A Table with Mid-Century Flair

By Bruce Johnson

 

I love these pre-glued flat panels for making small tables, so I picked up a couple at my local home improvement center when I decided to make a mid-century end table for my son’s apartment.

The end tables from this era were simple. Oftentimes, they were little more than a box on legs. This means you can decide on the dimensions you want, then cut, nail, glue, and clamp the two sides, top, and bottom together quickly.

Speaking of the bottom, the next step was to screw four “hairpin” steel legs to the underside of the box. If you are lucky, you might find a pair you can salvage off another table in a second-hand shop.

Mid-century finishes were often light colored, so for my son’s table I skipped the stain and went directly to a great new clear finish: Minwax® One Coat Polyurethane. It’s water-based, so clean-up is easy, there are no fumes to need to vent, and it dries in a matter of minutes!

Naturally, I couldn’t wait for Blake to come home for a weekend before seeing how the table would look in my office. Maybe he won’t remember to take it back…..

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

 

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

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