Sessions: Carpentry and Wood, Winter 2021, and Young Women’s Design and Building Institute Saturday Extension workshops, Fall 2020

Builders: 28 participants, ages 9-18

Materials +  tools: 3/8″ mild steel rod, metal bandsaw, bending jig, MIG welder, water-jet steel brackets, miter saw, clamps, wood glue, bandsaw, handheld router, sanding sponges and blocks, water-based stain, drill, impact driver, screws

Description: This mixed material project was a fan favorite during our Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 classes! Dreamed up by our Carpentry and Welding Instructor Augusta Sitney, the project required tools and skills in both carpentry and metalworking. First girls bent 3/8″ steel rod using a simple bending jig with 2 posts and cheater bar (thanks, physics!) to create the hairpin shape. Then we used a metal bandsaw to cut the hairpin legs to a 14″ length, then welded the legs to custom waterjet brackets using our MIG welder. The legs were then powder coated or spray painted in bright colors. For the table top, 2×2 lumber was cut into eight 14″ lengths, glued together and clamped. We also planed down the tops for a more even surface. Girls then traced a circle and used the bandsaw to cut out the circular table top shape, and routed the edges with a 1/4″ roundover router bit. The table tops were finished with a Danish oil or walnut water-based stain, and the legs were attached using sheet metal screws and a drill and driver. Voila! The tables went home with girls and have been used for all manner of purposes, from succulent stands to perches for canine and feline friends.

Bending steel rod on a homemade bending jig
Rods bent into hairpin shape!
Cutting steel rod on the metal bandsaw
MIG welding the hairpins to the brackets
Using the miter saw to cut lengths of lumber for wood top
Glued up and clamped table top
Using the bandsaw to cut the table top shape
Attaching legs to the table top
Finished tables with powder-coated legs!
Table at use at home as a succulent stand
Sturdy construction!
Feline approved!
Canine approved!