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!


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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