Writer: DAVID WALLACE // Do-It-Yourself // Sept./Oct. 2015
Things are changing too fast. It is difficult to keep up. Emailing and texting are the ways we communicate. People seldom use phones to talk. In the past, “we let our fingers do the walking.” Today, “we let our fingers do the talking.”
Acronyms have become a language within a language. We use them more than ever. Terms like lol (laugh out loud) or OMG (Oh My God) must be driving our computers’ spell-check mode crazy.
There is one acronym with which I am very familiar: IKEA. If you have trouble finding creative ideas for do-it-yourself projects, IKEA can assist you. IKEA is spectacular!
IKEA was founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who grew up on a farm called Elmtaryd, in his hometown of Agunnaryd, Smaland, in southern Sweden. Now a multi-nation company, IKEA designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, tables, chairs and desks) and home and office accessories. Its latest creation is a ready-to-assemble home that can be used as temporary housing for disaster relief victims.
Operating about 350 stores in 46 countries, IKEA produces more than $23 billion worth of goods each year in the United States. It is one of the largest users of wood in the retail sector.
I truly love Scandinavian design. The simple, clean and minimalistic look appeals to modernists and blends well with most styles. The catalogs put out by IKEA and retailers such as Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Dot & Bo provide inspiration for those, like me, who tackle do-it-yourself projects.
A table by IKEA is the inspiration for this project.
The project requires a power saw or hand saw, wood glue, finishing nails, wood stain or paint, wood putty, a nail punch and two pieces of yellow pine: one 1-inch by 12-inch by 8-foot board and one 1-inch by 3-inch by 8-foot board.
You will make one “ripping” cut (cutting the wood with the grain). All other cuts will be across grain. Pine is relatively soft and fairly easy to cut. If you use a power saw, abide by safety precautions. A hand saw will get the job done.
On the larger board, measure and cut four 20-inch long pieces. A piece measuring about 15 inches is left over.
Take one of the 20-inch long sections and measure 6 inches across. Draw a line lengthwise and cut. This is the “ripped” cut. You cut the board nearly in half lengthwise. I say nearly because though the lumber was sold as 12 inches wide, it really is only 11 and 1/4 inches wide. About 3/4 of an inch is lost in the planing of the board. If you use MDF boards, this is not the case.
On the other board, measure and cut two pieces 20 inches long and measure and cut two pieces 9 and 3/4 inches long. A piece measuring 36 inches is left.
First, assemble the base. Glue the two 9 and 3/4-inch pieces at the ends of the two 20-inch pieces. Do this on the inside, in between the longer pieces. After the glue cures, use 1-inch finishing nails to further secure the joints. What you have looks somewhat like a frame that measures 20 inches long by 11 and 1/4 inches wide.
The larger pine boards will fit perfectly over the frame and line up with the outer edges. Set this structure aside.
Assemble the table by gluing and nailing the smaller 6-inch by 20-inch piece of pine down the middle of one of the three larger pieces of board. This supports and stabilizes the table. Make sure the sections of boards are flush on the ends.
Two 20-inch boards that will become the top and bottom remain. Attach them using the wood glue and finishing nails. The structure resembles a box with one side missing. Once the glue cures, it will be quite stable.
Now, line up the larger structure over the top of the frame. Use glue over the entire top of the frame. Once the glue cures, hammer finishing nails all around. The nails have small heads that barely show. Set them in slightly with a nail punch and put wood putty in the indentions.
Lightly sand and then paint or stain. Since this is a modern look, I used the vibrant color of neon green. I use a water-based sealer when I paint and seal.
What a wealth of inspiration furniture catalogs are.
By the way, if I ever send you a message saying how much I love A-N-W, I’m not referring to A&W Root Beer. It’s an acronym for my wife, Ann Nell Wallace.
However, I do love root beer too!