Introduction: Cable Reel/Drum Table With Custom Design

I managed to get a cable reel off a building site, and wanted to make a table out of it.
i had previously made a wine rack / speaker out of one but this one was bigger.

I hope you like it

(i am not the first person to make one of these, however i am pretty sure this one isn't a direct copy of somebody elses because i made this as i went along)

What i used:

Straight edge (i used a spirit levelas it was to hand)
Jigsaw (only needed if you intend on having round cuts)
Sander (not essential, but will save time)
100m of natural braid
Drill with drill bit (big enough to pass the braid through)
Wood stain (light oak)
Yacht varnish
Black multi surface paint (only needed for custom design)
Masking tape
Craft knife
Paint brushes

Step 1: Acquire Cable Reel

I got mine off a building site for free.
You can buy them online, but before you do, have a snoop around building sites, companies that deal in armoured cables etc, you may get lucky.

Step 2: Cut the Base

I didnt want to leave the bottom completely intact as i thought it may stop you getting tour chair under it (and it might make it look like no effort was involved in the design)

i started by drawing a line through the middle of the base, then drew a perpendicular bisector (big word i havent used since high school)
i then used a length of 3 inch timber to draw another line each side of the existing line (thus making the 4 bits 6 inch wide)
then using a round object (for me it was a plastic party plate, i rounded off the joins.

i made the cut using a handsaw up to the curve, and a jigsaw to finish the curves.

side note - cut your grass before it gets as long as mine is in this picture, or you will have to spend hours going over it like me.

Step 3: Sand It Down

The surface of mine wasnt too bad compared to some, and i didnt want to sand it back too much in case it lost its reclaimed/rustic look.
dings, staples, surface cracks etc were all welcome.

i used a random orbital sander with a variety of sandpapers.
from 80 grit (rough) to 240 grit (really smooth) to do the top as this was the bit you would have contact with most.
The rest of the table just got a quick sanding with 80 grit.

Step 4: Staining

After i had finished sanding the top i wiped it down with an old rag.

Give the tin a good shake, and apply a light and even coat using a paint brush.
(i wiped the surface down with a rag as soon as i had finished to make sure the coat was relatively even)

i then repeated the process on the underside of the tabletop.

(the rest of the table wasnt required to be stained)

Step 5: Wrap Centre Core

I drilled a small hole (around 6mm) in the top of the centre core.
Then pushed a small amount of the braid through the hole, tied a knot inside (so it couldn't pop back out)
then i wrapped it tightly around the centre what seemed to be 3 million times.

To finish it off i did the same, but tied the knot as close to the inside of the hole as i could so it couldnt loosen.

(the picture doesnt show it finished off because i had a break from wrapping the core as the weather was good to do some painting.. so i proceeded to the next step for now)

Step 6: Create a Stencil

I wanted this table to be random, unique, and a it more than a stained up cale reel.

So i drew a rough idea on a piece of paper, then masking taped up the area that would fit the design in.

Then i sketched the design roughly onto the tape.

Using my craft knife i cut out the parts i wanted to paint to achieve my sillhouette.
(this took a lot longer than i anticipated)

Step 7: Paint Stencil and Base

Using the black multi surface paint i applied a thick and even coat to the stencil and the base of the cable reel.

after 30 minutes it was drying and i could see areas that needed a touch more paint so i gave them a quick once over.

Step 8: Remove Tape

After the paint had dried, i removed the tape and hoped that it didnt crack or peel.
Thankfully it didn't and it turned out okay.

Step 9: Yacht Varnish

Once everything has dried, i used a small paintbrush and some yacht varnish to give it a good glossy finish and also make the top waterproof / uv resistant (preserving the table)
24 hours later i sanded it very softly with super fine grit sandpaper to remove any lumps and bumps, and coated it again.
(i did this a total of 4 times as i wanted it to last as long as possible and look high gloss)

Thanks for looking
i hope you like it

Outside Contest 2016

Fourth Prize in the
Outside Contest 2016

Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Outdoor Structures Contest

Participated in the
Outdoor Structures Contest