One table or three

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Blog entry by dryhter posted 05-23-2009 12:25 AM 1767 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a client who bought a High end coffee table.($2750.00), turned out to be to big for the room.

She loved the table but it just would not fit in the room and there was nowhere else to put it(the house was already packed, down sized from a bigger house).

She asked ” Could you cut it down somehow”?

” Some how” I said?

“You know to make it smaller”.

“Maybe” I said.

I explained I could not make any Guarantees, but that I would try if she understood she may just end up with a box full of scrap. She said she did. I said that ’s great and I asked her for a check to cover expenses while exploring whether it was possible. I have in the past modified kitchen cabinets and reworked furniture, but this was bordering on the brink of being cheaper just to build what she wanted. I had a good idea what was involved.
After I had the check and I think the reality of the Project was sinking in she asked what I thought the cost might be, If possible . I said somewhere around $2500.00-$3000.00. She thought a minute and said “O.K.”

There were several factors that made the cabinet modification possible and that importance cannot be overlooked or their importance underestimated.

The cabinet was very well made, it disassembled into its main components,(the top, drawer carcase, and base) and probably most important the finish.

The cabinet was very well made, square and accurately assembled, using good joinery techniques and quality materials. I was able to disassemble the cabinet into its components that could be worked on without falling apart or moving out of square and parallel. The most important factor, in my opinion, was the finish. The distressed finish allowed me to conceal all the modifications inconspicuously. Unfortunately this is my weakest area of expertise.

The hardest part of the project turned out to be the reworking of the drawers. The most stressful for me was matching the finish.

In retrospect, at first I thought this was just crazy to even consider doing this because the table was brand spanking new and expensive. But, essentially, the client for twice the cost of the original table got three times the product and to her that made sense and the project feasible.

So pull up a chair and a cup of coffee, or favorite adult beverage and enjoy. Don’t miss the crackle glaze craze as you sit and watch paint dry.

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

8 comments so far

View bluchz's profile


187 posts in 3342 days

#1 posted 05-23-2009 01:11 AM

Ok that was really cool! nice job explaining the finishing steps and nice job on the finished product!

-- flash=250,100][/flash]

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3545 days

#2 posted 05-23-2009 01:41 AM

Thats cool good project

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3723 days

#3 posted 05-23-2009 02:06 AM

$2750 for a coffee table 8^0 !!!!

Nice Job!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18249 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 05-23-2009 08:45 AM

Quite a project!! Could you put it back? :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3309 days

#5 posted 05-23-2009 03:46 PM

looks real good , dave !
thanks for the sharing .
i agree with you about the difference from brushing (directional crackel )
to the spray ( cratered crackel ) .
overall exelent work .
so how did she like it ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View dryhter's profile


74 posts in 3572 days

#6 posted 05-23-2009 06:03 PM

Hey David,

The actual mechanics of re-building the cabinet were kind of ho-hum and uneventful, but the re-finishing really had my attention

Originally I had planed on using a M. L. Campbell product for the crackle finish and my HVLP, but issues with over spray and blending new to old made me rethink application methods. Next I experimented with a Sherwin-Williams product, But the crazing was too small. Then I tried a Behr product and by variation of thickness of application I Almost got the results I wanted.
Anyways that was the exciting part of the project for me.

The lady was truly happy with the results and appreciative of the effort. But still to this day I wonder how successful I would have been collecting wages if I gave her back a box full of wood scrapes. Just glad I did not have to cross that bridge!

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

View TD69Mustang's profile


84 posts in 3258 days

#7 posted 05-24-2009 06:59 PM

Nice job!! I admire your decision to match the finish rather than strip everything and start again. As far as I could tell it looks like it came out very good.

-- Imagine It... Build It... Enjoy It!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4215 days

#8 posted 05-25-2009 03:34 PM

Nice save. Nice job.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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