I got a call from my niece, Becky, who is going to college, and has a part time job as a dog groomer. You might remember the sign I woodburned for Dogs at Play. That's the place she works at in South St. Paul, MN. She called me because she said her grooming table is falling apart, and could her super-favorite uncle in the whole wide world come to her rescue? (I added the adjectives there, myself) I said sure, and would arrive after work on Monday the 22nd of March.
When I arrived, she was in the back grooming a poodle. I stepped inside her grooming room and saw just how destroyed this table top actually was. The particle board was broken in many pieces along the one edge, and she said it got that way because the bigger dogs would make mad dashes to leap off the table, but were tethered to the attached arm that overhangs the table. The dog's leash would pull against the metal arm, thus breaking the table. Also, the rubberized mat was clawed to almost nothing in their attempts to flee. I couldn't help but laugh at how mangled this table had become. I promised Becky I'd build her a new table. The measurements were 2' by 3' with 3/4" thickness. She just wanted a new table top, and I didn't have to be quality driven. She just wanted a functional table top.
Well, you know me, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I suppose a simple solid pine table surface would suffice, but I didn't stop there. I ended up going to Menards and picked up two 18" x 36" red oak planks, along with new rubber mat material.
I got home and quickly changed clothes, and then headed out into the garage. I ripped the boards down to 12" each, and then used six (6) Kreg screws to attach the boards together. I ran some Titebond wood glue along that edge too, just because. I didn't have to, but wanted to ensure nothing on earth would tear this table surface apart. I then rounded the corners on my band saw and sanded it smooth. I finally applied Gorilla Glue to the entire surface and placed the matting on top, making sure to get rid of any bubbles.
I flipped the board over and laid it on the ground with the mat underneath the oak board. I also rolled my old Craftsman table saw on top of it to give the piece enough weight to "clamp" the mat to the board over night to dry. It worked like a charm. The next morning, the mat was secured to the oak table.
Tonight I created a frame to properly trim the mat and look nice. Becky would have put up with just cutting the mat to fit, but I didn't want to go cheap on her. The frame fit wonderfully, so I then rounded the pine frame to meet with the oak underneath. I screwed the frame to the table using more Kreg screws underneath.
Last, I stained the entire piece using Minwax Red Oak stain. Becky wasn't worried about having it look nice, but I have way too much of my father in me. Any piece that comes out of my garage has to look professional, or it might as well end up on a bonfire heap. Tomorrow night I plan on putting coats of finish on it, and then install it Thursday at her shop. I sincerely dare any dog to destroy this table. If it can, I promise to build that dog a proper doghouse and spend one night in it myself!
Here is that table I made so far:
Here is her old table:
As you can see from the underside here, it was falling apart. I thought it was particle board, but it wasn't even that. It was made out of hardboard, the same stuff they use for pegboard.
Here is her new table, secured to the grooming stand.
This table should last a LOT longer now.