Rebuilding the table legs and installing the hearth

It’s always a little disappointing when something that you thought was going to be really cool turns out to be only meh. I found this old white oak table leg at the Rebuilding Center and modified it using some of the leftover maple from our counters to use as the support leg of the south wall countertop. I was going for elegant and vintage but the actual effect looked more like ‘weasely’, so today I cut up some salvage wood to create weightier looking legs that match the opposite counter.

I don’t mind the change because it gives me a chance to show off the salvaged pipe cross members that are hidden beneath the lower shelf on the opposite counter.

There’s just something super gratifying about turning a ratty old beam and a rusty old piece of pipe into a beautiful piece of modern furniture. It’s like the effort of re-purposing combined with the history of the materials gives the finished piece a “soul”. Whether or not that’s true the act of salvaging alone connects you to people, places, and experiences in a way that is often washed away when purchasing things brand new. Later on when you interact with those things they are (hopefully) satisfying as objects but also poke at your brain with memories of adventures and frustrations, all the richness that comes from building anything yourself.

I bolted down the 120 pound concrete hearthstone that we cast. I went to the trouble of making my own square black washers for sort of an industrial feel but when I got them in place they were way too distracting. It turns out that just some ordinary old corroded zinc washers were exactly the right thing.

I also did my final setting of the french door. I like to wait as long as possible on this because buildings and doors tend to settle during a build. With everything tight and all the shims in place I took a deep breath and cut the shims. A little bit of foam and we’ll be ready for trim.

– Brian

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