Instructables
Picture of Stop Sign Coffee Table
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Here's a simple coffee table I made out of an old, ratty stop sign and some birch plywood.

I was given a pile of old road signs a few years ago, which I have really enjoyed using for projects such as this one.

If you're interested in getting some old, used road signs (ahem, legally) for a project like this, I recommend asking small-town street departments. My experience has been that bigger cities actually take the time to haul them off to recycle, while smaller towns just throw their damaged and replaced signs in a pile somewhere. If you ask the right people, they'll generally be happy to let you haul off their trash. That's how I got mine!

The surface of this particular sign was relatively clean and flat, but had a lot of scrapes and stains from whatever it went through in its life. I thought the contrasting character between the abused old sign and the nice clean wood would be interesting.

It's a fairly simple design that should be easy to duplicate with some basic tools. If you make something similar, be sure to let me know in the comments. Thanks for taking a look!

 
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Step 1: Layout plywood

Picture of Layout plywood
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I wanted the design to be clean, simple, and modern, and not waste a lot of material in the making process. Overall, I think I met those goals.

I began by tracing the sign onto some 3/4" furniture grade birch plywood. The center was found by drawing lines across the layout, connecting all the corners.

A center circle was laid out, along with areas to be notched where the legs would fit in. Six legs were also laid out.

See photos for dimensions.

AWESOME!!! I happen to have a stop sigh
BackyardWW1 month ago

This is a really nice method to putting together a table, the tables look great. The only concern I have is are the screw holes where the rust forms, did you just paint over them? either way I really like the yellow tables and could possible screen-print the shapes on. thanks for suggesting this design! you did a great job with what you had!

michaelgc1 month ago

Isn't stealing stop signs illegal? Nice table...

seamster (author)  michaelgc1 month ago

It certainly is!

Did you read my introduction explaining where I get used street signs legally?

Mark Montano2 months ago

Not sure if I commented on this already, but THIS is a fantastic table.

seamster (author)  Mark Montano2 months ago

Thanks a bunch!

aaaaoooo3 months ago

rocks really ..excellent skills

jjohnson1765 months ago
What's the diameter of the circle u cut out of the hexagon?
seamster (author)  jjohnson1765 months ago
The diameter is 22 inches.
doodlecraft5 months ago

Cool...love them!

seamster (author)  doodlecraft5 months ago

Thanks!

They require a unique decorating taste though... I think it's called, "okay with old garbage in the house."

My wife humors me and lets me make her things like this.

TallTrav5 months ago

One of the best places to pick up discarded signs is your local scrap yard. I've got plenty for the going price of scrap aluminium. I've also picked up a few from abandoned ferry terminals and industrial sites, but they were steel (and really heavy). Good luck and good hunting!

seamster (author)  TallTrav5 months ago
Awesome, thank you!

You can get different types of street signs on Amazon... I have a chicken crossing sign, and a ostrich crossing... but they come in a lot of things.

seamster (author)  debraleesparks5 months ago

Hey, good to know. Thanks!

emreywiley5 months ago

That is awesome. You had me at stop, but the crosswalk endtable is cool as crap.

seamster (author)  emreywiley5 months ago
Thanks a bunch!

I kinda wish I had a moose crossing sign. Now that would be awesome!

They have those on AMAZON!!!

fixfireleo5 months ago

great idea. i'm glad you specified a way to get them legally. we have too many thieves in society today. you could also put a glass top on with some braces or use a resin cover like the guy did on the penny countertop to make it long lasting and scratch resistant. have you thought about antiquing the wood to match the worn, old sign?

seamster (author)  fixfireleo5 months ago
Thank you!

No, I didn't consider antiquing the wood. It could have been done I guess, but I like the clean look of the wood with the old sign. Nice juxtaposition, I think.
steamdroid5 months ago
Bad bad! Stealing a stop sign is a very serious offense. I hope you get caught on this one by the police.

it might have been a good idea if you had READ his description where he states that he got it by asking a small town road department and they gave him some old, worn signs that had been replaced. of course, this is america, so you have a right to look stupid if you wish.

seamster (author)  steamdroid5 months ago

You are right. Stealing a stop sign is a very serious offense.

Thank goodness I didn't steal it!

ac-dc seamster5 months ago

It might be a good idea to get a letter declaring road signs to be salvage in case the day ever comes that police question its origin.

shazni5 months ago

This is fantastic! thanks for sharing

sniffydogs5 months ago

Love that you explained where to get the signs, legally. Very nice Instructable!

seamster (author)  sniffydogs5 months ago

Thanks!

People tend to freak out a little when they see somebody with an old road sign. But they're perfectly legal to have if you acquire them legally!

craftclarity5 months ago

OMG. Takes me back to childhood. We had a couple of pedal-cars in the backyard, and one year he made these awesome signs for us kids. The 'Stop' sign was shaped like a pentagon, and had the word STEP in huge letters, with 'on it' underneath about a quarter the size.
No wonder I ended up a bike messenger.

Tntman6035 months ago
That's really awesome! Do you use this in your living room?
seamster (author)  Tntman6035 months ago

Yes, I really do. My kids actually use it as a game table more than anything else. It's just the right size for kneeling at and playing card and board games.

anarayan85 months ago
is it legal to use a traffic sign as a table?????
seamster (author)  anarayan85 months ago

Yes, perfectly legal as long as the sign was acquired legally. Once the authorized entity (in this case, a city street department) takes an old sign out of service and replaces it, it's just an object they can give away, sell, recycle, or whatever.

It would be illegal for me to take down signs of course (and incredibly stupid and dangerous to motorists!), or even to post these old ones randomly on roadways, as I'm not authorized to do that.

It's a reasonable question though, and one that people often wonder.

rickyeatough5 months ago

REALLY awesome idea! You could have loads of different signs, an entire collection! Maybe you could even use some as stools? Definitely going to try this sometime, but need to source the signs first - then i can make this! Great work!

Petergottm5 months ago
Very nice!
gunshw3015 months ago
I have a bike crossing sign I have had for years that's needed a new life. Thank you.
seamster (author)  gunshw3015 months ago
Cool! That would make an awesome table. Or bike rack?
Make_This5 months ago
Interesting idea. The school crossing would be great at a pre-school or elementary school. Thx for sharing