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Make a Typecase into a Coffee Table

Craft & Design

It’s metal month on MAKE, which doesn’t mean a Slayer-overload, it means it’s time to put on your Flashdance leotard and start welding. I’ve had this vintage typecase for months and I’ve been wanting to make it into a sweet new coffee table. Metalworking month is the perfect time to learn how to weld to create an industrial base for the table.
Welded Typecase table-1.jpg
I went to the Madagascar Institute in Brooklyn, NY and learned the basics from Hackett who is a skilled expert. I am light years away from his skill level, and if you are too you can check out Make: Live Episode 14 to get a really helpful welding lesson. Check out the complete step-by-step tutorial over on Make: Projects.
Subscribe to the CRAFT Podcast in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it on YouTube or Vimeo.

Welded Typecase table-2.jpg
Another easy addition to this table that really brought it up a few notches was getting a custom piece of glass cut for the top. I anticipated this being difficult and expensive, but it took less than 10 minutes and was $35.
Cost break-down:

  • Scrap metal – free
  • Typecase – (free for me because I live next to a letterpress, but for you…) $10-20
  • Glass (custom cut) – $35
  • Rubber stoppers – $3
  • Liquid Nails – $3

Total: $51-61
black_hairpin2 legs.jpg
If you can’t find a welding class, or prefer a more mid-century look, I am loving these hairpin legs that you can scoop up at a thrift store or on Ebay for under $20. They make any piece into an instant retro table!

About the Author:
Meg Allan Cole blog picture.jpg
Meg Allan Cole is an actress, activist, DIYer, and founder of Enderby Designs. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her musician husband Will, rescue mutts Gracie & Milo, and bunny Linus Clyde. Meg blogs, has hosted home decor videos on Curbly, Etsy and created the show Decor It Yourself for Threadbanger. Check out the Meg Allan Cole Crafts YouTube page for all of her videos.

4 thoughts on “Make a Typecase into a Coffee Table

  1. Dani says:

    Ahahah the video is EPIC! I’m still laughing :D
    Meg I love you and your projects are fantastic! ahahah :D

  2. Razor says:

    My dad is a welder, and back in the 80s (about the time ‘Flashdance’ was popular, incidentally) he had a young woman as his apprentice! I don’t know how he’d feel about me trying my hand at it, LOL. Actually, the stories he told about injuries on his job scared me to death as a kid so I don’t think I could ever don a welding hood (even though he always said “Honey those were people who were not being safe/paying attention/following the rules/had no common sense”)…but You Go Girl!

  3. Lindsey in AL says:

    This is a great project! Now I will be on the lookout for an old typecase. I didn’t know what those were called :) I’d love to be able to display some tiny things without worrying about my baby choking or my bigger kids losing them. This way we could “touch with our eyes” every day.
    My husband is a blacksmith and he could make me some legs for this himself. He also just bought an antique (or nearly antique) welder and is excited to put it to use. His current project for me is a pot rack for our 11th anniversary (last month) for which the traditional gift is steel- sweet!
    Blacksmithing is another great metalworking technique that not a lot of people do any more. All the blacksmiths we know are eager to teach others and pass along this dying craft so if you’re really interested in metalworking, try looking for a forge in your area.

  4. Blue Coaster33 says:

    The Absent Game

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned a lot more MP3 gamers over time than I can count, such as Sansas, iRivers, iPods (common & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few decades I’ve settled down to one line of players.

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