Marauder’s Map Table (Harry Potter)

I love the Marauders. I love the Harry Potter books and I love the Marauder’s Map as seen in the movies. I realised that the walls are drawn up from words en phrases only when I started working on this massive project.

I need to preface this by saying that I royally screwed up a lot of things in this build and that shows when you look at the table. It is very much not perfect, but I am proud of it.

When I got the table I was flat broke and it was time for the spring break. In the Netherlands that is two weeks time for teachers to gather their sanity and brace for the last push.

I didn’t rest. I bought a table from Marktplaats – the Dutch E-bay. It was ugly, cost me 40 Euros and came with four chairs. Here I made the first mistake. I should have used a heat gun to work lose the top coat of varnish that was on it, and then carefully sand off the stain.

I bought a block plane and ripped a layer of varnish, stain and veneer off. Yeah, this table was obviously not solid lumber and ouch. I tidied up as best I could and was reasonably happy, especially with the colour.

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With some holes in the veneer I made another big mistake. I actually didn’t ask anyone how pyrography usually worked. Therefore I didn’t know that a lot of people use paper with graphite on it, which allows you to transfer designs. Enlarged the images I had on A4 sheets by hand, drawing them out as best I could onto my table.


Now this was a really slow process, but I loved it. It didn’t cost anything and it took my mind off the dreadfully small amount of money I had left for food. I watched whole seasons of QI whilst stuck in my flat, building this table. Enlarging it the way I did took WAY too long. cropped-13083372_837995279639336_1271346505049993768_n.jpg

But the results, oh Goodness, the results. I loved what I saw grow in front of me. I can still stare at it for a minute a day, just appreciating it. Slowly, but steadily it got better and better.


And when I finally had the main table done I could start on the extending side-wings of my dining table. So far, I had pumped an estimated 140 hours into it.

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And then I decided to try to use danish oil. Yeah.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying danish oil is a bad product. It just wasn’t right for this job. It darkened the wood while I preferred the contrast between the light oak veneer and the pyrographied lines. That final colour was a bit of a disappointment.

However, after an investment of about 80 euros, I was left with a splendid table, a wonderful conversation starter, and a LOT of lessons learned.



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