FACTORY CART COFFEE TABLE
I have seen factory cart coffee tables all over and I just love the look of them. I love being able to incorporate industrial feeling furniture in to a traditional room. I feel like I'm getting away with something-like a factory cart doesn't belong in a formal living room-but I put it there and it works! :) I had thought about making one myself. HERE is a great tutorial for making one from scratch if you don't have a metal factory cart to use. I got some old tongue and groove wood from my parent's house that is about 100 years old. I knew I wanted to use that to build the cart/coffee table. So, while in Michigan visiting family, we stopped at one of my favorite antique yards-it's right outside of Saugatuck for those near there. It's the perfect stop for any sort of industrial part. I was on the hunt for some cast iron wheels to make my own cart. Then I noticed there were like six of these factory carts. Some had wood on them but I chose one that was all steel. Somehow we managed to squeeze this giant piece of steel in our car for the ride back to Chicago. It cost $150 which I thought was pretty good since I had found some on craig's list that were $300+.
T O M A K E
Using an electric sander, sand down the metal. This will get rid of the rust. For the wheels and tiny crevices, I used a crimped wire wheel like THIS. I used some mineral spirits on a rag to get some of the grime off left by the sanding. Check out the picture below of the wheels, the top wheel had been sanded and wiped down with mineral spirits. After sanding it and wiping it down, I sprayed the whole thing with a few coats of spray polyurethane. To attach the wood on top, I used gorilla glue construction adhesive caulk. Just as a side note, if you do happen to buy a factory cart like this, the wheels will most likely be uneven. You know how you use those lumber carts at the hardware store and they are a little uneven and tilt from side to side... that's what this cart did so I had to adjust the two little wheels on then end so that they were the same height as the larger wheels-and so that the table would be level and not tilt. I did that by taking off a screw and adding in some washers and then replacing the screw. After the construction adhesive dried I stained the top of the wood with Jacobean Minwax stain, and when that dried, painted a few coats of poly on top. The cart by no means is a polished, perfect piece of furniture but I love the character it adds and I love sharing the story about how the wood is from my parent's house and the cart was found in Michigan. And now I just want to go buy more and then sell the finished product because these usually retail for about $400+!