Coffee Table Made From Warehouse Cart

Warehouse cart as coffee table, after some major cleaning.

I had some store credit at REStore that was going to expire within the week, so I made Mary Jean and Monica come with me to help me decide how to spend it. We looked at a variety of items:

First we considered a sitz bath. Then thought (deeply) about a confessional.

THEN, Monica spotted a treasure! An old warehouse cart. Unfortunately they’ve become popular (don’t you hate it when things you like become popular?) and even Restoration Hardware sells them, but I’ve always wanted one for a coffee table. The ones at Restoration Hardware are on sale for $890 – this one was less ($175).

It was made by the Nutting Truck and Caster Company. The official name is a “semi-live skid”, and it is made for use in large dairies, warehouses, and manufacturing plants. The “semi-live” term comes from the fact it has 2 wheels on one end and 2 legs on the other. In order to move the skid you attach a “skid jack” (a gizmo that has a long handle and 2 wheels) to the end. Mine does not have the skid jack. The REStore guy said that he believed this skid originally came from a furniture warehouse in Bellingham, WA.

After loading it into the trusty Subaru, we brought it home. It required some cleaning.

First I cleaned up the wood by sanding with an random orbital sander until I realized how dirty it actually was. Then I scrubbed it with a nylon brush and wood-wash – that helped. It also raised the grain, so I sanded it again. Then I put on a wood conditioner (Daly’s Benite) and an oil based finish (Daly’s Profin). The wood darkened considerably, which I am still getting used to.

Then I cleaned up the wheels – they were caked with grease and dirt. After getting most of the gunk off with a rag, I scraped the hard stuff off with a screwdriver. I got the same sense of satisfaction that a dental hygienist probably gets when he/she scrapes tartar off someone’s teeth. I used lacquer thinner and a rag to get the last bit of oil/grease off the metal. To make the metal look less “dried out” I rubbed on some 3 in 1 oil with a clean rag.

The Final Result:

Monica, testing out the new table – perfect height.
(I never thought I’d be a person to put a picture of my cat on a blog.)

There you have it –  I saved $715! Next we need to re-finish these old painted fir floors – maybe that will be a Hammer Like a Girl Project – more likely (and hopefully) it will be a job for a professional floor finisher!

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

17 thoughts on “Coffee Table Made From Warehouse Cart

  1. I love this and I love the restore. I have only heard rumors of its wonders since we don’t have one in my corner of the world…. I wish we did!

  2. I LOVE it!!!! It looks amazing! And WAY cooler than any PB mass produced thing!!
    You took up the carpet! And that white chair in there is great :)
    I MISS wondering over & getting inspired by all
    Your great projects…
    I also miss trips to re-store with you!
    Go-go-go mamacita!!

  3. Wild to see that outstanding Arts and Crafts table sitting on the cart in the store. It wouldn’t make it off the street on this side of the country, let alone into a ReStore. Nice reuse of the cart.

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