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!

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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.

what do you mean by "box store"?

Robotron Cx38 months ago
I found one of those just laying in my aunt's yard
jteeter211 months ago
I love those Hermann Miller chairs. Big seller at my store. haha
johnfedak1 year ago

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.

macduff451 year ago

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 ;>)

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.

mirx11 year ago
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)  mirx11 year ago

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

bysolone1 year ago
These tables are great. I have on similar to this in my backyard
leongene1 year ago

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)  leongene1 year ago

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