Instructables
Picture of Upcycled Sofa Foot Box (with Bonus Marquetry)

This is another project inspired by the Instructables/Dremel July Build Night at Crashspace LA.

If you live in a densely-populated, urban environment like I do, you may be familiar with the wealth of "dumpster diving" opportunities. I'm moderately picky (for one thing, I don't actually venture into dumpsters), but there are still some amazing finds. I'm particularly fond of bed knobs and furniture feet, and a lot of folks just chuck their furniture when they move or get something new, so I have a small collection just begging to be hacked. At last, my little wooden baubles, I have found a project for you!

In this project, I used recycled and/or free materials as much as possible, and stuck largely to the Dremel rotary tool and Multi-Max, though there are other tools you could use. The Multi-Max comes with a very handy wood cutting attachment that is good for carving out small spaces and is used heavily here.

 
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Step 1: Re: Materials

Picture of Re: Materials
floor-samples.JPG

A couple things about furniture feet: most of them screw off, so try spinning them before doing anything more drastic. I have gone so far as to saw a bed knob off when it was glued in place and didn't want to unscrew, but there are a lot of fish in the sea, and a lot of furniture that folks are getting rid of. Don't go too nuts. Sometimes you'll find solid wood feet, occasionally hollow, and sometimes plastic feet, filled with particle wood and veneered. You can work with any of those, and each has its own particular quirks, though I wanted to work with one that was solid wood. For one thing, you can sand down and refinish genuine wood in a way you can't do with cheapy veneers. Check the photos for some of the things I've found.

The top of the box is decorated with marquetry. "Barb, I don't know what marquetry is!" Actually, you probably do, you just didn't know that's what it was called. It's that wooden puzzle-piece-type decoration you sometimes find on wooden boxes or tables. Click here to read more and see some examples. You can make patterns with lots of different materials: paper, glass, mirror squares, paint color swatches, etc. Typically this kind of art is done with very thin wood veneers. As I was feeling the need for wood in this project, I used old floor sample pieces, which I got for free at a hardware store. They're a bit thick for the usual marquetry cutting techniques, but they work great with the Dremel tools.

jessyratfink3 months ago

I have never seen anyone do this, but now that I see it - it makes perfect sense! It's lovely! Great job. :D