Introduction: Wire Spool Table

Picture of Wire Spool Table

It's an amazing feeling to know that you made the table you sit in front of and enjoy on the daily. It's an even more amazing feeling to know that you upcycled industrial equipment and saved it from the waste of a landfill! In this instructable, I'll show you how I converted a huge copper-wire spool into a circular dining table using just a few basic supplies. Oh, and did I mention it was (mostly) free??

Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you my tale:

I called my local (box store) hardware supplies store and asked if they had any wire spools that they wanted to rid themselves of. They not only said they had plenty in every size they were willing to part with, but would even drop it off for free. Oh yes. Awesome indeed. Luck was definitely on my side, because they had a spool that had the perfect dimensions for a dining table, if turned on its side, of course.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Sanding & Painting

Picture of Sanding & Painting

First thing I checked for was nail heads and other sharp objects sticking out over the surface of the wood. There were a few heavy duty staples, but nothing too daunting. Next, I compared which face end would be more appealing as the table top, which are rarely identical. One end had some black spray paint and a sticker that looked torturous to remove. Hence, I chose the other side that only had the company logo stamped on it. I liked the aesthetic appeal of the stamp and decided that I would not sand it off. Actually, I decided I wouldn't sand any portion of the table top, which would make my life easier, but of course, meant that I would have to have cover it with glass. More on this later.

Using a paint roller, I quickly and easily added some flare to the rim of the top. The reason I recommend a paint roller to go along the rim as compared to a paint brush is because the former makes accidents highly unlikely as it'll help to control where the paint is allowed to go. Use whatever technique you find most convenient. I painted it on a whim, and was so happy with the result it was hard to control the impulse to paint the entire thing- but of course, that would give a completely different look to the table, and I wanted to keep the stool's integrity intact.

Step 2: Nuts & Bolts

Picture of Nuts & Bolts

I decided not to sand the table top because I wanted to keep the original stamp but this decision was just a byproduct of realizing that the actual side of the spool had too much hardware that was not flush against the wood and I would probably need to cover the entire top with glass anyway.

I wasn't even going to mess with the idea of removing those nuts and bolts, which seemed to be keeping the stem attached to the two wheel ends. But of course, if I would be placing glass over the top, I would not want it to sit directly on the medal bolts, which would scratch it horribly. So now the question was how I would make levelers that would sit on the wooden top, but be taller than any of the nuts and bolts so the glass wouldn't touch any of the medal, but rather the levelers.

There are many different options to create levelers, but the two I toyed with were felt, which most people would have used or small pieces of wood drilled into the body of the table. I like this idea better because it would be less conspicuous than the felt. I made sure to drill the screw deep so its head was slightly beneath the surface of the wooden leveler, this way the glass wouldn't touch any of the medal.

Step 3: Deciding on Glass

Picture of Deciding on Glass

The idea of using glass was both necessary as mentioned before, but also inspiring, as it meant I could create more surface area on the table top. The wheels of the spool measured 36 inches, and I would be stuck with a small 36 inch table, but because the spool was structurally sound (it weighs about 120 lbs, and does not wobble, at all, at all) I could easily afford to get a 60 inch round glass top to sit atop. Because this would literally be the only thing I would have to pay for in getting a new dining table, I was more than game. Glass table toppers are apparently popular, and you could order them online or just walk into nearly any furniture store and if they don't have it on hand, they would certainly know where to point you.

I got a 5mm glass topper, which would work wonderfully for me, as it would be thick enough to have just 12 inches floating off the circumference. One could get pretty fancy here and buy beveled edge, 1/2 inch tinted glass, but my needs didn't call for fancy. It called for awesome. And awesome answered.

Enjoy!

Comments

nichpsu (author)2016-01-12

I turned one of these spools into a coffee table by shortening the "stem" and the bolts that hold it together. It's possible as long as the bolts are threaded to the length that you want to shorten it to. The most difficult part was holding it all together for reassembly.

tracy.riley.946 (author)2015-03-21

what do you mean by "box store"?

Robotron Cx3 (author)2014-07-11

I found one of those just laying in my aunt's yard

jteeter2 (author)2014-04-05

I love those Hermann Miller chairs. Big seller at my store. haha

johnfedak (author)2014-03-04

Nice thing to add is 3 or 4 feet on the bottom so the untreated wood doesn't meet direct contact with ground. Made one a few years back and used ball shaped pressure treated wood post tops with a screw insert.

macduff45 (author)2014-03-04

I think this is a great idea as I live close to a unit that has an abundance of these unused reels. With the larger ones the centre hole could be enlarged and with a bit of heat proofing fit a small fire pit in the middle. Logs and fuel could be stored under the rims, makes it ideal to toast marshmallows over or even a steak on a stick ;>)

Havlicek stole the ball (author)2014-02-28

I'd probably be bothered by hitting the bottom wheel whith the chair. Do you think the table would still stand firm if I'd cut the wheel (entirely or partially)?

I think if you trim the bottom wheel portion partially, it should still be stand fine. The center barrel is itself quite sturdy and thick. However, I wouldn't cut too close to it because that may sever the bottom wheel planks and then you would have to take those off completely, which would mean dealing with those crazy big bolts. Also, if your glass top is big enough, running into the bottom wheel with a chair would be less of an issue.

mirx1 (author)2014-03-03

If you don't mind sharing, how much did the glass cost? Did you have to have it custom cut or do these places offer standard sizes?

amalkhan (author)mirx12014-03-03

I got the glass from a furniture store. it cost about $125

bysolone (author)2014-03-03

cool!

Maubee Fountain (author)2014-02-28

These tables are great. I have on similar to this in my backyard

leongene (author)2014-02-28

I am 81 years old and worked with the "telephone Co" starting in 1955. We used these "as is" even then for patio or picnic tables in the yard w/o any adjustments other than maybe putting a cheap plastic tablecloth over it.

amalkhan (author)leongene2014-02-28

Great minds think alike! Would love to see pics if you've got any!

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