Introduction: Make Table Tops From Used Drum Sticks
Second Prize in the
Tables and Desks Contest 2016
Most drummers have buckets of used drum sticks they won't throw away, just in case. It should be pretty easy to get them to part with a few of them if they know they are going to good use.
This Instructable will show you how I make table tops out of used drum sticks as well as how the steel base was assembled. The sticks are loose and spin freely in the table top frame and YES you can TOTALLY USE THIS TABLE top for anything safely, even martini glasses. I have made many of these and if you take the time to choose the right stick placement and assemble well, it's a surface as useable as a solid surface. If you're too type A, then just put a piece of glass on it :)
I have an older Instructable featuring this top design in a stranger, more appropriate base: https://www.instructables.com/id/bass-drum-and-drum...
Step 1: Prep Some Wood
I used 3/4" reclaimed oak trim that I processed down and glued together to make sticks of wood 1.5" X1.5" by the lengths I needed.
Step 2: Create Rabbets and Tenons
On the long sides of the table, I used my table saw and made repeated cuts to create a rabbet wide enough to hold the thick ends of the drum sticks. For the sticks I was using, this was about 5/8", but there are many sizes of sticks, so make some measurements and practice cuts first.
Once that dimension is established, I used a sled and a stop block to cut tenons that fit in the rabbets for the ends of the frame.
When I made this table, I was given a drumstick collection that belonged to a local musician who passed. many were new. I opted to sort through them for the best used candidates so we could donate the new ones to local schools.
Not all drum sticks are the same length either, so once I had my selected sticks, I set up a stop and cut them all to the same length from the thicker end. If I cut the heads off, the skinny end would be even skinnier and harder to get to stay in the rabbets.
I alternate the sticks as I slide them in the frame and did a dry fit before gluing together.
Step 3: Glue It Up Straight and Pretty
Once I had my patterns an whatnot dry fitted and ready, I reassembled and glued the top together. I also added screws to the corners for extra strength, since for this table they outside corners won't be seen. I made sure it was square and let it dry. Once the glue dried, i filled some blemishes with wood glue and sawdust mixed together, sanded and shellacked the frame. I left the drumsticks raw.
Step 4: Steel Frame
The steel frame is a basic, mitered rectangle with 4 legs, all welded together. I used 1.5" steel to match the 1.5" wood i created. One trick I do on a lot steel table bases is weld oversized nuts in to the bottom of the legs and use matching bolts to create cool, functional levelers. I get these from my local steel supplier's cast-off room. Unfortunately the nuts I had were just a tad too big to fit, so I had to grind them down a little.
Step 5: Weld and Grind.
There's always a fair bit of grinding to do in my shop, I'm no master welder that's for sure! I also cut some flat stock, drilled holes in it and welded it in the corners to attach the wood top. once I had that all cleaned up I painted it black and was ready to assemble.
Step 6: Wood Screws
Just four wood screws are needed to hold the top in the steel frame and this table is done! If the wood were any thinner or weaker than the 1.5" oak, I would also add some center supports, but this guy is rock solid. Thanks!
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