A fun, funky table for all you urban folk. I live in a 13 x10 room and cramped for space is an understatement. Instead of letting my speakers take up space and realizing those pesky wires need to be put in their place I decided to make a table especially for them. Also, it serves as a convenient dock for my phone (or mp3 player) when I listen to those fine tunes. An easy, (really) cheap and fun table to create.
Step 1: What You'll Need:
*I acquired all the wood used in this project from a scrap bin at my local hardware store, this is a very cost efficient way of getting rad pieces of wood. Sometimes a scrap bin can even inspire a new idea!
-- 18"x13" (or close) piece of plywood
-- 4-8" wood dowels for the legs
-- 4"x2.5" piece of plywood
-- 2 1/2" #6 wood screws
-- 70+ regular wine corks
-- 6 small corks
-- 120, 180 & 220-grit sandpaper
-- Pint of wood stain
-- Pint of polyurethane
-- Foam Brush (2 or so)
-- Cheap bristle brush
-- Wiping Cloths *Old shirts or rags work just fine
-- Wood Glue
-- 1 1/2" brad nails
-- MP3 or smartphone
-- Audio Speakers
Step 2: Prepping the Table for Stain
Thoroughly sand all wooden pieces- plywood top, phone stand piece & dowel legs. Most scrap wood needs a lotta sand lovin so begin with a 120-grit and graduate to 180-grit after a nice dose of sanding. Finish off with a 220-grit to ensure a smooth surface.
To produce a nice rounded effect (see image below) take your sandpaper and wrap it around the dowel moving it in a circular motion around the end of the dowel. Clean down the table (and your nose) of all sanding dust. I used a damp cloth and then just allowed it to dry for a minute.
*Although I did not put pre-stain on the table, it does help a lot with a sometimes blotchy effect that stain can produce on wood...especially plywood. Pre-stain conditioner is a good way to prep the wood for stain. It is normally around $10 for a quart or so. I would recommend it on any furniture prior to wood staining.
Step 3: Time to Stain!
I wanted a wood stain that would complement the color of natural cork. After digging through some samples at my hardware store, I found dark walnut which is bold and rich enough for the corks. No clashing here! There are many other colors available and even a polyurethane and wood stain in one (PolyShades by Minwax). It is convenient for those of you who do not want to wait days to apply multiple coats of either. I would recommend the Bombay Mahogany or Antique Walnut in Minwax Polyshades if convenience is more your thing.
To Wood Stain:
-Apply wood stain, even brush strokes are best.
-Allow for a nice dark layer on the wooden pieces
-Let sit for 3-5 minutes (Directions on can may say longer but dark walnut really saturates the plywood)
-Take wiping cloth and wipe off excess stain from wood
-Leave to dry for a day
-Admire the effects of stain!
Step 4: Apply a Polyurethane Coat
I chose a semi-gloss polyurethane coat for the glossy effect. For this a natural bristle brush works superb.
I applied two coats between two days (to allow for proper drying).
-Prior to poly coating #1, sand lightly with a 220-grit sandpaper.
-For polyurethane, lathering on thick heavy coats is unnecessary, two thin coats work best and will eventually dry faster.
-Even brush strokes
-Allow it to dry for a day
-After it is dry, repeat this process
*Polyurethane usually leaves a sticky residue on your hands. For this, I take a bit of goo gone and rub it quickly on my hands. Voila! Fresh citrusy hands
Step 5: Unite the Wood, Make a Table!
-In all four corners measure about an inch from the edge (on both sides) where to drill holes for the legs.
*If you have a drill (you don't necessarily need one for this project) a pilot hole will help ease up on that carpel tunnel and time you'll spend trying to screw the wood screws into the board and through the leg.
-Squirt a little wood glue into the pilot holes.
-Once the screws are through the top of the table you can easily screw the dowel legs onto the bottom of the table.
-Wipe off that excess wood glue
-All four legs done and now a table appears. Magic!
Step 6: Dock for Your Phone/Mp3 Player
This is the docking station for your music player:
-Pilot a hole in the center of the docking stand.
-Mark halfway the width of the board and about 5 1/2" from the back of the table (This is where the docking stand will be placed).
-From the marking point on the bottom side of the table begin screwing in your last #6 screw
-Once the screw is all the way through the board, you can basically take the docking stand and screw it in to the screw that is protruding through the center of the table.
*Make sure to squirt a little wood glue prior to screwing.
-Screw until the stand is centered and straight on the top of the table.
-Take your six small corks and place them (use your music player to ensure proper placement of corks) by nailing them through the center of the top of the corks and through the table until you can easily pull on the corks with no give.
Step 7: Corks!
Now that you've had all that fun drinking 70+ bottles of wine, lets put 'em on the table!
Just kidding....kind of.
Unless you are that type of a wino, 70 corks can be hard to accumulate in a week. You can buy a pack of 50 online for around $15 but if you have some time to spare, head up to your friendly neighborhood bar and ask them politely to save their corks for you. Offering $$$ helps but most bartenders don't mind because the corks are thrown out anyway. Lasso two friendly bartenders from two different bars and you will have 70 in no time. (As you may have noticed, my finished table does not have corks all the way around...as of yet. My friendly bartender has a bag waiting for me, I was just too impatient and excited to write up my Instructables that I have yet to get them.)
-Begin to nail the brads into the corks and around the edge of the table. Hammer until the small brad nail head disappears into the cork. Magic!
-Line the edge with corks and continue until your corks have made it all the way around.
Step 8: Speakers
-Place speakers on both sides of the table.
-Plug in speakers.
-Turn on James Brown
-Pour a glass of wine and show it off to your friends!