I teamed up with Hairpin Legs– a local company that makes and sells hairpin legs, hardware, and furniture- to create a kid table.
I’ve been wanting something unique, sturdy, but easy to care for to put in our family room for our kiddos. I’m very excited to share the finished product and the process we took in creating this table.
First, I picked out the legs form Hairpinlegs.com. I went with the 3 Rod Hairpin Leg, 16″ raw steel (times 3). I opted for the 3 Rod Legs as the center rod was described as providing a more sturdy extension to a piece of furniture.
My next step was calling my father-in-law. I have mentioned him in other posts (Updating your fireplace, Holl and Lane Magazine Feature) as he is incredibly handy and has the strength of an ox but with creativity oozing out of him. He, again, took hold of my vision and was the backbone behind making the table.
Here is a description of the tools and materials needed along with the process:
60, 80, 120, 300 grit hook and loop round sandpaper
60, 80 grit belt sandpaper
60 grit carbon tipped sanding disc for angled grinder
1. The first step is finding a piece of wood. We went to a local sawmill, Kreis Sawmill, to find a piece.
The perk of going to a sawmill is that often they will kiln dry the wood which will lead to less undulation.
Keep in mind that it is very important to get a ring that is as dry as possible. The wood ring will crack as this is the nature of wood, but the less amount of drying that needs to occur the less amount of cracking that will take place. The other naturally occurring phenomena is that wood will have a tendency to bend or warp a little as it dries. Again, having a piece that is as dry as possible will help minimize the changes that could occur.
2. Decide which side will be the usable surface or upside.
You could make this decision based on the look of one side or the levelness of a side. For example, we chose the usable surface or top due to it being concave. Therefore, when the kids set a pencil on the table it will roll towards the middle.
3. Start with the bottom side prep and stain work.
Start the sanding work on the bottom. Sand out the rough areas first with 60 grit paper on a belt sander. Once the large marks are removed move to the orbital sander using 80 grit and then 120 grit. You do not need the bottom to be perfect as it will not be seen.
Before moving to the top, you may want to apply pre-stain to the bottom side and allow to dry. On the maple tables the pre-stain ensures a smooth finish and good polyurethane coverage. The pre-stain is not needed when using walnut.
As you move to the top you need to keep in mind that you want to have this surface as smooth and flat as possible. So, you may need to go after the high spots using an angled grinder with a carbon tipped 60 grit sanding disc. You could also use an electric planner. Note: This is best done outside or with a very very good vacuum system in place. PSA: Wear your protective eye, ear and face gear!
In order to ensure all high spots were eliminated pull a level across the top of the table. Once the high areas are knocked down turned to the belt sander.
Use the belt sander with 80 grit to remove the grinder marks, changing belts and discs frequently. Then, move to the orbital sander with 60 then 80 grit paper. Progressing to 120 grit and finally 300 grit to ensure the ultimate smoothness.
When you are happy with the surface take a tack rag and vacuum to remove as much sawdust as possible. If necessary, let the surface dry then use the 300 grit to take off any remaining rough areas and vacuum again.
Next is applying 3 coats of the clear satin finish. The finish is rich and really shows off the grain. While applying each coat, have the shop vac hose running to prevent any air particles or dust from landing on the table and causing imperfections. To speed the drying you could place an oscillating fan about 3 feet from the table.
5. Creating the final product by attaching the hairpin legs and placing the table in your Spicy Salty Sweet styled home!
To attach the hairpin legs set them on the bottom of the table and eyeball the most symmetrical location. You do not want the bottom of the hairpin leg to be outside the dimension of the table. Then, pre-drill the holes and attached with sturdy wood screws.
As you can see we are really enjoying our new kids table! It is very sturdy and has been easy to care for as we have already used markers, crayons, and play dough on it.
If you read this post and thought to yourself- “Man, that sounds like too much work!” Great news! My father-in-law is making more tables! We have more Maple ring live edge pieces similar to ours but larger which would make for perfect coffee tables. Also, we have Walnut live edge pieces with three trunks that grew together to create an amazing pattern.
If you are interested in a table or getting more information on purchasing one please go to my Contact page and let me know!
Here is a side table he already made from one of the pieces of Walnut. We have more pieces like this!