A college graduate has very different needs than a younger student, particularly one who has worked in the IT department at school. Much more sophisticated computer equipment comes home, and with it, the need for more desk space. After many months of browsing Craigslist for a new desk, it became apparent that it wasn't a desk that was needed; we needed a table. Preferably something older and a little funky. No MDF board or veneer, something solid that would stand the test of time and be as good looking as it is useful.
A table finally appeared that would fit the bill. It was located in Salem and the price was right: $40. Yes, it needed a little TLC, but it was solid wood, had a small leaf for expansion should the need arise and was in decent shape. Nothing a little sanding and urethane couldn't fix.
Above are the "before" photos. The sanding turned out to be a bit more work than anticipated, but what's a few extra hours on something that will be so useful? Fortunately, the trestle-style bottom part of the table was unblemished and only needed a light sand and some oil. The top needed to be taken down to bare wood, but once it was, it looked amazing. The best part, for me anyway, is oiling the wood after the sanding is complete, when the grain stands out and looks so beautiful. After the oil sinks in for a day or so comes the urethane to protect the surface against moisture and spilled drinks.
Forty dollars and a weekend later we have a beautiful multi-purpose table that will be a useful as it is nice looking. Perfect for computer equipment, sewing machines or as a kitchen table, I know it will see many years of use.