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Time and Tables Wait for No Man

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

I’ve had this large wall clock for several years. The actual clock mechanism isn’t working, but I’ve lugged this piece from place to place just because I like the way it looks. Haven’t actually hung it on a wall for a couple of years, but I just knew inspiration would hit me one day with a cool way to use this piece.

I was out in my garage (aka workroom for the time being) looking for something else and saw the clock leaning on another project to be finished at some point. (So many projects, so little time!)

What caught my interest this time was the hole located at 6 o’clock. It’s like I saw it for the first time! I instantly saw this as a table with the hole used as a place to hold a container of some sort. Maybe for a drink, a bottle of wine, condiments for a meal, or maybe even a thing of French fries (yum!) The possibilities are endless.

Easy enough to remove the clock mechanism on the top by turning the clock over and unscrewing the mechanism.

Then it was just sliding the tip of a flat headed screwdriver under the box to remove that.

I left the supports on the back as guides for the legs that I would be attaching. There is obviously a chunk out of the bottom part (that is a whole ‘nother story), so to fix that I grabbed the MinWaxStainable Wood Filler. I always have this in my shop because, well, I work with a lot of wood. It doesn’t just work on wood, though, although you want to make sure whatever you’re using it on can be sanded because at some point that will need to be done. The clock is made out of MDF (medium density fiberboard), so I knew I could fill in the hole with the wood filler.

The first thing I did was tape off the edge so the wood filler would have something to rest against and the final result would be level with the rest of the back side of the clock. Because the hole was pretty deep, it was a many stage process with filling the hole, letting it dry, sanding, filling in more, letting it dry, sanding. Etc etc etc.

Eventually, I came away with a perfectly level spot and once painted, will be difficult for anyone to know it was ever a hole.

I knew this was sturdy enough to be a tabletop as long as the legs would support it. Hmmm…what kind of legs do I want? This could actually go in a couple of different directions: with straight wooden legs, it could go mid-century modern(ish). With turned legs, it could be vintage or cottage style. Even a pedestal could be attached for more of a bar feel.

As you know if you’ve read any of my other posts, wood and metal together are my jam. So I went with an industrial feel using metal legs. And just to make things harder on myself, I built the legs myself using the following materials. For each leg (so everything times 4):

  • Four (4) 8” L x ½" diameter steel pipes with threading on each end

  • Two (2) ½" galvanized couplings

  • One (1) ½" diameter galvanized tee fitting (this will connect the two legs together along with the additional 12” pipe listed below)

  • One ½" pipe cap (this acts as the leg foot and is place on the floor)

  • One ½" flange (this acts as the connection to the table top)

Between each set of legs, I needed a 12” L x ¼" diameter steel pipe. So two (2) total. I found my pipes/fittings at Lowes, and you usually have to decide between the silver galvanized pipe and a blackish color, but for this project it didn’t matter as I planned to paint them all black.

From there, it was quite easy to put the legs together: I did have to do some twirling to get the support pipe in. Kind of took me back to my flag squad twirling days.

I made sure they were level by standing each set up and putting a straight board across the flanges at the top, then placing the level in the middle of the board.

Then I lightly painted them black with Rustoleum Matte Black for metal, making sure the bright silver galvanized was adequately covered.

Turning the clock upside down, I spray painted it black with the Rustoleum Matte Black also.

Once that dried, I lined each pair of legs up with one of the guides on the back of the clock, and using Hillman 9 x ¾" wood screws, attached the flanges to the back. I incorrectly purchased silver wood screws, so I had to retouch those with the black paint as well.

I also painted a small earthenware pot black with a gold inside and placed it in the 6 o’clock hole with some greenery inside. Paired it with two galvanized metal stools, and I am super happy with the end result.

Hope this gives you some ideas for items that have been taking up space in your garage! Please feel free to leave me a comment or ask a question in the comment section below (under the recent posts section). If you would have done something differently, I’d be excited to hear how!


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