Monday, June 12, 2017

Waterski Console Table

I received a query from an old friend/customer with an interesting request. His recently acquired the waterskis that his wife learned to waterski on as a kid (I prefer to think of it requiring some elaborate nefarious dealings with a series of unsavory characters, but it probably just took a phone call). "Can we make something cool with these?"

We went with a console table.

Pics and discussion after the jump.

First off, the skis were in pretty great shape all things considered. The color scheme gives off a solid vintage vibe, and you can't help but feel for scurvy-ridden Captain Kidd and his vitamin-C-deficiency-betraying lack of teeth.

As a more pressing concern, you might be noticing that in the table, all of the straps and places for your feet are... well.. gone. Tables with rubber and plastic things screwed into the top are a little lacking in the utility department, so I unscrewed all that stuff. This left me with a problem, rusty/grimy screw holes scattered all over the skis. So that needed fixing.

I widened the hole with a countersink bit so the hole was about the diameter of a copper flat-head nail. Then, I cut down the nail so each was about 1/4" of "nail," and CA-glued the nail in place. This way, the nail head sunk flush to the ski surface, covered the original hole, and the copper color fit with the color scheme.

Next, two waterskis had to become one table top. The front of the water skis curves up, but about 75% of the length is flat. At the back, center, and right before the upward curve started, I secured pieces of ash that spanned between the two skis. I counter-sunk and screwed them in place.

Obviously, ash is neither amber in color, nor blue. Luckily, however, dye exists! With a judicious use of masking tape, I set about dying the underside of the frame with General Finishes Amber Dye Stain, which made for an almost perfect color match with the underside of skis (that's lucky). Then to play up the water angle, I dyed the visible parts of the frame (top and edges) blue.

At this point, I had a table top with a big empty space in the middle. One piece of 3/8" thick glass later, and the table had a center.

But that center wasn't flush with the skis. I couldn't get glass 5/8" thick, so I needed to lift the glass flush with the surface somehow. Luckily, I'm not the first person to have this problem, and rubber bumper "feet" exist, and a presto-chango, we've got a tabletop.

So now it needed legs. Together with the customer, we opted for hairpin legs. It gives a lightness to the base and doesn't draw the eye away from the waterskis, which are really supposed to be the star of this particular show. We opted for console-table-height (aprx 27" on the leg + thickness of the tabletop), so it fits nicely on the side of a hallway, or behind a sofa.

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