First Build, First Failure, First Success!

I have always wanted to attempt to build a piece of furniture to see if I was any good at building/woodworking. I just never knew what to build. I wanted to make sure that whatever I built, it was going to be useful for someone. That’s when it hit me…my friend Kristi has been talking about how she wanted a sofa table for quite some time. She was never able to find something that fit her couch well or matched her living room. I knew at this moment that building one was the way to go and I could surprise her with it!

First I needed the measurements of her couch. However, I never found the perfect opportunity to take my measuring tape out and measure without ruining the surprise. So instead, I went online, found her couch and pulled the measurements from the website.

I went to the store and bought all the wood and screws that I needed. I went home and started to measure out everything according to the measurements that I pulled from online. The next thing to do was to saw all the pieces to size. After many hours of sawing, I finally was able to start building this table.

I ran across so many problems since this was the first time I was building something by hand. In this process, I ended up breaking 3 drill bits while I was making pilot holes. I was measuring, attaching, un-attaching, reattaching and it was stressful!

The base of the table was finished and the more I looked at it I knew something was wrong. The table looked so TALL! I measured the height of it, rechecked the online measurements and saw no error. I knew in order to get this resolved I was going to have to measure her couch when she wasn’t looking.

I went over to her house and when she went to her room to grab something I quickly decided that this was the moment to measure. I wasn’t caught, thankfully. I then matched the online measurements to the actual measurements and realized that it was 7 inches of a difference! No wonder the table looked so tall!

I have now learned to never ever trust online measurements and to make sure that I always measure by hand twice.

I now needed to cut down the table down by seven inches and screw back the new pieces in.

It only took a few mistakes to realize exactly what needed to be done to get this table put together. Once, I knew what to do it was easy breezy from there on.

Finally, I had a table! It ended up being around 6 ft long and 3 ft tall.

custom built table

Next up was painting. I only did two coats of white paint because I wanted the wood grain to peek through.

Now that the painting was done, it was surprise time. I brought the table to her house, told her to hide in the room while I set it up behind her couch. After staging it, I brought her out of the room and waited to see her reaction. Once she saw it she was so surprised and happy!

sofa table

kristi with tabl


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