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Portable Craft Table - Made at 173

173 is an old house.  As an old house it requires a lot of maintenance and the occasional emergency repair.  But there's also a bit of a kid in all of us.  When I was young (thaaaat's right, I said young not young-er) one of my favorite things to do was building plastic models at the kitchen table.  A few decades have passed since then, but as I remember it through the cloud of time, it seems like building those models was a Sunday afternoon thing.  My thoughts go back to the days of sitting at the table working on Dracula, Frankenstein or some car or other, while my sister and mother played cards and Dad watched TV out in the living room.  Warm memories, makes me want beef stew.

Anyway, I've come to enjoy making models again - that inner kid thing.  I work on them in the bedroom, the kitchen and even in the living room.  I've kept my supplies in an old model box and just moved around.  The Nomadic Model Maker.  A week or so ago I saw a model-makers table for sale on some hobby website.  Totally affordable, but for some reason I don't like buying things like that - especially when it's something I can build and customize to my needs and tastes.  So I started looking around the basement and came across this:

It's an old drawer that I found in the basement when we first bought the house.  I stored it away because I knew there'd come a day!  The drawer wasn't exactly the right size - it was 4 feet long and not quite deep enough, so adjustments had to be made.  First I cut off a good portion of the drawer (yup - I kept the leftover piece!).

You can't tell too well from this picture, but I removed the drawer bottom, made it a bit deeper and made adjustments to the dividers on the inside.  Then came some specific customizing.  I used a Forstner bit and chisel to make a spot to hold a paint bottle - I'm clumsy so anything to reduce the chances of knocking the bottle over...

...and I drilled some holes about 3/4 of the way through the top to hold the brushes I'm working with.

I used an old piece of piano hinge (also inherited on purchase of 173) and another old hinge...

Then came the priming and painting.  But here's the neat part of the whole thing.  I actually planned ahead a little and thought out the use of this little box and thought - I don't want to have to clear off the top every time I want to pull out another paint color.  So I cut off part of the top so that it's a two-part piece.

I lined the sections of the box with some cheap Wal-M@&* felt, and voila!  Simple project done!

Yup - That's a magnifying glass - my eyes aren't what they were.  Actually I've been saying that since the 10th grade.  See how the paint bottle sets down in the top a little?  An ounce of prevention!  That '48 Ford Woody looks like fun!!  So, the Nomadic Model Maker has a portable headquarters!  Made at 173.


  1. Great table! You should come link it up to the Power Tools Link Party that I'm co-hosting with A Home from College Hill!

  2. Hi again Ashley. Thanks for the compliment and the invite! I'd love to link it up (or the telephone stand I built) and I'm honored you asked. However, as great a computer whiz as I think myself to be, I can't figure out for the life of me how to do that! Any suggestions?


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