Ten Green Coffee Table - from reclaimed timber and glass bottles

Picture of Ten Green Coffee Table - from reclaimed timber and glass bottles
Ten Green is a shelving and table system, constructed simply from local recyclates. This range started with shelving/table modules and continued into small shelving units, big shelving units and now coffee tables.

This document will tell you how to construct a Ten Green coffee table. You can use any four bottles of similar height and any found timber, adapting the dimensions to suit the wood you are working with.

I will happily make up kits to order for UK customers.
If you have bought a kit go straight to step 2.

Design is released under a share alike/attribution CC license by Zero-waste Design.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Get the hardware

Picture of Get the hardware
For one table you will need:

Four hook and eye strainers / turnbuckles as they are sometimes called. I used the smallest I could find, which are 14mm OD at the buckle and 5mm OD at the threads. Such as these from Screwfix .

Four screw eyes and four screw hooks, of a gauge to match the turnbuckles.
Depending on the height of your bottles, you may need some ess hooks too to help the strainer reach between the upper and lower hooks.

Two pieces of reclaimed wood at least 25mm thick. Here I used some small pallets provided by the customer. Ensure the timber is rot free. Trim the boards square and to the dimensions required and sand to a smooth finish. If the board is constructed out of many pieces joined together, as in the example, ensure all joints are well secured as the board will be subjected to bending and shear forces.

Drill four holes and attach the hardware as described in the layout image (also in .pdf and sketchup format). I can not emphasise enough how great Forstner bits are for this job! (pictured).

NOTE: Andrea Biffi rightly points out that for stability is better that tensioners/turnbuckles are oblique (meaning, not vertical, they are meant to sit at an angle), as you can see in the attached drawings.

UPDATE 28/01/11: I have added some proper engineering drawings in .pdf format below. Also the source file packs in Solidworks 2004 and .stl formats.

Ensure that the screw eyes and screw hooks are securely held into the timber as they may be subjected to anticlockwise twisting - you may require pliers or a similar tool to fully screw in the hardware. If the timber does not allow a secure fixing, consider gluing in the fixings using a two part resin or using bolt through fixings.
guyzo351 year ago
Thanks for the inspiration, loving mine!

Looks really great. Actually, those large bottles make me believe this could be done with mason jars to get a lower table for my living room!

royshearer (author)  guyzo351 year ago
Nice one! Are those wine bottles or something fatter?
1.5 Liter wine bottles. Definitely had a fun time putting this together.
royshearer (author)  guyzo351 year ago
I bet!

Cool one! Think I have some spare glass bottles somewhere. Just need to find the wood :)

First time build for me. Used 2 small pallets. thinking of adding a drawer to the top.It turned out great.
dvanbeck3 years ago
My sister and her boyfriend moved recently and they don't have a lot of the essential living room furniture yet. Being that they are wine enthusiasts, I decided to make them a coffee table like this for Christmas. I just finished the table today - here are some pictures.
I used 4" and 6" wide boards from Menards, cut to 4' lengths to make the top and bottom and then stained them with a dark polystain (satin finish). I think it really made the boards look more vintage/reclaimed.
This is my first time making any sort of furniture, and now I want to make more!

Hi Danielle, great coffee table! Just a note: for stability is better that tensioners/turnbuckles are oblique, as you can see in royshearer's attached drawings.
royshearer (author)  andrea biffi2 years ago
very true! sorry if that isn't clear in the instructable.
Beautiful project!
hammer98764 years ago
There are some very nice looking wine and booze bottles out there that would look great for this. You could also fill the bottles with colored water, sand, sea shells, buttons, photographs, anything small enough to get in the neck of the bottle, including ships! This is a very interesting idea that could be endlessly personalized. Thank you.
Actually some water with pretty coloring added could be an asset. If the bottles are well sealed and really filled with water it becomes very difficult to bend or compress the bottles if they are plastic. With a bit of clever wiring and some LEDs one could beam light up through the colored water or even go hog wild and have four lava lamps as supports.
pentwd2 years ago
What a brilliant project. It inspired me to make my own rustic coffee table. The wood is from an old door which I cut down.
My next step will be to add a glass top.
Coffee Table.JPG
royshearer (author)  pentwd2 years ago
This looks great, cheers!
Pfarmkid3 years ago
SUGRU!!!!! you could just SUGRU!!!!!! the feet thats why i say SUGRU!!!!!
slysimon3 years ago
Really very nice tables. Great idea and instructable.
zipperboy3 years ago
The filling the bottles with concrete is a good idea for both looks and strength. It would be just as strong and as good looking to use the cable and screw eye bolt system as per the coffee table. If you used 2 cable loops in a square shape, one per side, you could fasten them together by unwinding the cable ends and creating loops, The trick to getting the loops to turn out nice is to get a good clean cut on the cable end. Hammering the cable over the blade of an old axe works well. Once you have your loops, loop eyed together you can then use pre-stretched rope to tension it up giving you a hour glass sort of shape to the cables on each side.

Make a small loop at one end of the rope, then around outside of one or both cable sides, then pass the other end of the rope thru the loop and pull back using the loop like a pulley. Rubbing the rope with ordinary wax will let it slide tight easily without breaking on you. With a strong cord you could likely get enough tension on the cables to pluck them for a note or too.

The beauty of using this idea is you cut the cost in half or more for the parts needed, as large turnbuckles are your most expensive part in that build. to stop the cables from cutting the rope place a small piece of strong fabric or rounded piece of scrap metal sheet etc. under the rope where it passed over the cable. These scraps can be removed later.  small copper elbows would work well and might look nice too.

Cheers, Phil aka zipperboy
digitworld3 years ago
If you were worrying about the bottles breaking, couldn't you fill them with a quick-setting concrete?
It would give the table a more "industrial" look, also.
mcraghead3 years ago
Very cool. I wonder if just one big beefy turnbuckle in the middle would work?
medalhead3 years ago
I have been so impressed, i just rebuild the table!
Mine looks like this :)
royshearer (author)  medalhead3 years ago
beautiful, well done!
Edit: I put some wheels onto it, so if you want to put the table beside a little, the load to the table is less.
And also i used smaller ones of these metal things to tighten the 2 plates and some ropes. the big ones were much too expensive...
dbbd4 years ago
Can the bottles break if you tighten too much?
royshearer (author)  dbbd4 years ago
I have never had this problem, so would say no. The greatest hazard is the bottles cracking by knocking them around too much during cleaning and constructing, which has occurred in the past. Take your time and take care with the glass, but don't worry about compressing them.
Boowiggins4 years ago
doctoral4 years ago
I know of some ice tea bottles that would be perfect, I also have some plastic half gallon sizes in mind . and different shapes. oh the possibilitie are endless .
luvit4 years ago
after i made this i talked to it.
Kiteman4 years ago
That is an excellent, and visually attractive, piece of furniture.

Is it my imagination, or do your projects show that you have a lot of bottles of booze that need recycling? ;-)
Im sure you could ask your local bar to hold onto some bottles for you.
royshearer (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
! I have some bottles, and several sources who hold some back for me! I don't have a drink problem but have developed a worrying obsession with empty bottles.
i like the idea of using the screw top bottles as feet for the table that just seems to work for me
octopusses4 years ago
Your design is absolutely gorgeous! Simple, elegant, functional. Thanks for sharing.
Culturespy4 years ago
Have you made these with more than four bottles? Maybe a round table or a long one?
royshearer (author)  Culturespy4 years ago
I have a made a longer one and another using 3 bottles, both shown on the project page here. I also made this two bottle version using wire in tension. I would love to see a round version!