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Builders Showcase: Mason Activity Table with Mods

02.24.12
Project Image

I for one think the mods Peder made for his Mason Acivity Table are absolutely incredible and rather genius!  And how adorable is his little man who will make his own mods to this piece as he plays… LOVE!

Estimated Cost

As far as total cost, I’m not too sure. Honestly, counting mistakes, cheap cuts to practice on, multiple stains to test, materials and other things it went pretty far over budget. I remember though, before I actually started, plugging in the materials list on the Home Depot web site and seeing how much more it was going to cost. I guess it all depends on the grade of wood/material you use and the area you live in as to how much you’re going to get charged.

Length of Time

As far as time to build, that’s tough to say too. The first photo I took was on November 2nd and I was done December 23rd I think. That was basically built when I had time to do it in between work and family things. Sometimes I went a week or more just walking past it in the garage.

Lumber Used

So, being as this was my first real wood project I had no clue as to what wood to use, what was available and where to get it. Home Depot and Lowes are both within 3 miles of my home so I went with what these stores had in stock. The wood is nothing fancy, mostly pine. Also, not all cuts required were available in say poplar or red/white oak and I am currently without a table saw to make such modified cuts.  I used the better grade cuts for exposed, visible areas then lesser grade cuts for interior, less visible pieces. The plywood is just birch cabinet grade.

Finishing Technique

The finish I am least proud of. I knew pine can be tricky with inconsistency in staining so I sought out a pre stain. I tested out Minwax’s but eventually went with Charles Neil’s pre conditioner which worked great. I also compared Minwax to General Finishes gel stain and liked the bolder color of the former. Also, GF’s Gel Topcoat was used. Nothing fancy to apply, just paper towels for it all.

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