For the first time in six years, we decided to put up the Christmas Village, one of my favorite decorations of the holiday season, but something I’ve had to keep squirreled away while the children were too young to be trusted around it. But when we started contemplating putting up the village a couple weeks ago, we realized we didn’t have a good place to put it. So we decided on the dining room wall next to our china hutch, but now we faced another problem — what to put it on?
So last weekend, with Finn’s help (mostly checking in on me and then doing his own thing nearby), I built a table to put the village on. Here’s the play by play:
I started with two 2 x 4 x .75 boards for the table and border, and two 1 x 2 x 8 for the legs. I ripped both boards so they were 18″ wide, then cut the second one at 16″, so I could make a table surface that was 64″ wide and 18″ deep. Then I ripped the remaining 6″ planks down the middle so I had 8 feet to use as 3″ border around the bottom.
I joined the two table-top pieces using four welding plates, then used corner brackets to attach the border. The screws that came with the brackets were a little too long, so Finn and I took a second trip to the hardware store for a box of 5/8″ size 8 screws. Then I added corner brackets along the sides of the border for stability. The seam isn’t perfect, but since this table will be used with a tablecloth, good enough.
Next come the legs. Using hinges, I fastened the legs to the table-top. This way, when we’re not using the table, the legs can just swing into the table body for easy storage. I drilled holes through the border and the leg, so when the leg is in standing position, a bolt goes through and held in place with a nut on the inside. This keeps the legs from folding up while the table is standing.
Then I put the table in place. I discovered that though I had intended to leave about 1″ on either end for wiggle room, I actually built something with only about 1/4″ clearance on either side. YIKES. If it had been any longer, I might have had to move the china hutch an inch over, which would have been a nightmare. But it fit like a glove.
And so our village is out again. And we discovered that we have NO room for expansion. Looks like I’ll build another table for next year to put along the wall to the left of the current table. Mwa ha ha.
See also: Project Book Shelf