A Factory Cart Coffee Table

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I’ve always wanted to transform an old industrial cart into a coffee table. I finally found one recently. This one actually has 2 levels and gorgeous original hardware. It did have 2 vertical “push handles” that I sawed off. (see nubs on left picture. I later sawed those down to be level with the top)

I found out this factory cart came out of a cigar factory in Dallastown, PA. Research seems to point to the William H. Raab Cigar Factory, which first opened for business in 1871. The last news I see of it is that Raab continued his business with his sons in 1927. That’s the best I could date it!

The cart of course needed a good cleaning. I decided to take off the wheels to fully wash them; it was working great until the last screw on the last wheel would not come off. That wheel got a bath over a bucket. Sometimes you just have to improvise.

I loved the patina of this piece, and wanted to preserve it but make the surface shinier and smoother. For this I used a clear lacquer. I prefer the Watco brand, which you can find at Amazon or Home Depot. (Home Depot is usually cheaper) Make sure you do this outside, the fumes are very strong!

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The results are fabulous! You can really see the patina through the shine!

I photographed this cart as a coffee table or a plant stand, but it has many functional uses! Shop my current rustic furniture available now!

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