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
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
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
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.