Introduction: Recycled Fence Butcher Block Style Table

Wind storms, hail storms and/or just upgrading your fencing around your backyard, the fence panels are now broken down and lay waste.  You could just truck it off to the nearest dump, burn it and make a heck of a fire(not recommended), or recycle it.  The wood planks are still mostly in good shape, a bit worn looking, but still in good shape.

Step 1: Supplies

You will need to have wood, old wood preferably.  Please don't tear down your neighbors fence, you could wait till you do that all important(honey-do) fence upgrade or wait for the neighbors to upgrade.  Check with your local fencing company, they may let you have the panels they are replacing.  Please enjoy my first instructable!

You could use the standard butcher block standard of using glue, but I opt to use bolts instead..

Parts for one in-table:
- 31x planks cut to roughly at 24"  lengths
-  2x 5/8"-11-2'  all thread rods, 24" lengths
-  4x 5/8"-11 nuts 
-  4x 5/8 flat  washers
-  4x wood screws 
-  60 grit sand paper
- 100 grit sand paper
- 150 grit sand paper
- 320 grit sand paper or steel wool
-  polyurethane sealer
- 1x 5 gallon bucket

Tools needed:

- Jigsaw, Table Saw, Miter Saw, Hand Saw or something, to make the plank cuts.
- Drill press or Drill, to make the all thread holes
- Wrench or Socket, to tighten the nuts
- a hammer, to pull the nails
- a screwdriver or gun
- Sanding Block or Electric Sander
- Tape Measure
- 7/8 Spade Bit, for the holes
- something to mark lines or holes
- brushes, for polyurethane
- understanding,  from significant other 


I am not responsible if you get in trouble, if you tear down your neighbors fencing.  Please obtain your wood planks according to local laws and ordinances.  Please read all safety material for your tools.  Please use a well ventilated area when using polyurethane and read the instructions on the can.

Step 2: Wood Prep: Pointy Things

You will need to remove the nails or screws from the wood.  The nails or screws are more than likely rusted, please be careful.

Hammer the points of the nails enough till head is high enough on the other side to pull the nail out.  Unscrew the screws if possible. 

Step 3: Wood Prep: Cuts

Cut your planks in 24" ish sections, I say ish, because I was using a Jig Saw and my cuts were never excactly 24".  Plus the jagged look adds character, =).  I cut one plank and used it as a template.

Step 4: Wood Prep: the Holes

I measured 4 inches from the cuts on each end and 2 inches from the edges, to drill the holes.  I used one plank as a template.  To make sure that holes would line up, I marked the top edge that would show, because not every plank was exactly the same width.  

I made a jig to line up the top edge and the hole cuts.

Step 5: Make the Stack

Take the All Thread rods, put a washer on each, then a nut on each.  Start putting your planks on, make sure the top mark is on the same side as the rest. 

You will notice that after you put all the planks on, it will be taller than the All Thread.  You will need to compress or push the planks down till you can get the washers and nuts on.  You may have to loosen the nuts on the other side to give enough room for the other side.

Step 6: Bolt It Down

Take your stack and lay on a flat surface, with top down.  Since the drilled holes are bigger than the All Thread, you have some adjustment give, to lay it down flat and even.

Start to tighten the nuts evenly.  The stack will compress.  Use your own judgement on how tight the nuts will be.

Step 7: Attaching the Base

I choose a 5 gallon bucket, because I had some lying around.  I was planing on using galvanized pipe legs, but costs prevented me from taking this plan.  These get thrown away all the time.

Measure the center of the table and screw your bucket down.  Remove the handle, as this may get in the way.

You may wonder as the stability of this is.  It is stable enough to put small stuff on, like a light lamp or something.  This may get upgraded to pipe legs or half of a wood barrel eventually., who knows. 

Step 8: Sanding

To reveal  the good wood beneath, we will need to sand it.  I started with a 60 grit sand paper.  The old layer sands off quickly.  Then move up the grit to 100 and farther if you desire.  Watch for splinters, they hurt.  Remember to remove the dust from your sander and project often.  When your happy with the results, move on.

Step 9: Sealing

Since this a in-table, I am not preparing the surface for food safety, I just want to protect the wood from spills.  You can scale up  this project for food use, but please research surface preparation for food safety.

I used a clear water-based Polyurethane to seal the wood.  Please follow the directions on the can for proper use.

This is the slow process of the project.  Brush one layer on, wait a couple of hours, brush another layer on, wait a couple hours again.. and so on...  You may want to sand lightly with 320 grit between 2 or 3 coats, you could also use steel wool to smooth it out, I used grade #0000 on the last two coats.  Put as many layers on your table as you desire.

Info on Polyurethane Sealing ~ here ~


Step 10: Done!

All done, now for one more in-table, coffee table, and a lamp... haha...