That Table has a Hole in It – A Found Furniture Tale

“I found furniture. A table for you,” said my mother one day. “It was free.”

Fantastic. That is a price I can afford.

In this picture you can see the table. It’s got a printer on it and some picture books and the free weights underneath.

Here’s another angle, just in case you missed it:

This is, for IKEA aficionados out there, a traditional, black LACK table. At the time of writing, such a table costs about $49.00 new.

“There’s just one problem.” Sure, I think. No doubt there is, because it was free.

“It has a hole in it.”

In my head, I picture a rather small hole. A negligible hole. A hole that would perhaps go unnoticed.

The hole

No, no my friends. Not negligible. Not unseen at all.

Here it is, from another angle:

That is, as we say, a big jeezly hole.

First, in my home of origin, there ensued a debate about what might have made this hole. Someone standing on the table to get something? An incident whilst moving? An ill-fated beer-induced brawl of some kind?

Have sorted that out (rather unsatisfactorily) my ever-insightful father says, “That’s a big hole. You could just buy a new table.”

I choose not to weigh in, knowing my mother will say “I can fix it! It’s a good table. No need to buy stuff.”

True enough. At least on one of those points.

She proceeds to sand the table, paint the table, carefully caress the table. I go back to working and sort of half ignore what’s happening.

I used an IKEA hack to resolve holes in the bathroom door too, check those out!

Many, many days later the table looks new – but for the big hole, which is still there.

With what shall we fix it, dear Liza?

The second debate ensues: what will we use to fill/plug/cover/remedy the hole?

One suggestion – turn the whole thing upside down. Deemed impractical.

Wood filler – LACK tables aren’t made of wood.

A new piece of wood to fill the hole… we lack the necessary skills. And tools. And materials. At that point we’re basically making a table from scratch which seems to defeat the purpose.

Knowing it will piss off my mother and amuse my father I declare that it would probably be fine if we just glued something over the hole. Like a plate.

“You could permanently eat dinner there”

Or a little dish for a candle: “The candle would always have a home.”

Or a mouse pad! “It’s ready for work.”

These answers are not satisfactory.

“How about a coaster? It’s always there when you need it.”

Much humming and hawing. Materials and designs for coasters are discussed.

Finally – it’s settled. A black coaster. On a black table. The glue emerges.

The deed is done.

table with vase


So just know that if you come to stay at my AirBnB, somewhere there’s a piece of furniture with a giant (secret) hole.

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