DIY Baseball End Table
What happens when a project doesn’t go as planned? You get creative!
We had a request for a gorgeous walnut cookie logo sign a few months back. We were extra excited to work on this as the wood was beautiful and the logo fit perfectly on it. After beginning to work on it, the cookie started to dry out faster than expected and cracked through to the middle! Definitely a bummer after the time and effort that had already gone into it. Luckily, we had another walnut cookie waiting for us.
We thought we would be smart this time and seal up the bark and the back with our trusty Minwax Polyurethane to stabilize. We finished the burn, got the cookie sealed up and set up to dry before another crack could strike. After the sealer had cured for a few days, we started to notice cloudy spots forming on the front and the back. In a panic, we read that the end of the polyurethane cans could cause finishes to become cloudy if they hadn’t been properly mixed throughout their life. We also read that we could strip the finish with mineral spirits, so we did!
We stripped the finish and started from scratch, all the while hoping the cookie would not crack. Stripping the finish was a very tedious process, but once we were happy with it we cracked a fresh can of polyurethane and got back to sealing. Again, the back surface was cloudy and we were not happy with the results. In the end, we acquired different wood for our customer and they got their order on time. Now, we waited to see what would happen with the original walnut piece. After about two months of curing, their seemed to be no additional cloudy spots in the finish! The piece was saved!
After we determined the piece was usable, we buffed both sides by hand with 220 grit sand paper, a fine grit sanding sponge and finally a very fine sanding sponge. This gives the piece a smooth glass like finish and enhances the overall look of the piece.
Now, what could we do with this gorgeous cookie cut? Why, build a table of course!
With the help of a new friend (check him out @thebrokenbatworkshop), we started our first table making adventure! Now, we wanted this piece to look cohesive. What goes best with a baseball logo? Of course a baseball bat and home plate! We determined our required dimensions for a home plate base and cut it out with our table saw. The walnut cookie is 16” in diameter so we made the home plate base 15” wide to help balance the large top. The home plate was pine board you can find at your local lumber store.
To determine the side lengths of the home plate, I took our needed width of 15” and determined the relative sizes of the other sides based off of a real home plate dimension. The diagram to the right shows the proper dimensions. To ensure our home plate looked like a home plate, we took the 17” and divided it by 8.5” which gives you 2. For ours, 15” divided by 2 equals 7.5”, so those were our side dimensions. Same math for the final sides, gives you roughly 10.6”. There are more mathematical ways to determine these, but unless you remember all of your highschool math, this is the easiest way to go.
Next, we needed a stain to make the pine look as deep and rich as the black walnut cookie, so we ended up picking Minwax Jacobean interior stain.
We applied with a foam brush, let sit for 10 minutes and then wiped off with a clean rag. Let the stain dry for four hours (we like to make sure it is very dry!) and then apply a second layer in the same manner as the first.
Next step, determine the height of the table so we could cut down our baseball bat. We found this baseball bat on Kijiji, it was pretty well used which we think just added to the feel of this table! Our overall table height was going to be 25” as that matched the height of our couch arms. Therefore, that meant the bat was to be cut at 21 5/8”. Our trusty table saw did the trick! We sealed both the bottom and the bat to ensure shiny and protective finishes.
Next up was for us to drill the holes for our feet. We decided to get adjustable feet in case the table was put somewhere where the base was not completely level. We drilled holes into three spots in the base an inch in from the sides and about 3/4 of the way through the wood so that the screws on the feet would not break through the top. We used a rubber mallet to hammer in the pieces that the feet screw into, and then twisted in the feet. There you have it! A level base! On to assembly!
In order to attach the bat onto the base and the top, we decided on the use of dowel screws. We pre-drilled the holes for our dowel screws in the very center of the base of the bat as well as the center the top, and at the very center of the home plate. We made sure that we only pre-drilled about halfway into home plate to get a snug fit that would not crack through the bottom.
We used a drill to put the screw tightly into the bottom and top of the bat, and then hand screwed the bat onto home plate. After we were happy with how that was holding, we pre-drilled the hole into the very center of the bottom of the walnut cookie.
After we were happy with how that was holding, we pre-drilled the hole into the very center of the bottom of the walnut cookie.
Now, this made us very nervous as we did not want it to crack or have any negative consequences since we have had so much trouble with it already. We pre-drilled the hole about just over half way through the cookie – with no troubles! Next thing we did was put a little polyurethane on the screw just so we could ensure the new pre-drilled hole was coated, then we screwed the walnut cookie onto the bat. We were done!
Now unfortunately, overnight we noticed the bat started to sway sideways under the weight of the walnut. We went and bought small black “L” brackets from the hardware store and installed three around the baseball bat just to give it extra support. For future builds, we will try to determine a way to work around this, but for now, it is stable and in active use! We love this table!
This is our final product photo for this amazing table! We hope you enjoyed reading how we put it together. It definitely took us a little time to figure out, and of course we had a few blunders along the way, but we are so proud of finishing this piece! Let us know what you think!