Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And Then I Took Up Welding

I got my crapt together and decided to do an entry for Creating with the Stars. But I knew for my project, I needed something epic. But since I'm practical, I needed something that would also see lots of use. I had gotten a Ballard magazine and was flipping through it when I came across this Durham TV Table.

Durham Tray Table | European-Inspired Home Furnishings | Ballard...

Baaaaazing!!! I decided this would be the perfect excuse to try my hand at welding. The thought would never had occurred to me, but my Dad used to do a lot of welding when I was growing up, so I knew he had all the tools. I headed over there last weekend and forced him to spend his Saturday and Sunday showing me how to weld. I assured him spending quality time with his daughter would be much more fun than browsing his Facebook feed all weekend.

The first half of these pictures are taken with the IPad, and the second half with the camera, hence the difference in quality. 

First I bought some metal. Don't buy metal from Lowes, they will charge you $15 for every 4 ft, which is like, 4x as much as it would cost if you would buy it from a metal shop.

Then, I measured and cut out my metal - this step was very similar to cutting wood, but with a lot more sparks flying around.

I used this contraption to grind and polish the edges so they would weld better together.

Then came clamping and welding. It was extremely awkward at first - awkward like the first time you picked up a drill and tried to use it awkward. But after welding a couple corners, it didn't feel so foreign.

After the welding portion was done (which I can proudly say I did ALL of), then it was time to bump and grind. Or just grind, because the welding caused a raised lip which needed to be smoothed out. After grinding for a half hour my Dad finished it up so I could feed baby R.

I then felt guilty for taking so many shots of my project and none of R, so here's one of him.

As you can see there are openings in the corners since the steel is hollow, so I had to weld a long piece over it to cover that up and make it look smooth.


After a few more grinding-touch ups back at my house, I spray painted it with some ORB so it would match with our decor. (First picture is before and second after, although it's hard to tell)

For the top, I used a piece of reclaimed wood I still had leftover. I cut it to size, sanded it to kingdom come, then sealed it with some wax that is chemical-free.

To attach it on top, I used some small rubber feet on the inner corners of the wood piece that act as a lip that hold it in place. This way I can take it off and use it as a serving tray for dinners or clean it if need be. Not that anything in my house is ever dirty. Ever.

I am VERY pleased/estatic/could pee my pants without even having to do jumping jacks first with how this project turned out. The original retails for $119, and this ended up costingabout  $60 to make from scratch (could have been less if I shopped around for steel.... blast).  So 50% off isn't bad, but getting the street cred of being all, yeah, I can weld, that's priceless.


  1. Excellent job, girlfriend!! That is awesome. When do you find out??

  2. Love this style! We need to bust out the welder & get to work!
    Stopping by from Creating with the Stars (I'm #310)

  3. I think you should try A again! I'd like to make a pair this summer, although it's pretty scary. But you've had so much success lately that I bet you'd knock 'em out of the park! I like the top pair, in particular.
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  4. Oh, the things you can do with good welding skills. =) The product looks as good as new, you wouldn’t have thought it was an old TV table. I can't believe it's your first attempt in welding! I think it's safe to say that as long as you stay safe, the basics of welding aren't that hard to learn at all. =)

    Jeanette West

  5. Congratulations on a successful first try at welding! To think that the materials you used are quite old and complicated for welding, you were able to make a “not-your-ordinary coffee table!” By far, it's the most functional table I've seen! Additionally, it accentuates the classy style of your living room—the color of the stand matches the sofa, while the top matches the floor's shade. Good job!

    -Eryn Ballesteros