When I first decided to build something to accommodate these items, I had in mind a sort of cabinet. But since I am just starting to get into building things out of wood, I opted for an easier project more suitable to my skill level--a table that I could roll the Nordic Track under with a shelf for the abs ball.
I had in mind three goals in particular that I wanted to accomplish with the table. First, I wanted it to be custom built for the size of the Nordic Track and the abs ball, so it looked like they each were supposed to be there. Second, I wanted it to complement the other furniture in the house. And third, I wanted it to encompass as best it could the proportion of the golden ratio--the ratio that is found in sunflowers and nautiluses in nature and in classic Greek art and the ratio that is likely present in one way or another when we admire something beautiful and we really like it.
Headboard and footboard from old baby bed
4 long 1x4 boards
1 thick piece of plywood
Nails for a nail gun
Step 1: Make a Model
I had already invested in this tiny table saw so that I could make little boxes and get used to using power tools on a smaller scale.
So, First I measured the Nordic Track and the abs ball to get an idea of about how wide, how tall, and how long the piece would need to be.
I approximated 20x36x55 would accommodate both items.
Then I measured out little pieces to scale and super glued them to make the model.
Remember I was wanting to incorporate the golden ratio?
Well I checked to see if 36/55 and 36/20 came close. When I worked a basic proportion problem to solve x/55=1.618 and 36/x=1.618 I got about 34 and 22. So... I decided that would have to be close enough for my first project. And you know I am not constructing the Parthenon, so I am just keeping in mind throughout this process that I am aiming for a good and nice finished project, but not a perfect one.
Step 2: All Tables Need Legs
I knew that in order for me to meet my second goal that I mentioned in the Introduction that I would need to reuse some legs from a real piece of furniture. And I had already been rummaging around in the attic looking for something cool to reuse in a project. I found an old baby bed with 4 good legs I could cut off for my table.
I hammered them loose with a rubber mallet and used a jig saw to cut them off the headboard and footboard of the baby bed. Then, more carefully this time, I used the jigsaw again to cut the bottom part off the leg. I used the mitre saw to cut the rounded curve off the top of the leg.
See the block of wood that is stopping the wood in the mitre saw picture. I nailed that there to make it easier to cut all the legs the same length.
Step 3: The Shelf
Cut the 4 pieces of 1x4s to the lengths to make a framed box that will wrap around your legs and hold up your shelf. I ripped these down to a size about the same width as the square part of the baby bed leg so that it would look more integrated than a wider piece would have. Use a nail gun and shoot the frame together.
Cut your plywood to fit right inside that frame. Shoot it in. Don't forget to notch out each corner where the legs are going to go.
Hang one end of the shelf over your saw horse table, and hold a leg in place while you shoot it in with the nail gun. Do that for all the legs. To reinforce the sides, I ripped little pieces to go from the insides of each leg all the way around.
Step 4: The Part That Holds Up the Top
The second frame had to be a little smaller because it was wrapping around the smaller, round spindle part of the baby bed leg, not the square part. To determine the difference in measurement, I held a clamp around the legs and measured the space between the two parts of the clamp. Then I doubled the measurements for the round parts and the measurements for the square parts, found the difference, and divided by 2. That told me how much to shorten the 1x4 boards for the top frame.
I used the miter saw to cut them. Then shot them together with the nail gun.
I used clamps on 2 corners to hold the frame onto the legs while I nailed it to the legs.
Step 5: Round Edges and a Little More Support
I used a router with the round over bit sunk in a little extra to give a subtle round edge to all the pieces of 1x4 that were on the table.
I also added one cross support right through the middle of the top frame. I knew I could still put my abs ball on either side of it.
Step 6: Corner Supports, Glue and Clamping, & Predrilling
Cut 4 braces for the corners of the table. This is what will add support, and more importantly this is what you will screw the tabletop to. Remember to pick a screw that will not pierce through the thickness of your table top.
This is also when I glued and clamped the little slats that go around the edge of the shelf.
Step 7: Top Time
Use the table saw and skill saw to cut your plywood table top.
I traced onto cardboard the top of a piece of furniture that I liked.
I cut that out with the ZipSnip, traced that onto a board, and cut that board with a jigsaw to make a pattern.
After sanding the pattern, I traced it onto the plywood top and cut it with the jigsaw.
Step 8: Route the Table Top
Use the Router to round all the edges of the plywood. This is what really makes it look finished. Then clamp down the top and screw it in from the bottom through your predrilled holes.
Step 9: Table!
Now all I have to do is fill the little holes and paint it, but I couldn't wait to bring it inside and see if everything fit!