Phoenix rising is an apropos (and quite literal) way to describe the resurrection of this beautiful sewing machine table base!
Constructing the mancave and craft studio in the basement has been a long 2+ year process for Hubs and has generated many trips to the waste station. On one such trip, this cast iron base caught my eye:
Some Fast Thinking
I couldn’t believe it was destined for the landfill. At the waste stations in our city taking materials is strictly prohibited, but I didn’t let that stop me. It just so happened to be my birthday that day and I was prepared to grovel for this ‘gift’. After whipping out my ID to prove it was my birthday, I was able to convince the person monitoring the site to let me take the base home with me (with great hesitation on his part). It just pains me that something so beautiful and potentially useful would just have gone into a landfill! Luckily everything just fell into place like it was meant to be!
The base made its way onto a shelf in our garage and was re-discovered a few weeks ago when hubs was reorganizing:
Hubs was looking for a base on which to make a table top using reclaimed skid material and I thought this base would make a great conversation piece at the entrance to the mancave.
Sanding the Rust
Here you can see a better picture of all the surface rust.
Hubs spent a few hours sanding it all down.
Hubs was going to repaint all the metal, but I just loved the old patina as-is (especially the gold lettering of the three Phoenix plaques).
He eventually agreed with me and ended up clear coating it to protect it from rusting again. The refurbished metal looked awesome!
Hubs then set about creating a new top for the base and took apart all the pieces of a skid. He wanted to preserve the rustic look of the wood so only gave it a light sanding to keep all the dings and dirt (i.e. character) intact. He then screwed each slat onto a piece of MDF at either end near the edges and clear coated to seal it.
To hide the screws and edges, hubs bought some raw steel L-brackets and cut it to fit around the top, mitering the ends. A friend helped solder the seams together from underneath to give it a clean look on the surface and hubs finished it by drilling holes along the edges. The steel also got a coat of clear finish to prevent rusting.
Hubs used gun blue creme to blacken zinc coated round head screws:
He then poked the screws through a piece of cardboard and clear coated them:
Hubs predrilled the screw holes through the metal into the skid top….
and fastened each screw into the top:
Here is the finished top:
Practical and Beautiful Again
All that’s left is to screw the top onto the base. The mancave is still a work in progress so this was the best shot of the table I could get amongst the cardboard covered floors and messy boxes.
Although the table is unique and decorative, it has a practical purpose too. Just behind where it sits is our full sized freezer. When I was designing the basement, I inset the freezer into the wall to hide it away from the main living area. Having a table right around the corner to drop things when we’re loading and unloading the freezer is very handy!
Just above the new table is where we recently mounted our airplane propeller:
Once the mancave is complete, I’ll be able to get some better reveal pictures of the space. More to come!
At Birdz of a Feather, we’re feathering the nest… one room at a time. Follow our blog here (link in the footer) or on Bloglovin’ (button below) to get tutorials on other DIY projects, in and around the home. You can also follow us on Pinterest our Youtube channel and on Facebook.