Introduction: Walnut and Vw Parts Stools/ Side Tables

Picture of Walnut and Vw Parts Stools/ Side Tables

for the past year i've had some vw springs and brake drums laying around and some slices of local walnut. then it hit me...

i'm uploading this video to instructables just to enter the wood contest - even though most of the work here is with the metal. i kinda figured nick offerman and crew might dig the walnut - it's sort of their thing, right?

thanks for watching,



Cplp (author)2015-09-23

you do good job. Congratulations

timsway (author)Cplp2015-09-23

thank you!

GeneralSherman (author)2015-01-26

Very cool. Can fresh cut wood be used, or is it best to let it dry out over time?

timsway (author)GeneralSherman2015-01-27

i'd say why not try? i don't know too much about log furniture. what i do know is fresh lumber is a lot heavier because of the liquid weight and often cracks when drying. there are ways to combat cracking. a couple were listed in my comments here. hope that helps! -tim

GeneralSherman (author)timsway2015-01-27

Thanks for the reply! I did a little research and typically when making furniture from harvested lumber you would want it dry, not fresh. I have a bunch of really nice logs so I think I will make a couple of stools now and see how they turn out. I imagine that the drying process wouldn't compromise the integrity of a simple circular stool all that much. For more structures with precise measurements and fittings it would probably be more detrimental.

timsway (author)GeneralSherman2015-01-27

exactly! don't try making any dovetails with it, but make some rustic stools! have fun and share pics. -t

bettina-sisr (author)2015-01-22

Beautiful! I have a bunch of train springs that I've been wanting to do something like this with, but need a base! Maybe now I'll go to a local car graveyard:-) thanks wonderful work!

timsway (author)bettina-sisr2015-01-22

train springs? awesome. make sure to share pics if you do!

babybayrs (author)2015-01-20

Liked it. Got my vote!

timsway (author)babybayrs2015-01-21


frankie2234. (author)2015-01-20

Damn son, those are fantastic !!! You definitely have a special eye and some great talent. You wouldn't have any trouble selling those if you made more.

davintosh (author)2015-01-20

I had the same thought when I saw the photo. Generally, 2" square tubing will slide easily over 1 1/2" square tubing. But considering the weight most springs are designed to carry and the weight of the average person who might be sitting on these stools, there might not be much deflection at all.

Still, very cool design, and a great way to put used auto parts to good use. Well done, Tim!

timsway (author)davintosh2015-01-20

i was surprised how soft the springs were. i didn't think i'd need support. i need some springs out of a truck i guess ;-)

davintosh (author)timsway2015-01-20

Yeah, I suppose out of a VW they'd be softer than what I'm used to seeing; I've got a set of springs from an older BMW that could be used, but I don't think they would deflect much at all with my weight on them.

BrockGrimes (author)2015-01-20

I think if you used 2 pieces of tubing for the center post, one large enough to slip over the other, then it would provide the side to side stability but still allow for compression of the spring. I like it. It has a look that appeals to me.

brookefox (author)BrockGrimes2015-01-20

Nice idea, though I guess finding those sizes might be the rub.

timsway (author)brookefox2015-01-20

a couple people mentioned the two-tube idea. i was going to use a gas shock but it looked kinda garbage-y. i may mess around with the tube-in-tube on some other projects. cheers!

PaleoDan (author)2015-01-20

Like these, nice job. I have some Jeep springs I took off when I lifted it. I am going to give this a try. I have 4 so maybe 2 stools and 1 bench...

timsway (author)PaleoDan2015-01-20

those jeep springs might be stiff enough to work without the center support. go for it and send me pics!

GuestPolis (author)2015-01-17

Ok sorry for the bad wording then, I was just wondering if there was any bounce in the chairs

timsway (author)GuestPolis2015-01-17

that's what i thought you meant. no. the springs were too loose. they would have been unusable. so i had to add the solid steel. cheers! -tim

GuestPolis (author)timsway2015-01-20

Say you had more springs to add to each stool, would that work as intended?

timsway (author)GuestPolis2015-01-20

maybe. probably just stiffer springs.

Allengroff (author)2015-01-20

Very cool stools! I love the workshop also. I was hoping that they had some bounce/give to them when you sat down but solid state is just as good too. If you ever build anymore, you could possibly use two sizes of square stock to give the freedom of movement. So when you sit down it absorbs the weight. Of course you would probably need some decent springs that don't have any damage. Good job with them.

timsway (author)Allengroff2015-01-20

a couple people had similar ideas - which i like. the springs from the little vw jetta were real loose however, so i think i'd still need a stiffer spring. if i ever do this again i may try that. i initially planned on using actual gas shocks but they looked too junkyard-y.

Gunslinger11B (author)2015-01-20

Fantastic simple idea that turned out looking amazing! Thanks for posting this.

timsway (author)Gunslinger11B2015-01-20

thank you.

suziechuzie (author)2015-01-19

Those look great. Very industrial chic.

timsway (author)suziechuzie2015-01-19

thank you!

pc1975 (author)2015-01-15

Very cool!

timsway (author)pc19752015-01-15


GuestPolis (author)2015-01-15

How far do the steel go up?

timsway (author)GuestPolis2015-01-15

i'm not sure i understand the question? the steel square stock connects the bottom of the chair to the brake rotors. thanks!

seamster (author)2015-01-15

Awesome stuff! These are so cool.

timsway (author)seamster2015-01-15

thanks man!

alienvibes (author)2015-01-15

These are great. ☺ Depending on the size and depth of the cracks you might want to think about resin fill... you can define the cracks a little more with a dremel which would release more pressure from tge timber and avoid more cracking in future. A trick I use on green wood vessels is to band the outside in a loop of 1/8" mild steel then drill out the very centre inch of pith with a forstner bit. When its done all the moving and drying plug the centre hole with a contrasting piece of hardwood.

timsway (author)alienvibes2015-01-15

thanks for all the tips! i pretty much exclusively work with reclaimed lumber so this type of "green wood" is something i know little about. i'm usually using stuff that's been dry for 50-100 years! i let these sit for a year, but they were stacked like coasters and i think that slowed the drying process.

Wired_Mist (author)2015-01-14

My inner Gear Head is going nuts! lmao

Awesome Idea; I love seeing scraps turned into something Beautiful !

timsway (author)Wired_Mist2015-01-15

thanks man. i wanted them to be just on the springs so they moved a bit, but those little light vw springs were way too soft, so i had to add the steel.

adamwatters (author)2015-01-14


timsway (author)adamwatters2015-01-14

cheers adam! i still have a bunch of that walnut left. i made a little side table to go with these, but the vid doesn't really make a good "instructable":

ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-01-14

That is awesome!! I love those types of stools and you made yours stand out from the rest. Thanks

timsway (author)ClenseYourPallet2015-01-14

thanks man! they've cracked a little bit since i finished them (expected). now that they've settled some more i plan on refinishing the tops to perfection.

About This Instructable




Bio: i am an artist and musician. i make things of use out of things that no longer have use. i think the hip term is ... More »
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