My roommate Haynes and I built a kotatsu in our room. We built a simple 3’x4’ wooden frame out of pine two-by-fours and four-by-fours, and cut a tabletop out of half-inch plywood. We put a king-size comforter over the frame, and the tabletop over the comforter. We finished the tabletop with a router, then sanded, stained it (red mahogany stain), applied tung oil and finally sprayed lacquer. It ended up shiny and quite waterproof. Pictures will be added soon!<p/>

I wish we had a better story around it: one night, at 4am, Haynes said “we should build a kotatsu” and told me what it was. I said okay, let’s do it, so we both chipped in 20 dollars to buy a heater online, before we went to bed. The next day, we both had it on our minds – and that evening, we went downstairs to the workroom and built it. It was a relatively easy project, but it was still very satisfying to see it all come together. Three hours and we had the frame done. Over the next few days, we purchased a comforter ($65 or so from Bed Bath and Beyond – they had a special deal), finished the tabletop with cheap hardware store materials, and began using it in our room. The only thing that hadn’t arrived when the semester ended was the heater itself. It should be there when I return, though!<p/>

It has really become a great social center of the First Floor of Techhouse. People come and hang out under the thing, play video games, or whatever. It’s very awesome.<p/>