April 26, 2012

Copycat Factory Cart Coffee Table

A few weeks ago, Anna, a friend of mine from work, asked me to be on the lookout for an old rusty wagon or cart on my estate sale excursions that she could convert into a coffee table. I was intrigued since I had not really seen anything like this for sale in person so I started to do a little google recon, and was pretty amazed at what I found (mostly on price) in the way of industrial factory carts. Warehouses used to cart around manufactured goods and whatnot on these. Here's the cream of the retail crop.

Full-blown retail versions
Obviously, those prices are super-inflated because of the companies selling them. I am 99% sure that the PB version is something they made from scratch and then antiqued to look old. The RH version seems authentic based on other pics I found on the interwebs. So, my next thought was..."what if I checked the bargain basement of online retail - craigslist - and restored myself?" I decided I was safe from the Craigslist killer since I would just be browsing. Here's what I found there. Much cheaper, but fewer options and shipping was outrageous, obvi.

Sold as-is
Although they were much cheaper, that's still not where I want to be. If I cannot create something for less than $50, I'm out. So, onto plan C...create my own version of this mo-fo. Wood wouldn't be a problem. I have pallets and picket fence sections galore. The wheels, however, would prove to be more difficult. I wanted to create one more like the Restoration Hardware version, with the two big wheels and the two smaller wheels, so I searched eBay, Etsy and Craigslist and came up with plenty of options for the smaller wheels, but a big fat zero for the bigger ones. Onto plan C-2...make one up. Here are two replica versions I found that people created from scratch. The one on the left is PopularWoodworking and the one on the right is Ana White.

When all else fails, do-it-yourself
The ingredients:
1 part old 2"x10" board (estate sale: $1)

4 parts old iron cart wheels (eBay: $35, including shipping)

10 parts salvaged pallet wood (free)

Mix well, bake for 30 minutes and voila!