Sunday, July 24, 2016

#IGBuilders Challenge

Hi guys!  If you've been following me on facebook, then this is old news, but if not, I'm very excited to share this with you!  A few weeks ago I decided to sign up for a building challenge.

When I signed up, I had no idea what we would actually be asked to build.  After the signup deadline had passed, all builders were sent a set of plans for a simple console table.  We were given instructions to build it, make a few minor modifications if we wanted (as long as the finished piece still resembled the plan), and paint/stain/complete it...all within 3 weeks!  Normally this would have been a simple feat for me and I wouldn't have thought much of it, but with my kids home from school for the summer, I knew my shop time was going to be drastically reduced and I wasn't sure I would meet the 3 week deadline.  BUT, I decided to go for it anyway. ;)

This is a picture of the original plan...

As soon as I saw it, I knew what i wanted to do! :)  I redrew the plan in sketchup but with the modifications I had in mind to make sure it would still "look right".  My modifications included 2 additional legs in the front so I could divide it into 3 sections for drawers and made it two thinner drawers instead of one deeper one.  I also narrowed it down a few inches so I would only have to purchase 8' boards instead of 12' - they're easier to transport in my van - haha! ;)    I also added the bottom shelf and the X's to the sides to match our coffee table I built last month.   I loved it (and hoped the judges would too!)

I purchased a mix of fir, knotty pine and pine plywood and got to work!

I started by building the main frame.

From there I built and added the drawers.

This is actually just a test fit to make sure they were all fitting perfectly before I installed all the drawer slides. :)

For the top I ran all my lumber through my thickness planer to make sure they were all the same thickness and then glued them up to make a larger solid piece rather than use a plywood or other type of sheet material.  One of the things in the original plan that I liked the look of was the breadboard ends.  Rather that just using pocket holes and screws, I decided to attempt a more traditional method called tongue and groove.  I've definitely got to work on it a bit more, but I was happy with the result...even if it's not 100% accurate. ;)

Drawers installed and breadboard ends attached!

I chose to do a stained top and painted bottom.  The colour I chose for paint is called "Ashwood" by Benjamin Moore.  I had the colour matched at Home Depot in a satin finish in their Behr Premium Plus paint line.  I sprayed on at least 4 coats, lightly distressed all the edges (because I know my kids will naturally add to that over time!) and then followed it with a satin polycrylic clear coat.

The top is stained in Minwax Jacobean and finished with a satin wipe-on poly.

To install the drawer fronts, one of the other builders in the challenge shared a tip she had learned - and it is brilliant!  By using a deck (or 3) of playing cards as shims, it allows easy adjustments to space the drawer fronts perfectly!

I always drill my hardware holes in the drawer fronts first so they're perfectly centered.  Then, once shimmed in place, I temporary screw the fronts to the drawer boxes through the predrilled holes.  I shoot a few small staples with my nail gun from the inside of the drawer box into the back of the drawer front which holds the front in place when I remove the temporary screws.  From there I just run my drill through the previous holes I drilled in the drawer front, through the drawer box, and there you go, perfect placement holes for the hardware!

Speaking of hardware, aren't these gorgeous???  I found them at our local Windsor Plywood and knew they were perfect!  I believe it was an "aged bronze" finish.

And, here is my finished table!

I am SO thrilled with how my table turned out and it fits in perfectly in our home!  Now, this was a building challenge and there could only be one winner.  Definitely head over to Instagram and check out #IGBuilderschallenge and see the other builders gorgeous builds! As soon as the tables started being posted, I had NO idea how the judges would ever make a decision!  SOOO tough!

With over 200 builders signed up and SO many gorgeous tables built, I never actually thought I would ever win....well, I was completely shocked and overjoyed when I received a message saying that the judges had picked MY table as the winner!!!

I couldn't believe it...and was a little more than excited. ;)  Lets just say our neighbors thought we'd won the lottery the way I was freaking out on our back deck! ;)  Hey, I felt like I had!!

Anyway, now that the challenge is done, I'm sitting back for a little breather before working on the next project. ;)  Well...maybe.... 

Thanks for popping by!



  1. My husband and I have just started building and already have a list of general furniture we want to build, but this is the first piece I've seen where i feel we ABSOLUTELY MUST build it! It's no wonder your design won, this is magnificent! Are there plans for it anywhere that we can use to guide us through the process, or should I perhaps wait until we're more experienced and use the guide you've written here?

  2. Hi Julie - I'm so sorry! I don't know how I missed your comment! Unfortunately there aren't any specific plans for my exact piece, but the original plans that were sent to all the builders to work with are listed on Ana White's site under the IGBuilders Bailey Console Table. I hope that helps! I would love to see your table if you decide to build one! :) Good luck!


Thoughts or comments? I'd love to hear them!