Tribal Table




Introduction: Tribal Table

Looking for a cheap cool looking coffee table? Look no further! This TRIBAL TABLE is totally made out of scrap wood ,namely pallets. It did not cost much and totally looks legit right?

No wood working experience and no electrical equipment is required ,except for a drill . It is handmade and is really a nice show-off piece to show your friends. It only takes about 4 days if your as lazy as I am and the table is solid...and heavy.

The instructable basically started as an excuse to get away from studies as I recently finished metric. I just wanted something to get my mind off stuff and what better than building a table?!

So without further a due lets get started!

Step 1: Step 1: What You'll Need

Its not totally made by my hand ,some usual tools are necessary


- Saw ,normal small wood saw to cut the pallets

- 45 degree triangle

- Pencil

- Screws with appropriate lengths ,see later in steps

- Drill

- Quarter rounds

- Table top , I got this from a public hospital (they use it to transport new beds when shipping it ,go have a look)

Products that will be used:

- Wood glue

- Wood stain ,2 bottles of traditional teak and two bottles of Imbuia stain

- Tape

- Wood Sealer

- Wood putty

And Of Course The Most Important Is THE PALLETS!!!

Get these and let's go ahead.

Step 2: Step 2: Making the Basic Base Legs

Dismantle the pallet boxes! Its hard work but its the only way. While doing it make shore all damaged planks are thrown away and that no nail stick out. Either saw off the nails or take them out. And sand the pallets smoothly!

So there is not really any specific measurements that need to be used. Look at your type of pallet as all pallet boxes come different. After dismantling up to 5 pallet boxes you should have a few long thin planks and probably 5 thicker shorter planks per box.

Take 5 short planks. Wood glue each of them to the other. Make sure to use enough glue. Rather to much than to little. Pick them up and put it vertical on a horizontal surface to makes sure all are in line. The five planks that are in a row now should be left to dry with heavy objects ,like bricks, on them.

Make two of these as two base legs come from each giving you four base legs.

After it has dried apply another two planks to the sides to cover the 3 planks in the middle. Glue them in place and leave to dry with heavy objects on them.


Step 3: Step 3: Cutting the Base Legs


Take the glued planks and measure the half point. Remember this is a coffee table so the legs should be measure to size since my half way point was where i needed to cut. Maybe yours would be different ,measure it accordingly to what size you'd think it would be perfect for you.

See and Saw. It definitely tests you perseverance with a saw. Make sure you cut straight and vertical!!!

Basic Maths. After cutting the two pieces you should have four base legs for your table.

Well done on completing this! Is really an accomplishment!

Step 4: Step 4: Making the Table Top

Take the table top and draw the tribal picture with a pencil you'd like on it. I used and native Indian face. you can copy and modify pictures off of the internet as you wish.

After drawing the face tape it. make sure the tape is stuck firmly everywhere you closed your drawn picture and also tape the edges of the table

One ,Two ,Three ,hope for the best and start painting the Imbuia stains over the top ,take a cloth and spread it all over. Leave it to dry.

After it has dried remove the taped pieces carefully. After realizing some paint went beneath the tape take a breath. It doesn't matter is it will either add to the tribal look or will hardly be sen once applying the next stain.

take a art brush and the Traditional Teak stain and paint everywhere where the Imbuia stain has not covered yet. Yes that means the edges. And carefully paint the face try not to spill or over paint as you want to see a difference between the two stains.

Now you are an artist as well hehe.

Step 5: Step 5: Make the Side Railings

So depending on how long your pallets are and your table top you have to measure accordingly.

Measure the sides of your table top (face) and mark it on the sanded thin long pallets.That would be the side but you want 45 degree angles so you take the triangle and add the angles with a pencil.

Our favorite enemy is back...the SAW. We have to cut again , Yes start sawing the 45 degree angles of the planks on the ends. MAKE DOUBLE SURE that the ends angles that are cut are both showing in the same direction. so you'll have a short and long side. Neither outer services of the planks should be the same length.

Do this with the pallet thin planks for all four sides of the table top.

Now to keep it tribal and since my face is a native Indian I decided to draw a dream catcher and arrows on the planks with a pencil. Then ,the whole story again ,you spread the the Imbuia stain over the planks ,BUT be careful when coming near to the drawn catchers and arrows. Take a brush rather to paint the edges of the pencil drawing. Now paint with the Teak the drawn Catchers and the arrows. I only did this on the long sided planks.

The Dream catcher is a bit tricky. you should use a thin brush after filling the circle with teak ,and use the Imbuia to cover the inner circle so it looks like a dream catcher.

After covering the planks in full let it dry.

Step 6: Step 6: Getting Ready to Art the Base Legs

Here come some measurements.

With mine a measured four centimeters from the top and bottom and marked it. If your pallets are different follow the instructions as follows.

The reason we mark it is since we want the side planks to fit into the base legs and not over.We also want a 6 centimeter top space left to put on the fitted glass. So to do the calculations for where your mark shoul be do as follow:

- Measure your width of your plank.

- Measure the depths of your table top.

- Now add the table top depth and 6 centimeters and make the mark on the planks width.

- The width that is left is going to be marked on the base legs from the top and the bottom.

Now also measure the depth of the plank and mark it on the top top of the legs. This should give you a indication if you draw a parallel line to the sides of where to saw them.

And saw again but only on the top of the legs ,NOT THE BOTTOM!

DO this to two neighboring sides of the legs to all four legs.

Now we can decorate the legs!

Step 7: Step 7: Totem the Legs

In Tradition To keeping To The Tribal Theme , I made the legs to be of that of a totem pole.

Time To Get Creative Again!!

So with a pencil draw the faces or creatures you would like to be on the legs. After doing research I actually realized a totem pole tells a story so if you'd like to tell a story you are welcome! I was to lazy so I just did random faces. Do try and keep them close to that of the tribal faced creatures and faces.

Then paint the outlines with Imbuia stain. After covering all the legs cover them all with a cloth with the Traditional Teak stain. after it has dried color in with the Imbuia stain again the face back grounds as seen in the pictures. This gives a totem effect.

Do this with all the legs! On All Sides!

Step 8: Step 8: Adding the Quarter Rounds

The quarter round finish of the legs nicely and elegantly.They cover and hide the pallet middle pieces that showed.

Take the quarter rounds and measure the length of the legs. Cut the quarter rounds where they would fit the legs best. Now stain them and stick them with would glue.

Make a total of four for each leg and repeat to cover all corners. Its as easy as that!

I used some shoe nails and hammered them in just to solidify the quarter rounds.

Step 9: Step 9: Finishing Touches

Now use the Drill

Drill a total of three holes with the appropriate screw width in each leg. One at the top ,bottom and middle in opposing directions. The screws have to be long and basically add to solidify the leg planks to each other ,so one screw should preferable go threw 4 planks.

Now take a thicker trill and rill a very tiny depth into the wood on the recently drilled holes. This is to hide the screw. Drill in the screws and cover it with wood putty. now just paint the stains over to hide away the putty mark.

For the side mounts on the table top just use the shorter appropriate screws ,5 for the long side mounts and 3 for the shorter sides, bent them in to place drill the holes and drill in the screws. leaving these screw to be seen leaves an cool effect.

Now dill holes from the top into the legs and the side mounts in to the legs so a total of three services of holes are drilled in the legs and drill in the screws. Hiding these are up to you.

Cover your table with a good sealer , I used a clear finishing one.

Go to the local glass store and ask for a 6 centimeter glass in the measurements according to your table to be fitted on and use a clear silicone to be added beneath.

Wa-lllla you have a Tribal cool looking Table!

First Time Authors Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Authors Contest 2016

Tables and Desks Contest 2016

Participated in the
Tables and Desks Contest 2016

Be the First to Share


    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge
    • CNC Contest 2020

      CNC Contest 2020
    • Secret Compartment Challenge

      Secret Compartment Challenge


    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Awesome looking table design. I love how you even took the time to detail the legs. Very cool.