Square Reclaimed 2x4 Coffee Table With Steel Top




About: 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 "upcycling." i post a lot of inspirational and entertainment videos on youtube.com/timsway. oc...

this table is made out of reclaimed 2X4s that were once part of a beach boardwalk here in connecticut. i ran them all vertically and created a polished sheet steel top creating a unique look. the steel is untreated so it will scratch and patina with age, but it could also be protected with a more durable clear coat.

the video shows how i made it.

i apologize that this isn't a traditional "instructable-style" write-up; i make these videos for my youtube channel and try to share them here as well, for anyone who may be interested. this is a build for someone who would consider themselves "pretty ok" or higher with woodworking. feel free to ask questions and i will do my best to answer.

be good,


Furniture Hacks Contest

Participated in the
Furniture Hacks Contest

2x4 Contest

Participated in the
2x4 Contest



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I appreciate you posting your work, however it's not very instructive. (you do point this out)

    What if you took screen grabs of each part of the process and explain the meatiest bits. For me it would be more 'instructive' - for examples:

    After making the joins for the sides, was it just glue, or did you use fasteners, and in what way? I constantly wonder at the different ways I can bring two pieces of wood together. I don't expect you to cover them all, but find myself wondering what you chose, and why.

    When buffing the steel top, what product did you use, and what did you finish it with, if anything? What can you tell us about using steel for a surface, I assume it was stainless?

    Again, I love seeing anyone's work, but this video is just youtube content. If you posted 'real' instructions for one project, and linked your youtube, most of us would have a great time looking at all your pieces (I did!, and I love your new channel trailer and your enthusiasm!).

    Please pick something awesome you did that you can extensively deconstruct and give us a real complete instructable. Something that also delves into how you make choices.

    Something I'd be curious about, is how much I can do without a router or a thickness planer. There's magic that can happen with just a circular saw and this gives people a much cheaper way to test the waters of their inspiration.

    My intent is pure, so please take none of this as negativity, just some _possibly_ constructive rambling.

    Love your work.



    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi Rash,

    I appreciate your input and am fully aware instructables is the neglected child of my online family. At this point I can't justify spending any more time creating online content as making stuff is my job and the content creating is still just a hobby and done out of love for the "hive mind" on the web. I merely put these vids jere in hopes of reaching and inspiring a few i might not reach elsewhere online. Just this year I started a patreon account and have plans to make content creating part of my "job" which would include upping my instructables game and maybe even creating a (gasp!) Reddit account.

    To answer your questions, the sides were joined with only woodglue. The top is regular sheet steel sanded to about 600 grit and only cleaned with mineral spirits. It will age, stain and patina with use.

    As to why I choose to do what, much of that depends on the job, materials, budget, how I feel that day, what tool is broken, etc. Ha-ha!

    I also invite you to listen to a podcast I have with two like-minded guys called "reclaimed audio" (iTunes, stitcher, etc) where some of the thoughts behind our actions are fleshed out more than they could be in text.

    Thanks my friend. Happy building and feel free to ask any questions. I'll do my best to answer.

    Be good,

    timswayPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 3 years ago

    thank you penelope. i thought it was kind of a cool look, too.

    be good,