As with all of our more technical how to's: (i.e. anything with a measurement involved), I (Lee) will be tackling this one. I hope you don't mind (he said in his most charming tone).
Really, the transformation of the side tables was just my stubborn determination not to return to Ikea for the 2nd time that week, and during rush hour.
The tables we bought from Ikea were originally purchased to go behind the couch, as a type of console, but they pushed the couch out too far so they wouldn't work. Ashli started crying . . . okay I started crying . . . ok nobody cried but we both really didn't want to make the 45 minute trek back to Ikea. So we tried something very risky, because if it didn't work out we wouldn't be able to return them, at least with out some serious explaining :). Here's how they looked when we brought them home:
Soooo, with my mind made up that I wasn’t leaving the house again I set out to measuring how much of the bottom to lop off. We put the tables together and set them beside the couch to measure how much lower they should be. Ashli decided that the top of the table should be about 1.25 inches below the arm of the couch (she decided this by glancing up from her laptop and with an oh so accurate measurement between her fingers . . . "ah, about this much").
That made a total of 6 inches to remove.
I put the tables in the garage, top down on a towel as not to scratch the top (again, doing everything not to head out to Ikea again) and measured 6 inches from the bottom and marked off all 4 legs. I used my grinder with a cut off disk, but with a little more time and patience a hack saw would do fine as well, I’m just not very patient and I like power tools . . . A LOT!
One thing to note is that there are plastic inserts in the bottom of the table legs that should be removed prior to measuring and should be re-inserted after the correct length is cut off. Here's how the tables looked post amputation:
Once all the legs have been cut, and the plastic feet have been put back in the only thing left to do was put them beside the couch… and hope I measured right.
After living with our new side tables for over 6 month now, we are still in LOVE. They're not really statement makers, they just nicely play with the rest of the furniture, blending in like a good team player. But the best part about them in my opinion is that their HUGE, as far as side tables go. I can fit a drink, a magazine, a plate of dinner and still have room for one of Ashli's soy candles!