Tuesday, August 23, 2011

factory cart coffe table

well school is back in.  YIPPEE...oh, did i say that out loud?  both of the kids had great days and had A LOT to talk about after school.  i guess i should be grateful, before long they won't want to talk to me at all.  anyway, in my last post i mentioned the factory cart coffee table shown in the last pic of the tut.  well despite the fact that i could not come up with a more clever title for this post, here goes...

i have wanted one of these FOREVER.  i had seen one at restoration hardware years ago http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1558003 it is just a tiny bit out of my price range.  so i just forgot about it...until a few months ago (i really don't even remember what i was looking for) but i came across http://ana-white.com/2011/07/factory-cart-coffee-table this website is awesome.  they have plans for everything.  well it just gave me the boost i needed and so there i went half cocked and decided to try this myself. 

i first searched the internet for new casters.  i wanted the really big wheels.  i didn't have much luck so i went to ebay and found some vintage ones.  i searched for "vintage cast iron wheels".  there were a lot to choose from.  the price wasn't too bad but the shipping was crazy because they a soooo heavy.  this is what i came up with.

this is actually a vintage pulley wheel

these are cast iron antique wheels.

i also went to my neighborhood lowes and had a few pieces of wood cut.  they were very helpful.  i wasn't the most decisive person that day.  i had all of my measurements written down and changed my mind at the last minute and i do mean last minute.  he was about to bring the blade down and i am running down the aisle like an idiot screaming "have you cut yet???  have you cut yet?".  in the end we got it all figured out and these are the measurements we used.

1 - 2 x 8 x 6 board cut into 2 - 20 inch lengths
1 - 2 x 8 x 6 board cut into 2 - 40 inch lengths
2 - 1 x 6 x 10 boards cut into 8 - 24 inch lengths

save the scraps for other projects.  i had the guy cut mine for some picture holders i will tut about later.

i brought all the wood home and let the kids loose with hammers, kitchen utensils, screw drivers, etc.  we need some distressing.  this table is 100 years old ;).  it didn't just come from lowes 10 minutes ago.  i just noticed that the kids do not look all that enthused about helping me with this project.  it is about 4000 degrees outside.  but they pulled through for me and beat the crap out of those boards.

our next step was to make the box with the 2 x 8 pieces.  we used wood glue and long screws.

we then dry fit the 1 x 6 pieces on top.  (i have no pic of that ????)  when we had them even on all sides we glued and nailed them.  yes, nailed not screwed.  according to my wise husband "they would not have used screws back then."  so we pre-drilled and nailed all the boards in.  and then the stain went on.  i am usually a dark walnut girl but i am going a little lighter these days so i used a color called provincial.  and i love it.  it may be my new fav.

i wanted all of the detail of the restoration hardware table so i had to put my thinking cap on to replicate them.  here's what i used.  corner brackets, nuts, super glue and thumb tacks.  i glued the tack to the nut...the nut to the bracket.

okay...the super glue was making me mad so i got out my old trusty glue gun (not the best idea)...here is what the finished product looked like.  then i spray painted everything black.

here comes the tricky part.  adding the wheels.  my wheels i ordered came with an axle holder (technical term) so that made it easy to thread the dowel through.  here is a close-up of it.  you could also use a "u" bracket (the ones they use to hold up pipes.

once we added the axle holder and threaded the dowel and wheels, we had to level the table.  we added the pulley wheel to one end and evened it up on the other with a 2 x 2.

nice flip flop under the table

we added all of the corner brackets.

and a little extra detail.

wanna see it all together???

LOVE IT. hope you do too.
things i learned:

*  this project was not as easy as i thought...mostly from mistakes i made.
*  DO NOT use a pulley wheel...that was not the best choice.  i liked the way it looked but i should have gotten an actual wheel.  it was not easy to attach to the table.
*  hot glue does NOT stick metal to metal.  remember when i said the hot glue gun was not a good idea?...that is why.  i have had to go back and reattach them with super glue.
*  i wish i had gone bigger...although my hubby loves the size sooooo.......
*  this was really hard to blog about.  sorry if i totally confused anyone.  please contact me with any questions and i will do my best to answer them.

see you later.



  1. This is just AWESOME!!! Great job. :)

  2. That is simply INCREDIBLE!!! I am so in awe!!!
    Trish from www.hueologycompany.com

  3. Best knock off of these carts I've seen!

  4. You did an amazing job on this. I must "pin it" to Pinterest...hope you don't mind! I need to put this on my "to-do" list...thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Why wasn't the glue gun a good idea?
    The table came out looking awesome! You have some mad skills!

  6. This is AMAZEBALLS!!!! I too have been wanting one, and have thought about doing a DIY version. After seeing yours it just sets it in stone for me :D I'm totally pinning to to Pinterest!


  7. Came together so fantastically!

  8. I've seen so many knock off for these amazing carts, but YOURS takes the cake! Honestly, making sure all those small details were included as well as using real wheels made this looks like a thousand bucks! Great, great job! Thanks for posting the tutorial!

  9. GREAT JOB!!!! We just bought an old metal cart, and plad to put a wood "box" on it to make it look like this. I LOVE yours! Turned out great!

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  11. That turned out awesome!! We have a real one in our family room that we've had for years ... before they became the rage.

  12. Can you tell me how big your main big wheels are? I don't know what size I should buy... Thank you!!

  13. This is SO awesome! You've inspired me to make this - I've been wanting to for a while, but wasn't sure how to. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  14. Ok so I have been officially inspired by this project and have a question! I have been looking for some cast iron wheels and found a pair that are about 8-9 inches in diameter. Is that large enough? They unfortunately don't come with the axle holders, so do you have any suggestions on a replacement? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

  15. I love the look of a pulley wheel too, as opposed to the casters. You said it was difficult to attach the pulley. Could you elaborate? What did you attach it with exactly? Thanks so much!