Friday, January 25, 2013

another curbside score: the up-cycled briefcase

Our neighborhood never ceases to amaze! People love to throw things out that are perfectly good (including myself) from this point on I'll never think of an item the same way again.

My wife scored this really cool looking briefcase curbside and immediately the thought of an end table came to mind. It was totally perfect for remotes, pens, etc.., with pouches and all, super nice.

final product

Stage 1, determine the height of your table and cut out legs. The optimum height for a side table is about 20-24" so you need to consider the height of the item you're going to use. My briefcase is about 5" so my legs will be 18". Using a 2x6 cut out (2pcs) that length.

stage 1, cutting material for legs

Stage 2,  decide on leg style and cut. A tapered leg is a great modern look and is actually easy to do. Take a piece your leg stock and scribe a taper, 2" at top into a 1" taper. Using a table saw carefully cut along the scribed line.

stage 2, scribing taper
stage 2, cutting on scribed line

Stage 3, giving your leg some flair. Cut a 15deg angle at top and bottom of leg (this gives a simple leg interest). Be sure to make both cuts in the same direction and make sure all legs are equal or your table will be rickety (not good).

stage 3, cutting the 15deg flair

Stage 4, sand the legs and finish. Depending on your desired finish determines how much sanding. I sanded with 80grit stopped and painted out the legs. If you stain go 80, 120, then finish out with 220, stain, poly, lightly sand again with 220 and poly again.

stage 4, sanding legs
stage 4, painting legs

Stage 5,  giving strength to your project. This can be done to vintage luggage a briefcase such as I have or what ever your imagination can think of. In just about every case you need to re-enforce for good structure. Cut out (2pcs) of stock the depth of your project (my case 12"pcs,) set in the bottom, pre-drill holes into supports and the legs, and screw it all together.
stage 5, re-enforcing with supports
stage 5, screwing on legs

At this point you can either cover the bottom of the project to finish it out or leave as is. Covering will definitely give your project a finished look. Cut out a piece of mdf or plywood to the dimension of the box, paint and be done with it.

Now I have an extremely cool, fun, and funky way to deal with my remotes and miscellaneous stuff that seems to always not have a home. It also double as a really cool table for my laptop when on the couch...

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