once we knew they would fit, the next question was of stability. Would these legs be able to bear the weight of the iron circle thingy and a glass top.  The thick metal screw thingy (clearly I'm a technical writer) runs the entire length of the leg so I had no fear of it snapping off at the top.  
I've had the table for 10 years and my 3 year old son now sits on it (which he's not supposed to do) and pushes on it with his feet and we've had NO issues.

Anyway, my mom found a great, thick piece of pre-cut beveled glass somewhere (I don't remember where) for $40 and it just happened to be the PERFECT size -- It's like this table was meant to be!   My only other investment in it was a $1.97 package of clear gel "bumpers" to cushion the glass and help it stay in place.  

To this day I'm not sure if these pieces were mean't to go together or not.  So until I see otherwise, I'm saying $41.97 is a pretty good investment for a one-of-a-kind, interesting, eclectic coffee table.
Before - pieces...
and after.

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