Remember when you actually had to sit down next to your phone to take a call? Your old rotary dial probably had pride of place on the telephone table – ring any bells? Well, as technology has moved on, this once vital piece of furniture has been left by the wayside. But its new job needn’t be collecting dust in the shed. Bring it out of hiding and turn it into a functional coffee table, oozing with retro flair.
Gather your supplies:
• 1200 x 600 x 18mm plywood
• 6 x 6mm DAR Tasmanian Oak, Bead Glass or similar, length to suit
• 6mm toughened glass, cut to suit
You'll also need:
Dulux 1 Step Primer, Sealer & Undercoat (water based); Dulux Wash & Wear Flat in Black; Dulux Aquanamel Semi Gloss in Venus Flytrap (lime green); Cabot’s Cabothane Clear Oil Based spray pack in Satin; combination square; small nails; PVA; drill and drill bits; 8g x 35mm chipboard screws; wood filler; power sander with fine-grit sandpaper; handsaw; painting tools; clear furniture protection bumpers; tape measure; pencil; pull handle (optional).
1. Adjust material quantities to suit table dimensions.
2. Measure table and have components A-E cut at a hardware store from 18mm plywood.
Remove padded seat from table. It’s likely to be held on with wing nuts underneath table.
To create S-shaped sleeve that sits on top of table, position components A and B, using Telephone Table Diagram as a guide (above right) and form a butt joint. Glue, predrill, countersink, then screw together at join with evenly spaced screws. Continue this way with remaining components to form S-shaped sleeve. Fill screw holes with wood filler, let dry, then lightly sand.
Remove drawer and unscrew handle. Lightly sand front of drawer.
Undercoat front of drawer and S-shaped sleeve with Dulux 1 Step Primer, Sealer & Undercoat, remembering to leave edges exposed. Let dry. Lightly sand, then apply 2-3 coats of Venus Flytrap to S-shaped sleeve and front of drawer, allowing to dry after each coat.
Lightly sand table and wipe off dust. Paint top of table and drawer housing in Dulux Black. Allow to dry. Leave legs as bare timber.
Mark position of beads for glass top. To do this, set combination square to 6mm (thickness of glass) then run it and a pencil along top of both sides of S-shaped sleeve where glass will sit.
Measure and cut beads to size from Tasmanian Oak. Glue then nail both pieces into position.
Lightly sand edges of S-shaped sleeve to remove any paint drips. If you tilt your sander on its side, you can run it along sharp plywood edges to create a chamfer detail (a bevelled edge).
• If you don’t have a telephone table stored away somewhere, you can pick one up for next to nothing. Check out garage sales, op-shops and clean-ups. Look for a table that’s structurally sound, with a nice shape and good proportions.
• Match your newly updated telephone table with a mix of Scandinavian-style pieces, such as a sunburst clock and studio lamp.