Everybody has a hobby in their life that brings them happiness. For some people it’s making their own craft beer; for others, it’s growing a garden or learning a new skill, like how to knit or embroider.
For most people, these hobbies are activities that they are truly passionate about. It can take them years of practice and skill to get the perfect results they crave from any of their finished products.
That’s what made it so exceptional when one 10th-grader decided to take up woodworking. You might think his first project would have lots of flaws, but wait until you see what he made…
When one 15-year-old boy shared photographs of an amazing “infinity table” he made in his woodworking class, he couldn’t believe how many people came out of the “woodwork” to let him know how impressed they were with his creation. It was so brilliant, in fact, that he entered it into a competition—and won! But how the heck did he pull it off?
To begin the project, he had to create the pieces that would make up the top frame. “The table is made in two separate parts; this is the part that the top two-way mirror sits on,” said the 15-year-old boy. The other part—the outside frame—would come later.
“This is a photo of the top frame after I drilled in the rails for it and glued it together,” he said. “The inside frame was just sitting there, so I could get an idea of how big it needed to be.” He had only begun, but he was already making impressive strides with his project!
Next he needed to jigsaw four square holes in the corners underneath the table top. He had to ensure that the depth was just right so that the legs would fit flush into the table. You might hear “jigsaw” and think of a puzzle, but it was actually first used to describe this technique in furniture-building!
At that point in the process, he enlisted a few of his friends to help hold the table in place so he could see what it looked like. When this photo was taken, he was three weeks away from his project’s deadline date. It took him from the beginning of January to the beginning of April to get to this point! Not bad for only three months of work.
Next, he had to make sure that the legs were drilled into place. He used pocket holes to drill the legs in from the inside. He also secured it with four screws on the outside for additional support and to keep it level. This table would be strong!
Now it was time to make the table look more professional. After his teacher selected a color, the teen began the process of staining the wood. Don’t you just love how the stain on the wood really highlights the grain?
He then finished staining the legs of the table.”This is what the inside looked like without the top frame. It’s a good look at how thin the inside of the table, where the lights are, actually is,” he said. Can you believe that this “infinity” table isn’t all that deep?
Once the stain that he’d applied had completely dried, he attached the top part to the rest of the table. Now that the top of the table was in place, you could really see the professional quality of this student’s work! But he wasn’t even close to being finished yet…
Then it was time to add the wiring in order to achieve the “infinity” effect. “I drilled a hole through the inside frame to get the lights in and out,” the teen said. “The hole in the leg goes all the way through so the power cord can have a place to run without it just dangling out of the table.”
While this teen made everything so far seem like a cakewalk, it was anything but. There were definitely some hiccups along the way, particularly when it came to the wiring. “Had to route out an area for the power block to go because it wouldn’t quite fit,” he said. Oof. It just goes to show you that attention to detail—and proper measurements—is crucial.
The next step in the process was central to creating the illusion that the inside of the table went on and on forever: a mirror. The teen had to be sure he was careful in attaching this piece to the very bottom of the inside of the table. It was delicate work!
Once the mirror was installed, he encountered even more issues trying to get his lights to stay in place. Eventually, he reached for the hot glue gun. “I eventually gave in and hot-glued the lights in because the adhesive strip wouldn’t stay tight on the beginning or end of the light strip,” he said.
After the glue had completely dried—and he’d meticulously wiped down the mirror until there was not a particle of dust on it—he set the top frame of the table into place. He could have left it like this and people would have still been very impressed! Still, there were a few more steps to go to create the “infinity” illusion.
With the lights in place and the wiring just right, he was finally ready to drop the glass top into the frame. What a sleek look! This is the photograph he took when he arrived at the location where he would be exhibiting his project for the competition. It might have looked like an ordinary side table, but the judges hadn’t seen anything yet…
The table in itself was beautiful, but it really shined once it was plugged in. Seen here (displayed next to this equally amazing skull chair), you can see exactly how the lights inside reflected off of the mirror inside the table. This created the illusion that the table was much deeper than it actually was!
When the exhibition closed, this young man took home a major prize. “I got a Grand Award at the Forum, which just means I got a perfect score from the judges,” he said. “I was so proud of this table.” As he should be—it was beautiful! But what would it look like in a house?
Well, there was only one way to test that. Even when the lights inside of the table were turned off, the glossy finish on the top piece of glass was still really attractive. Have you ever seen anything so reflective? The American flag was a nice touch. That’s some star-spangled awesome.
What was particularly cool about this project was how it looked in the daytime or under normal lighting. It wasn’t just another ordinary piece of furniture, but a really beautiful coffee table. You can imagine how neat it would look with a vase of flowers or set of wine glasses on top.
Can you believe that all it took to create this illusion was a string of lights and a mirror in a sunken frame? It’s easy to see why the judges were impressed—and there’s no doubt this teen’s friends will feel the same way. The infinity table looked just as stunning in his living room as it did on the competition room floor.
Turn down the lights and you’ve got yourself a party! This could make quite the conversation piece whenever company came over for dinner. Think about all of the different color options and how they would coincide with a Valentine’s Day or Halloween get-together, too. It would be totally original, that’s for sure.
Here’s a closer look at the table’s effect when you stand over it in the dark. Looking down into it is a little bit of a trip! Don’t you feel like you could fall inside and never hit the bottom? It’s a little bit spooky for a simple piece of furniture… but awesome nonetheless.
Can you believe this was only his first attempt at making something like this himself? It is going to be a whole lot of fun to watch him grow as a carpenter and designer and to see what he comes up with next!
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