Last weekend my wife and I went to American Furniture Warehouse and bought a little table. We were looking for an end table to sit between two chairs and act as a charging station for our cell phones, iPod, and iPad. I wanted a steam punk feel and only solid oak would do, also a little brass would help seal the deal. We found just what we were looking for. A “Solid” oak replica of an old American Ice box, I put solid in quotes for a reason, more on that later. Luckily they had one in stock, AFM is famous for not having what we are looking for and we usually expect a delay of at least a week.
Once home we found that the color of the oak didn’t really match any of our furniture. Ok, I guess it’s time to add some elbow grease to the project. I took our new “solid” oak occasional table out to the garage for a serious inspection. I wasn’t going to sand it down and refinish the wood without being absolutely certain than the wood wasn’t in fact a laminate glued over particle board. Well, I was surprised to find that the top and front was in fact actually solid oak. The sides were of course laminate. So I picked up my old trusty vibrating sander and went to work.
After about a half an hour of sanding and changing out paper I started to smell something funny. Being that I teach electrical safety my nose is specially tuned to the smell of overheated wiring. Then I looked down and my suspicion was verified by the trail of smoke coming from my sander. Uh-oh. It seems that the old sander has reached its end of life. A trip to Ace hardware and $29.95 later I was back in business.
The finish turned out exactly to match the job I did on the desk a few months back. But I wasn’t satisfied. Something was missing. It just wasn’t steam punk enough for me. I looked around in my basement shop for brass doo dad and whatchamacallits to punk it out a bit more. I found a set of test-tubes and some brass bar stock, all I needed was some screws. I went back to Ace and found they had a sale on some solid brass drawer pulls. I was in business. It turned out that the test-tubes fit perfectly into the cut outs on the door.
The final step took some time and thought. What do I put into the test-tubes? I gave three to my lovely wife and asked her to come up with something that would be cool to fill three test-tubes. I had my own ideas.
Well here is how it turned out. Next question… what did we put into the test-tubes? I will give a week for comments then post the correct answers.
Oh, and I cut holes into the wood behind each test-tube and installed a light inside with a timmer. Between 6pm and 10pm the tubes light up.
What would you put into test-tubes if you had this table?