I need a Saratoga Vichy table…

Last year, I built the Saratoga Vichy Crate Art Project, where I took an old Saratoga Vichy wooden crate and some vintage Saratoga Vichy water bottles, and electrified that bad boy to look super-Saratoga-Vichy-awesome.

That being said … this artwork needs a table.  I can’t just get a folding stand and put the artwork on it.  I want this artwork to shine in competition.

So I need some vintage Saratoga Vichy crates … and hopefully I can find some that don’t look like they’ve been beat to splinters.

You know my motto.  Two crates equals one table. 😀

In the end, I did find two crates – one from a Craigslist seller in Woodstock (ten miles of winding road to find the crate) and another from an eBay seller in South Carolina.

These crates look like they were used.  Beat to death.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m actually making them look BETTER by tearing them apart.  So all you c0llectors who are kvetching and plotzing about what I’m doing to these crates … go kick rocks.  You wanted these crates so badly, you should have outbid me on them.  Your loss, not mine.

This one in the picture above (the photo taken in Congress Park) was in seriously sorry shape.  I used a mixture of Scotch Brite pads and elbow grease to scrape off the mud and gunk on the panels.

And here’s what I found on the side of one of the panels.

Look at the top of the panel.  TELEPHONE 212

See, way back in the day, before area codes and cell phones and the like, local numbers were maybe five digits … or as few as three.  This is cool, man.

Roll up those sleeves, Chuck.  This is a project.

To disassemble the crates, I have to remove the metal flashing and pry out the nails on the crate edges.  Luckily for me, once I pried the metal flashing off the crate, the nails came out with barely any coaxing.  I set the long panels (the “Saratoga Vichy” logo panels) to one side, those will be my four sides for the finished table.  The end panels (the “Telephone 212” panels) will go in a second pile.

I wanted to save some of the bottom planks and wooden interior slats, but this crate (and its wood) suffered from a ton of rot and mold.  I was lucky to save the long panels and the end panels for this unit.

And if you look at the back of this panel … ecch.  That’s disgusting, man … looks like rot and mold and spider nests and all sorts of crapola.  That’s what I’m dealing with on these crates.  Yeah, and I probably inhaled a bunch of that.

I used a putty knife to scrap out the big chunks of gunk, and then applied some sandpaper to smooth out the rest.

So now the back looks like this.

Much, much better.  Yeah, I know it’s on the inside of what will be the finished product, but if I don’t clear out that gunk now, it’ll be rotting in those components for ages afterwards.

This is the second crate.  It’s in better shape than the first one, although it does suffer from some gouges and wormholes in the paneling.  You can see one of the wormholes under the “E” in “Trade,” and there are two nails in the “C” in “VICHY” that will leave holes once I get the nails out of the boards.

I also have a very bad feeling that if I take the end panels off the crate, they won’t come off intact.  See those seam lines that go through the words “SARATOGA VICHY” and “SARATOGA SPRINGS NY”?   And notice how the letters don’t properly align along those boards?  I suspect that if those boards are removed frmo the crate – they may split apart at those seams.

This crate was a more difficult disassembly.  These nails were rusted into the wood and weren’t coming out without some serious effort.  Luckily for me … I employ serious effort.

These are the four endpieces.  The handles actually extend over the sides of the table.  Nice.

Eventually all the panels were safely removed.  Now this table needs some legs.

I purchased some 1×1 mouldings from Home Depot and trimmed them to 30″ length.  These will be the table legs.

I then screwed pilot holes into each leg – and then inserted screws into the table legs, connecting directly to the inside of each panel.

And why did I do this?

Blame blog reader D357.

The last two times I built anything from the Crate Art Project, he took me to task about my projects having visible nail heads and screw heads, which would detract from the overall aesthetic.  So for this project, I made sure that there were no visible screws ANYWHERE.

How’s that?

Okay, this table needs a top.  I took the four end portions from the two crates – the “Telephone 212” ends – and stitched them together with a flexible rubber mat backing.  Amazing what you can find at the salvage yard.

I then turned the table upside down, and attached the table to the base with some interior metal corner joints.

And the job is complete.

Take a look.

And there it is.  The newest edition in the Crate Art Project series.  A Saratoga Vichy table for my Saratoga Vichy illuminated artwork.

All it needs now is some paste wax to protect the furniture, and voila.

Yeah, let’s face it.  This stuff is fun.  Creativity and power tools.

Besides, if I plan on entering the Saratoga Vichy Crate Art Project in competition…

Surely it would look best on a Saratoga Vichy Crate Art Project table.