Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Can Lead a Table to Water

The unfinished product.But only if somebody builds it first. That's where I come in. With my new found time off I have been looking around the house for some more projects to take on. Fortunately I have a wife who points them out so I don't have to look so hard!

A few weeks back she found a day water table on Pinterest or some other girls only site and asked me if I could channel my inner Jewish Carpenter (guess I wouldn't have been the first) and create something similar for the young boy living in our house.

The project is fairly simple. It's a rectangular frame with four legs (vs other tables with just two) and in the middle sits a $5 plastic tub that's supposed to be used for mixing cement. I chose to use scrap wood and screws I had laying around from other projects so my only expense was the tub, but you could also get the lumber at your home improvement mega store if you'd like. They could also cut it for you which would save a step or two.

I went with 1x6 pressure treated boards for the frame. If you do choose to buy the wood then try to get pressure treated since this will be holding water and will very likely be left outside in the elements. For the legs I used 2x4s (non treated). Again, that's just what I had laying around the house. You could use 2x2s here but I think there is more stability in the bigger board.

The tub measures 27.5x19x6 but because it's curved on the bottom my cuts were a bit tricky to measure. I ended up with the log cuts at 26 3/16 and the short sides at 16.5. I strongly encourage you to measure for your self and remember you can always cut down if you're too long!

To join the frame I used 1" wood screws. Normally I would say that deck screws are the way to go because they are coated against the elements but the only deck screws I had on hand were way too long. I like a clean look so I used the pocket jig to make my holes on the inside of the frame. You don't need to be this fancy and can just screw from the outside. Keep in mind though that you'll probably be using pine and should drill a pilot hole before putting your screws in to avoid splitting.

The one flaw to my construction choice was because the tub sits down 6" and my frame is made with 1x6 I could put the legs inside the frame. I did the next best thing and attached them on the outside but screwed from the inside. This time I did use deck screws (1 5/8").

Once everything was done (and raced inside to avoid the incoming storm) I fit the tub in and it looks great! It's currently sitting down in my basement awaiting stain and sealing which will hopefully come tomorrow.
I'll report back with finished pictures and what the little guy thinks of it.
The unfinished product.The Raw MaterialsPocket Holes for the frameUse right angle clamps.The FrameTub fits nicely
Attaching the LegsLegsFinished frame and legs

the water table , a set on Flickr.

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