Tuesday, October 27, 2015

DIY Table Top

No special tools - easy!

I'm going to show you all the details (yes - all of them) to turning a garage sale find into something special.

First of all, I need to give credit to Eliesa at PinterestAddict.com for the cool herringbone design with the multiple colors.  She did a great headboard project which was all the inspiration I needed.  Find it here:  http://www.apinterestaddict.com/2014/09/18/diy-herringbone-headboard/

With that said, there are some very significant differences to doing a table vs. a headboard.  We'll look at each in detail.

 1. What we had to start with

We found this table without a top at a local garage sale.  We got it for $10 and you can see the lower "shelf" is in rough shape.  We used 3/4 inch plywood for the foundation of the table top.  Don't get cheap on this part, if the table can flex, it's going to lead to issues down the road.

2. How big?

You would think that would be an easy one, but there is actually some math involved in figuring it out.  You see, if you want the sides to look even, you'll need to do some measuring.  This is what I mean:

There is an easy way to do this.  Because the boards are all set at a 45 degree angle, we need to know how long the edge of the board will be when cut.

Once you have that distance, make your width a multiple of that number.  Example:  Let's say that you would like your table to be about 32 inches wide (before the frame) and your measured angle is 3.5 inches.  You could narrow your table top to 31.5 inches to come out to a perfect 9 boards.  You could also go with 10 boards and center them (leaving 1.5 inches to cut on each side).

So that's the table width and you can do the same thing for the length.  For me, I knew that as long as I had the width right, I could center the length later.

3. The Base

It's all about that base and this is no different.  Once we cut the 3/4 inch plywood to the size we wanted, we added corner cleats so we could easily attach it to our frame.  We also added a thin piece of wood around the edges for strength and as a fastening point for our finished frame.

Anywhere where wood touches wood, it's fastened with glue and screws.  Make sure you clean up your glue drips before they dry.

4. Cutting the Strips

It's important to understand that we didn't use any fancy tools for this project.  We used a circular saw, a table saw, a chop saw, and a cordless drill.  You also need to know that we used the CHEAP lumber from Home Depot.  This means that the wood had some bow in it, some twist, and they weren't all the same thickness or width.  That made it interesting during assembly.

The important thing to know when cutting your strips is the length has to be five times the width of your boards (straight across measurement).  This will give you that perfect herringbone effect.  If you have a chop saw, carefully clamp a stop block to make quick work of cutting all your strips to exactly the same size.  Here is a sample of what I'm talking about  (for this project, we're obviously working with longer pieces):

Once they're all cut, take a few minutes to hit the cut edges with a little sandpaper.  You don't need to go nuts over it, just get the splinters off.

5.  Staining

We used 5 different colors of stain.  I know that the light ones look unstained but they really do have a coating on them.  You could just save the money from buying the light color and just stick with the natural wood.  When I say "we" in this project, here are my two helpers:

6. Layout

Are you ready to start feeling really good about the project?  Lay it out using the 45 degree angle side of a speed square.  Take a few minutes to adjust your centers in both directions.

Play with the color mix until you get it how you like it.  Once you have it, remove it in a way you can easily put it back (easier said than done).

7. Glue and Screw

It's important to pick out screws witch won't stick through the top.  Yes, we screwed it from the bottom so there would be no holes on the top.  Use plenty of glue and clean up as you go.

Another important note is that you want to pre-drill the plywood before setting each piece.  We would put one piece down, trace it, drill two holes inside the trace lines, remove the saw dust, glue, then screw.  Make sure your drill bit is BIGGER than the threads of your screw so it can pull the board down firmly against the plywood.  You also need to be sure to fit these pieces as tightly as possible.  When we put this together, its easy to see the differences in board width and thickness.  For the ones which were too wide, we shaved them as needed on the table saw.  The ones which were to narrow, we centered in the space to minimize the appearance of the crack.

Because some boards were warped, we clamped boards where it was needed.

We let the glue dry for a couple days before the trim up.

8. Trimming up the Table Top

This part was a lot of fun because it really started looking like a table.  You can see below that we used a straight edge to guide the circular saw.  The saw went through the top, plywood, and the lower face board.

How do you know when your helpers did a good job gluing?  Here's the proof:

When making these cuts, you may get some tear out (below).  You can go over those areas with the stain and it hides it pretty well.  You could also use a finer saw blade, go slower, or use a melamine support on the bottom of the saw to minimize tear out.

9.  Frame it up

Next, we made a simple frame and glued it using dowels for support.  Clamp the work and give it a day or two to dry.

 10.  Clear Coat and the Table Base

Once it was dry, we gave it a couple coats of polyurethane (exterior grade).  I put it on thick enough to soak into the cracks and really bond the piece together.  We also sprayed the base and hit that lower shelf with a coat of stain.

And then it was DONE!  This project cost about $70 but I have a lot of stain and clear coat left over.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spangler Sisters

Hey everyone,

Summer and her sisters got together on Sunday and sang a new song.  Afterwards, they sang it again so we could record it.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Camping at Yankee Meadows

Well, we have less than three weeks before Brandon goes off to the MTC to start his mission.  Last weekend we camped at Yankee Meadows in our favorite spot and took some "all in white" photos:

Friday, June 17, 2011

10k run in the Utah Summer Games

I was pretty nervous going into today's 10k run.  I had been training for some time but I hurt my calf muscle a little over a month ago and I have been easing back into my running routine. I have run the 6.3 miles several times, but I haven't run that distance since the injury.  I've had all kinds of nightmare outcomes to the race playing in my head:  coming in dead last, getting passed and beaten by somebodies grandmother, re-injuring my leg.....

I was interviewed the other day by the Iron County Today newspaper.  Here is the article that was published last Wednesday:

Runners participate in the 5K in the 2009 Utah Summer Games. This year’s 10K and 5K will be Friday and Saturday.

Runners participate in the 5K in the 2009 Utah 
Summer Games. This year’s 10K and 5K will be 
Friday and Saturday.
When the Utah Summer Games starting guns fire this weekend for the 5K and 10K road races, there will be a lot of different people running for a lot of different reasons.

Some want to win a medal, and some just want to finish. Others will be out for a short run with friends, and still others will be trying to run the fastest they have ever run.

Brian Tremelling will be entering his first 10K race on Friday, and his goal is a modest one.

“I would like to finish in under 60 minutes,” Tremelling said. “Even if it’s only a few seconds faster, I want to do it in under an hour.”

No matter how fast or slow he runs, Tremelling, 41, will be a whole bunch smaller than he was last October.

Tremelling has lost 85 pounds. He maintains he’s not on a diet – he just wants to look and feel better.

“If you aren’t ready to lose weight, you’ll never do it,” Tremelling said. “I just watch what I eat, have smaller portions, and the trick for me is finding (low calorie) foods I like and can fill up on.”

Tremelling had never ran more than a mile or two consecutively, but took on the challenge of the 10K as a sort of measuring stick and goal for him to look forward to.

A native of San Diego, Tremelling surfed and played volleyball growing up, and continued to play basketball even when his weight slowly increased.

Between the diet change and running, he lost eight inches off his waist, and went from an XXXL shirt to a large.

Is he done?

“I’d like to perhaps expand my running to where I can do a half-marathon,” Tremelling said. “And the triathlon sounds like a lot of fun.”

Well, the writer got most of it right......Anyway, I really didn't think that I was going to be able to finish in under 60 minutes because my fastest time at that distance was about 70 minutes.  I was also nervous because my calf was sore when I woke up this morning - not a good way to start today...

Long story short (I know, too late  ;-), I did better than I had dared to hope.  I finished at 55min and 03sec!  I was 43rd over all out of about 180 runners and 6th in my age bracket.  Looking back on this morning, I know that I ran the best race my body could run today - I'm very happy.  The last mile is always the toughest for me but I got such an amazing feeling when I approached the finished line and saw my whole family standing there with signs and cheering me on.  I really felt loved and supported - it was amazing!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brandon gets his mission call

Many of you may know by now that Brandon received his mission call to the Arizona, Mesa Mission.  We are all very excited for him and he is anxious to get going!  He is to report to the MTC on July 20th, only about five weeks away.  If it isn't enough getting ready for a mission, he just finished fire fighter training and is on call for wild fires.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was called to go fight that big fire in Arizona in his last few weeks before reporting.

Yesterday, Summer and I along with her parents and Scott and Kourtney Jolley went through the temple with him for the first time.  It was an amazing experience and we are so proud and excited for him.  We have family on both mine and Summers sides in that area - cool eh?

Monday, May 30, 2011

A great cause!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that our family has gotten involved in a great cause here in Cedar City.  It involves planting a community orchard to benefit the local food banks and establishing a community garden.  We would REEEAALLY appreciate it if you would go to that blog, become a follower of the blog and let us know what you think.  There is also a place where you can "vote your support for the project".




Monday, May 23, 2011

Running - It's something I do because I hate it / love it

If I told you that I absolutely love running, it certainly wouldn't be the whole truth....

I started running a few months ago as a way to add some exercise to my routine and to help me to keep off the weight that I just lost.  Although I used to run "the mile" in high school, I never considered myself a runner because I would always "expire" at one mile and nearly drop dead if I took one additional step over that distance.  That is to say that my body knew exactly how far a mile was and when to shut down.  When I started running, I decided to take it slow - very slow.  I would go jogging with Emmie (9 years old) and to my surprise, the slower pace made a big difference in how far I could go.  Within a few weeks, Emmie and I were running about 2 miles, three times a week.  Over the last several months, I have gradually increased my distance to where I am preparing to run my first 10K in a few weeks.  I have been pushing myself pretty hard as I wanted to finish in under an hour (yes, I know that's still pretty slow - but it's great for me).  Over the last two weeks, I started to develop Achilles tendinitis. This started as a small pull in my left calf and turned into something that made me rest it for a week.  I am now starting to test it again with very slow three mile running loops, three times a week.  Tonight's run went well, no pain at all after doing my new, extended warm up routine.

Let me know if any of you have any warm up or stretching tips.  Like I said, I'm seriously new to running - I'm running without a clue.

Why do I run?  Keeping the weight off is part of it and being more healthy for my family is certainly another big part.  Yet there are still times in almost every run where by body is yelling "STOP - STOP - STOP" and for some strange reason, I push on.........I guess that reason is that I want to be able to say "I did it / I'm doing it / I'm stronger than the STOP inside of me" - I guess a different way of saying it is that I do it to keep a challenge in front of me that is different from all of the other challenges in my life.  Something that I alone control.   Besides, once in a while.........it's fun.