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Thursday, February 14, 2013

DIY Lego (&Train) Table

At long last, I am here to share all of the nitty gritty details of how we put together Kay's Christmas present,
the DIY Lego Table. (Uhm, uh... Fah-inally!!!)

And really I have little excuse for getting this up so late. It was pretty much the simplest project ever. My living room curtains were harder to construct than this bad boy! Which... might not be saying much coming from me (admittedly)... but no, really. This project is/was easy-peasy.

And yet, here we are. Two months later and just barely getting the tutorial up. My life has been a little hectic. Oh well. Let's dive into to some Lego Table makin'!

For Kay's birthday last year we scored a deal on our local craigslist. We bought the train table above  for a whoppin' $20.00. And it was in pretty good condition. The top of the train table is painted with a landscape, but the bottom, as you can see, was nice, smooth, and boring.

Perfect for a little updating! ;]

We started out the process by measuring our train table insert. was selling their 10" x 10" base plates for $4.99 each.  From the size of our table top, we would need about 15 base plates. Not exactly chump change, but considering the size of the Lego Table we'd be getting, plus the fact it would be dual purpose (it's a train table too, remember!), we figured it was more than worth it.

 12 of the base plates would fit on the table whole, and the last 3 would need to be cut to fit. 

To cut our base plates to size, we simply used our craft scissors. You'll need to make sure they are sharp, otherwise it will start to stress the plastic and turn it white. Sharp scissors means smooth, (in this case) blue edges.

To make sure we were cutting them to the correct size, we laid the last three lego mats down as if they would fit on the table whole. Where they overlapped with the previous laid lego mats we made a mark (using our fingernails) along that row. Now we knew which row to cut along.

Once we were finished cutting out all of the custom pieces for our table, we laid down all of the base plates to make sure they would fit. To ensure we were spacing them correctly, we used Lego pieces to connect them in the corners. This way, we could make sure that all of the Lego pieces would still fit, even in between the adjoining mats.

As you can see from above, the mats are not completely flush with each other. There is a teeny tiny space in between each of them. For this reason, you may consider spray painting your table, the color of the base plate, before you start to put it together. For us, it really wasn't a huge deal. We don't really notice the table showing underneath all that much. So we decided to skip painting the table below.

Once we had finished laying our mats down to make sure that they all fit correctly we began the gluing process, starting with a corner piece. For our adhesive, we decided on Gorilla Glue, to make sure that the mats would be stuck on there for good.

One thing to watch out for with Gorilla Glue is that it expands when it dries. You don't want to put the glue too close to the edge of the base plates, otherwise it will bubble and seep out through the spaces in between the mats. 

We were pretty careful with ours, and it still seeped up in a few places. In those areas, we just used a butter knife to scrape it off.

If you don't want to mess with it, Liquid Nails might be another good option. And from what I know of it, I don't believe that Liquid Nails expands the way that Gorilla Glue does.

Again, as we were gluing and pressing our Lego mats onto the table, we connected the corners of the mats with Lego Pieces, to keep the correct spacing while it dried.

It took us about an hour and a half total to put the whole table together, including all of the cutting. Glue, press, connect with a lego... rinse, wash, repeat.

Like I said, easy peasy!

Once we were finished gluing all of the mats down, all we had left to do was let it dry. We let it sit over night. In the morning, we flipped it back over so that the train table side was on top. And there it sat, all stealth and awesome like, until Christmas.

So, it has been two months now since we finished this, and the Lego table is still quite the hit! To be honest, at first Kay wasn't thrilled with all the Lego's he opened up on Christmas morning. I don't think he really knew what they were.

All it took, however, to change his indifference was to open them up and start playing with them. And from that point on... it's been Lego Table , rather than train table, about 9 times out of 10.

Is it silly that that makes me a bit sad? Sniff. Poor Thomas!

Oh well, the point is that the project was a success! And I've got one happy little builder on my hands. Happy DIYing to ya'll! And a Happy Valentine's Day too!

1 comment:

  1. Of course I love that you guys made an awesome custom Lego table. but what I really love is that K had no idea that he was just inches from it all those days! Well done! :)


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