Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Plant Table Saga

Today I tell the sorry tale of the plant table saga. The story begins with some hens and chicks succulents I had in pots on the deck outside, but never got into the ground before the cold weather came. I decided to pot them inside for the winter. 

There were so many hens and chicks that I bought some other types of succulents to mix it up a bit. This created several pots with some hens and chicks still left over. I forgot to mention that when I was buying the other types of succulents I found a cute little norfolk pine that I also purchased. This led to a crafty project of revamping a worn planter that you can view here. Plus, when my brother was coming to visit he was going to bring me a Christmas cactus, but later changed his mind and didn't. So I decided I wanted one and went out and bought one.

Now I have a lot of plants and a plant table was very much needed. After researching my budget I decided to make one. My complicated plan involved a slab of lumber on top and legs underneath. (Sorry if this is long, but I've never known a saga to be short.) Sooo, after looking and looking I found these legs at my local UW Swap shop for under $10.

I liked the look of these legs that just needed a cleaning. So I removed the legs from the table top and set to looking for a slab of wood. I wanted a length of six feet to fit under the window in our den which faces south and gets really good sun. I went to Home Depot, but decided against new wood. After searching craigslist for a while I found someone who was selling old wood bleacher tops!
I paid $10 and the seller even cut it to length for me. I was in business!

To my dismay I discovered that my table legs were too wide for my slab of wood. Gak! So I looked and looked for different table legs (second hand of course). This took weeks. I finally found some at our local Dig n' Save (they're not kidding).

Here they are, quite different than the first, but I like them. All they need is a cleaning and to be mounted.

Anxious to start I didn't bother to pick up or close the closet door before taking a photo. There is my slab of wood and one of the legs. Tools are at the ready, let's do it!

Here we see my handiwork - this girl knows her way around a drill and a screwdriver! Since my table is six feet long I put this extra support in the middle.
Clever, yes? See how well I measured and centered it? That's great, because I had to remove it and put two legs in the middle as the table was wobbly. With a sore arm from 28 screws and an ominous feeling that something was awry, my daughter and I turned it over and set it on the floor. It was still wobbly. My mood went from pissed off disheartened to dark. Please don't talk to me right now. 

I put the plants on it anyway, it looks great, but IT IS WOBBLY. Its fine until someone accidentally bumps into it. And in this house, someone will - my plants are not safe. The legs are steel and on tight, but the problem is aerodynamic. I can look at it as an engineering lesson I guess...

My next thought is to find three identical wood stools (used) and mount them under the slab for legs instead. Unless anyone out there has suggestions for making this table stable? I would appreciate any ideas. I will let you know how this saga ends. I think I'll call it "The Expensive Plant Table and Why Can't Anything Be Simple?"


  1. It looks BEAUTIFUL but wobbliness is definitely a problem. As a criminally clumsy person- I KNOW.

    I wish I could offer real advise, but for as much creating/building as I do, I'm a fake-it-'til-I-make-it-type. I use hot glue guns, wood glue, extra nails and screws where the don't belong, hell even duct tape, until things are stable.

    Good luck to you!

  2. You people with the duct tape scare me :>) My mother in law used to use it for everything, even leaky pipes.