grow my coffee table
June 13, 2011 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Home-decor-filter: I am completely in love with a factory cart that I want to use as a coffee table. Looks kinda like this. Found it on craigslist. But I'd like to help it stand a bit taller... ideas?

I'm looking for it to stand about 6 inches taller. I will probably put a cream/white rug on the floor underneath it. Ideas for what to put between the rug and my beloved? Thanks!
posted by cheemee to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
The easiest solution might be to just get bigger wheels, if you're just looking for a bit of height. I think silver wheels would make a nice industrial contrast.
posted by shortyJBot at 8:42 AM on June 13, 2011

Four (or five) old iron tin cans or other objects 6" high (irons!) and a glass table top is what I would do. Alternatively: two antique(d) wooden crates below, with one on its side so you can store magazine and remote controls in it.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:54 AM on June 13, 2011

If you don't want to change the way the cart looks (and I certainly wouldn't), you can really only do one of two things: put the cart on something, or put something on the cart.

If you want to raise the cart, you just need some sort of secure blocks to put under each wheel; something similar to bed risers (but obviously nicer/sturdier). A 6" long piece of 6x6 lumber would do it, perhaps with divots carved out for each wheel to sit in securely.

If you want to keep the cart on the floor but have an effectively higher surface, I would find an extremely minimalist glass surface on top of some sort of pillar, so that would look like it's "floating" six inches above the cart, and the cart is essentially just the base of a glass coffee table. I think I would do that, personally.

Why do you want something between the rug and the cart? Something like a carpet chair mat comes to mind, but that would make it easier for the cart to slide or roll when you might not want it to.
posted by supercres at 8:55 AM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

The easiest thing would be to just plunk something six inches thick on top of it. (I would use books, because I have books.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:56 AM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

I agree with DarlingBri's suggestion, or consider a pallet or 2 cut to size. Crates and pallets complement the factory-ness of the cart. (It's awesome, by the way!)
posted by The Deej at 8:58 AM on June 13, 2011

Sys Rq: "The easiest thing would be to just plunk something six inches thick on top of it. (I would use books, because I have books.)"

Oh my god, this would be amazing. A pile of thrift-store hardbacks, with a glass top.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:09 AM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Old oil or gas cans would lend some colour to the piece, and with a little cleanup/selection would ensure that the glass top is flat. I suggest 3/8" tempered, with a ground edge. You can use rubber, elastomer, or felt standoffs to set the glass on.
posted by a halcyon day at 9:28 AM on June 13, 2011

You can sort of see the raised-glass effect here. I wouldn't compete with the wood, glass and wheels by using books to raise the glass. It looks great with some simple steel risers. I've also seen people take off the wheels on the bottom, and build a platform shelf below the original, then re-attach the wheels on that. Kind of like this. Whether you raise it with a glass top, or build a shelf on the bottom, pipes and fittings are very cheap, and fit the look: this is a great example. If you google "pipe bookshelf" or "pipe industrial table" you'll get a good idea of how to construct it.

You could also just build some sides and a fake bottom, and attach the wheels down there - another example here.

The direction you choose might depend on how easy it is to remove the wheels. Good luck!
posted by barnone at 9:51 AM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

How about putting an old leather or wicker trunk on top?
posted by humph at 10:25 AM on June 13, 2011

Loving the ideas... keep 'em coming guys.

I have a small bias against glass coffee tables, not sure why, just do, which is why I'm trying avoid that route. That said, I'm still open to the idea.

I loved the antique hardbacks, it was almost enough for me to go with the glass top, but when barnone's mentioned it, I think he's right, I don't want the books competing with it. I want this cart to be the star.

So far I'm leaning towards supercres' idea of the lumber with divots cut out. Maybe in an antique stain.

I'd prefer to raise the cart itself. I live by myself and tend to eat in front of the TV on the coffee table, so lots of clearance between the ground and the bottom of the wood is a good thing. I enjoy sitting on the floor, so wouldn't want it regular table height either. (Though, maybe glass would be good to protect it from food.)

Thanks for the thoughts so far. They're great!
posted by cheemee at 10:44 AM on June 13, 2011

Restoration Hardware sells a cart exactly like this but with a glass top on top. (And I mean exactly.) look on their website to see pictures. The glass top is held up above the cart by six bolts that appear to have a little rubber embedded into the head to provide a soft surface. Find the bolts, drill some holes, and get yourself some good thick glass (theirs is nearly an inch thick). It makes a really lovely coffee table!!!
posted by wyzewoman at 10:48 AM on June 13, 2011

Oh, and on preview: the glass lets the cart shine through, I find that you notice the cart more than the glass.
posted by wyzewoman at 10:51 AM on June 13, 2011

how much taller ? So you will have some space for storage and / or display ?
posted by Oli D. at 4:44 PM on June 13, 2011

sorry , you said 6" ...
posted by Oli D. at 4:45 PM on June 13, 2011

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