Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, March 31, 2012 Under: DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects
Yes! Frank Gehry designed and fabricated classic pieces out of cardboard and you can too!
I decided to try my hand at this fabulous table.
Instead of a large table or desk, I fabricated a console which is just as long but not quite as deep.
The first step was to stockpile my cardboard. I ended up using 12 sheets that were approximately 30" x 60" each. If you don't think you can save this much yourself, you can easily purchase recycled cardboard sheets at an art supply store such as Blick.
Next you must make a cardboard slab by gluing each of these sheets together. I glued 3 sheets together at once. Put your first sheet down on a large surface, slather with Elmers All Purpose glue or wood glue, put your second sheet on top of the first, slather the second sheet with glue, place your third sheet of cardboard on top of the second. Press down evenly while running your hand over the top (third) sheet.
You will find that the cardboard tends to warp and lift at the corners so what you need to do now is place a stack of books or magazines on each of the four corners so they will adhere while the glue is drying.
About 12 hours later you can start gluing 3 more sheets of cardboard on top of your first stack that should be dry by now. Go through the same steps and when you have your sixth sheet on, put your books or magazines back on the corners and wait another 12 hours until you proceed with the next gluing.
You will be finished with your slab when you have achieved your desired thickness. I used 12 sheets of cardboard and my slab is about 2 3/4" thick. Once your slab starts getting thicker, you will need to use weight in the center of your slab as well as the corners while waiting for the glue to dry. I used sculptures and pots filled with water to weigh mine down.
After everything is dry and you have a nice flat slab, you are ready to make your cuts. You'll need a top for your table and 2 legs. I measured out a 60" long by 14" deep top, and 28" by 13 1/2" legs. My finished table measures 30 3/4" tall and the table top hangs over the legs by 1/2" in the front and back.
Once you have made your cuts, lightly sand the edges.
Now you are ready to prime your table. I found that it is much easier to prime prior to assembling.
I used Krylon Fusion, as it works well on paper, and sprayed two light coats of primer on waiting 1 hour in between each coat. Don't forget to lightly sand each coat of primer when it is dry. That gets rid of any cardboard lint that is left on the surface and really smooths it out.
Now you can either paint the pieces another color before assembling, or after. I chose to assemble my console at this stage because I am still unsure as to what color I will be painting the final piece. For now, it will be white!
To assemble your table find a space to lay your top (top side down) where it can stay for at least 24 hours. My space happened to be in our little shed in between the bikes (hence the bad pictures).
First measure in from the sides of your top the amount of space that you'd like your top to hang over the sides of the legs. I measured 8 1/2' in from each side. Mark the line with a pencil where your leg will attach to the top.
Stand your leg on the table top (at the edge of the line you have just drawn) and use a level to be sure your leg will be standing at a 90 degree angle to the top once you turn it over. If it is off a bit, you may need to use a small piece of cardboard in between the leg and the top as a shim while you are gluing.
Lay your leg down on the top and spread a thin (not too thin) layer of glue on the table top and on the leg where they will join. I use E6000 because it is so strong. Wait 2 minutes for your glue to set and then stand your leg up on the top and check your level one more time.
Repeat the above process with your second leg and then allow the glue to cure for 24 hours.
I'm thinking about a few different colors for my table. I'll show you once I have changed it, but for now its white.
I actually really love the edges that have been cut, they have such an interesting texture.
I left the right and left side of the tabletop as the raw edge without cuts and also think that this adds yet another interesting texture.
I'm lovin' the look! What do you think?
PS...I'm also having a piece of plexiglass cut for the top so that it will remain unscathed!
Tags: "diy console table" "recycled cardboard table" "frank gehry cardboard table"