Introduction: 100% Upcycled DIY Railroad Side Table

About: I have always made things. My family has a history in the trades and we have always done a lot of work renovating our homes. As a child, I was encouraged to spend my days outside building tree forts and creati…

This was such a great build due it’s simplicity to build and the style
of the finished piece. Be sure to watch the video of the build up above!

Step 1: Material Collection

I found this awesome piece of wood across my street in an area the city takes downed trees. It had enormous bulging burls on every side and I immediately knew it would be a great piece to make into a table base. The railroad spikes were found along abandoned tracks and the red tinted glass was found at an abandoned train station and was used to signal trains coming in to the station.

Step 2: Layout the Piece

I started out by sanding the entire surface of the log with 60 grit sandpaper, eventually working my way up to 220 grit. I needed to get into every little crater and surface to ensure that the finish would penetrate deeply and bring out the luster of the wood.

Once sanded, I began to lay out the position for the railroad spikes.
Getting the positioning perfect was a little challenging but my patience paid off. I predrilled each hole with a 1/2 inch drill bit and then squared up the holes with a quarter inch chisel. It was important to maintain the direction each spike would be driven into in this step.

Step 3: Drive Those Spikes!

Once the holes were drilled, I grabbed my mini sledge hammer and began pounding in the spikes. I did not use any glue or epoxy to hold them in and I made each hole slightly smaller than the spikes in order to act as a natural wedge, as they are meant to do on a railroad track.

Once the first 3 were in, I found out that I needed 2 more splayed out at larger angles to give the table top the solid base it needed to not be dangerous. The top of the railroad spikes eventually were given rubber feet to help the glass from sliding off.

Once the spikes were driven in fully and the glass top sat perfectly square, I put on the finish. I used boiled linseed oil for this project and applied it with a brush in order to penetrate all of the gaps and holes.

Step 4: Finishing Up the Table

In the end, the table took me a half day to build completely and then until the next day for the finish to completely absorb. Not bad for a half day’s work if you ask me. I had such a fun time building it!

If you liked this project, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel where you can see the video of this build and many others. I am also on Instagram where you can see behind the builds. Also, please consider supporting me on Patreon so that I can continue to bring these sorts of projects to life and continue to upcycle, reclaim and restore.
Thanks for reading!