Why pay for a rustic look when you can do it yourself.
First of all keep in mind that i am a french speaking person so i might bend the english grammar a little.
I wanted a rustic look for my new bathroom but since it is the new trend, it was way out of price. I have plenty of wood in my hunting cabin up north in Quebec province so i brougth back some of it.
I will show you how i did this reclaimed wood tablet with iron plumbing tubes.
Step 1: Tools and Stuff I Used
You will need
- A nice piece of wood. I used one of 1 3/4" of thikness.
- A saw (electric or not)
- A drill (i used my press drill for the holes and my handdrill to hang on the wall)
- A propane or butane torch and a ligther
- Some Breake cleaner or some degreaser
- A bucket with water
- Sand Paper
- Some Varnish (i used verathan for the iron pipes and SamaN water based mat varnish for the wood)
- Paint brush
- 1 1/2 spade bit
- A hanger
- mesuring tape
Step 2: The Pipes !
It is pretty easy and cheap to find steel plumbing parts in any tool store. In my region however the only thing i could find was galvanized steel parts wich looked cheap (the silver ones). I wanted the raw metal look. So i had to find a plumbing distributor who could sell me the parts i wanted. If you have one in your region go there first they will be able to get you parts you can't find elsewhere. I went for the 1" pipes.
All the parts u need are listed on the second picture.
Step 3: Cleaning/Degreasing
The raw steel parts will be full of grease and steel powder residu. It is important to clean and degrease all parts before assembling them because you will have to varnish them to prevent rusting. Varnish can't hold on grease or steel powder. The best way i could found (and it worked wonderfully well) was to use a can of break cleaner the you will find in a Canadian Tire or any car parts store in your area. Spray your steel parts and brush them with metal brush or a old brush used to clean dishes to remove any dirt or grease. Rince it well with water and dry them with a cloth.
Step 4: Varnish
If like me you want to hang this tablet in the bathroom i strongly suggest you put some varnish on your steel part. The bathroom is a humid environnement so rust can attack the pipes. I did put two coats on mine and i think i will need to recoat it since i saw some rust in the corners where humidity tend to stay. Use some hangers to make hooks ( with the pliers and cutters ) for your parts and plundge them in varnish. After hang them in a bucket where they will finish to drip and dry over nigth. Repeat the process two more times. I used Veratane varnish satin finish. I did not want any gloss on it.
Step 5: Assemble the Steel Pipes
- Assemble the pipes together and make sure every parts are the same length. If not screw or unscrew parts to make sure everything is leveld and the same length on both sides. Make sure the nipples that should go trough the wood have just enoug length from the T union to just be long enough to have one or two treads comming out of the piece of wood to screw the caps that will hold it in place.
- During this process you will see some varnish getting out of the threads. Just take a screw and remove the excess of dry varnish. It should come off easely.
- Mesure the distance between both upside pipes where they should go trougth the wood.
- Make sure you mesure well so that the piece of wood fits the first time into the holes. (i used 1 1/2" spade bit to make some room for error. it will be covered by the caps)
- 15 1/2" center to center holes.
Step 6: Working the Wood
- use the saw to cut the piece of wood to size. (20" for mine)
- the edge of the cuts will be new and wont look rustic but here is my twist to fix that : Take your hammer and round all the edges by hammering them. Why the hammer? because it will make the edges look hold and more rough. It will look as if those edges where beated up from a century of use. It will look uneaven and random. Exaclty what i wanted
Use a sanding paper to remove loose parts in the wood on the hammered edges. Don't oversand it.
Since i have the sansing paper in hand i softly sand the piece of wood everywhere. Don't over sand it, just remove some roughness without removing the color of the wood.
Make both holes with the press drill or a hand drill. Make sure you use some clamps to keep the piece of wood in place. (15 1/2" from center to center)
Put some water in your bucket
Ligth the torch and burn both newly cut sides of the wood piece but one at the time. Burn one side well (make it go black) and plundge it in water to stop the burning.
Do the same thing on the other side.
Remove the blackness with the metal brush and some water and let it dry over night
Step 7: Protect the Wood
The tablet will be in a constant humid environnement so it needs to be protected.
- Take the water based mat finish varnish and start by putting some inside the two holes. That way no mold will be able to attack the wood even inside the holes. The wood will be completely coverted.
- Varnish the piece of wood completely at least to coats. (i did three since old wood tend to drink more)
- Make sure you put some varnish inside srew or old nail holes so that no humidity could penetrate the wood
- Put several coat of varnish to make sure dust doesn't stick to the wood.
Step 8: Assemble and Hang on Wall
You now just need to put the piece of wood on the assembly and to screw it in place with the caps. Take some #10 wood screws so that the head is big enough to old your "chef d'oeuve" on the wall and not go trough the holes of the brackets.
I hope you will have the same fun i had doing this.
Enjoy and keep this community alive!