Build a Corner Table from Salvaged Fence Posts or Pallets
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” –Psalm 23:5
I have a history of several years experience in food service. I’ve worked in a few restaurants and still on occasion work as a server for private parties. Most of these parties are for the social elite in the local area. And believe me; they can be far more luxurious than our middle class parties.
Six months to a year before the actual event, chefs place a bid to the host for the cost of the party. The caterer is selected and the musical entertainment has been arranged. A couple of months before the event, the caterer has called a rental service to reserve tables, chairs, silverware, coffee service, and towels for clean up. Weeks before the party, the chef has started the menu, began ordering food, chosen table arrangements, and has gathered a number count for place settings. The day before, the host has the flower arrangements or ice sculptures delivered, the tables and chairs set up, and the caterer arranges his cooking and clean up stations and has begun food prep. The day of, the food is being cooked and assembled and workers arrive several hours earlier than the actual guests to finish the set up.
While the chef organizes his stations for food preparation in order of the dish served, the cleaners arrange their dishwashing station, the bartenders arrange the liquor, glasses, and ice, the valets are gathering instructions for parking, and the dessert table attendant (that’s me) arranges the desserts on platters and places them around the table. Every worker has their duties and strategically takes each step to fulfill the purpose of the evening, serving the host and guests with every resource available.
When they do arrive, the guests begin eating, drinking, and enjoying the music. Sometimes people will toss their trash on the dessert table, take a bite of something and put it back, or take drinks out of my hands without any eye contact. The guests are enjoying the party without considering the labors that took place before their arrival. But it brings us joy to see them delight in the fruits of our hard work while we serve them at this amazing party!
Now, when David writes that God has prepared a table before him, I used to think that meant God gave him what he needed when he needed it. Sometimes we just arrive at the table of food and start eating without considering how it got there, or even when it got there. It’s called common grace, the grace God gives us that is common to all humankind, not just Christians, like food, shelter, and medicine, to name a few. We take for granted that the table has been prepared for us in advance by someone for the purpose of our joy.
“In the presence of my enemies . . .” This is a substantial thought I don’t want you to miss. How many times have we witnessed good things happening to “undeserving” people? Why did that person get promoted? Or pregnant? Or get to have that spouse? Or that house? Or that body (ahem)? Shall I keep going; I may have missed one of your favorites . . . or [fill in the blank]? But David writes that in the presence of his enemies, God blesses him.
If you have thoughts like this about other people, how do you know people aren’t thinking those things about you? Envious of your hair, or paycheck, or beautiful children. Part of us likes the thought of people being envious of our self-made triumphs. But when we live our lives with contentment and gratitude, our humility allows them to see God’s grace behind our blessings instead of just us. Please don’t be unaware of the buffet table God has prepared for you– I’m betting that your enemies are keenly aware of it.
“You anoint my head with oil . . .” anointings were done as a blessing or as a “pledge of further favor” (Matthew Henry). David was anointed by Samuel to be king as all Christians today are anointed by the Lord as royal sons and daughters. “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”- 2 Cor. 1:21
“My cup overflows.” When I was young, I had to memorize the entire chapter of Psalm 23. I’ll be honest; it made no sense to me at all. At this part, I pictured my cup as the Holy Grail from Indiana Jones. And God was pouring water into it from a big pitcher. He kept pouring and pouring until it made a huge mess everywhere. I would think, “Why?? Why wouldn’t God just fill my cup to the brim and stop? That’s enough, God. It’s full.” As a child, when my cup or my soup bowl was too full to carry without spilling, my mother would take a sip and hand it back to me. So why would God overflow your cup? So you will pass a sip to your neighbor, maybe even your enemy, and to the next person, and the next- and there is still enough for you!
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” God has prepared your blessings far in advance; He has anointed you with the promise of further favor. He has shown your enemies that you are an heir of His providence; He has given to you in abundance and provided more than you need to spur generosity with others.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20
Have I mentioned that Nate and I have wonderful neighbors? Our neighbor, Brian, gifted me with his scrap cedar from a privacy blind he tore down on his patio. I have been trying to make the front door area look more welcoming so I decided to build a corner table to fit under the mailbox.
I should probably mention I have never built a table before; so like usual, I was winging it. I made a couple of drawings with different configurations and decided I needed to start with the table top. After taking my measurements and deciding that it should be a 24″ right triangle, I made my cuts and screwed my pieces together. If I had more lumber, I would have made perfect wedges out of 2x4s for the corner supports. But I had some cedar chunks leftover from the window boxes and screwed the sides into that to hold it.
Then I covered the top with planks and screwed them into the triangle underneath. Going back, I would have used my nail gun instead; but since I wasn’t sure what I was doing, I wanted the option to reverse steps, and screws make that easy.
When the entire top was covered, I flipped it over with an edge hanging off the table for cutting.
I used my circular saw to cut the sides off. After seeing contractors do this to the ends of decks, I have always wanted to try it. It was pretty sweet. 🙂
Sides cut. I thought the saw would have let me cut a little closer than it did. You see there are a couple of places where the planks weren’t quite long enough, but I think it adds to the charm.
Then I added legs, making sure they are all the same length. Wobbly tables are super irritating.
I then braced the legs to keep them sturdy in case I wanted to put something heavier on the table, like a plant.
This table is already stinking adorable.
This is the sander I used for the raw edges.
I sanded it all over with a rough paper and now it is even cuter looking.
Most of you could just leave it alone at this point, but I have to make this match my window boxes. Our style will be more rustic than primitive design, so it needs to be cohesive with the rest of my wood projects.
After applying the stain, I let it dry for a long time. I should mention what a cool product this Minwax Gel Stain is. It’s concentrated stain that you can dilute to any consistency you want. I LOVE IT.
When it was dry, I added a coat of polyurethane on the top to protect it from water and tucked it into the corner of the front porch. A perfect fit! More to come on making the front porch more welcoming.