VW Engine Table With Lights and Etched Glass




Hi, everyone! i have here our coffee table that we put together out of my old vw engine, a piece of glass from my neighbor's broken entertainment stand, and a few other small things(besides the lights). This table was mostly easy to build, other than lining up the lines for the etching on the glass top. If you like the Ible, Please pleaseplease click on the trophy emblem above and give us a vote! Thanks so much!

Step 1: Getting Things Together

First off, you will need an engine. We only used the block, and not the head, as I reused the head from my old engine on my new engine. To make a table like ours, you will need an inline engine, you could easily modify the design to suit an inline 6 or any other brand inline 4 that has a head deck and oil pan lower deck area that are parallel. So here is a list ofthe things we used, you could easily swap in other small things to fit your needs.



2.Flat Piece of glass(tempered for use as a table)

3.metal feet(this is for the bottom to aid sliding. we used push pin style replacement feet from the hardware store epoxied into the oil pan bolt holes.

4. cabinet knobs. We used them to hold up the glass.They are epoxied into the head bolt holes, and the glass is epoxied to them.

5.Piece of plastic sheeting to make lower tray to hold electronics.

6. led light sequencer/controller. we got ours off of ebay. you could also make your own pretty simply. (if you know electronics,which i don't enough sooo...ebay)

7. lights for the cylinders(we used some ccfl halos just smaller than the cylinder bore, 80mm).As a result we also need drivers for the ccfl lamps.

8. Degreaser and paint for the engine

9.a power plug for the sequencer(you could also add a switch to the power cord if desired)

10. glass etching acid and transfer paper


You will need some basic tools, I used razors and xactos to trim the transfer paper used to make the stencil for etching. You will need a sharpie to mark the paper and glass for etching. Brushes for cleaning the old engine. Epoxy for the feet and glass mounts, and a square for marking the glass straight. also some clippers to cut the end off of the transformer to wire it to the sequencer, unless yours has a barrel jack.

Step 2: Clean and Paint

I went with a mostly simple paint scheme. I Degreased the engine thoroughly with engine degreaser spray and a butt load of elbow grease and the brushes! Then I set up a white primer base. Afterwards I painted the block silver(metallic flake silver) and after that was cured and fully dry, I masked off the block and sprayed the inside of the cylinders red. This was to accent the red halos! We liked the Red because it mimics combustion almost. We also added black to the balance shaft timing pulley and the oil dip stick tube. After the colors were done, we generously coated the block with clear coat.

Step 3: Feet and Glass Holders

The feet, as I mentioned earlier, are just replacement metal feet from the hardware store. They are a small metal puck with a pin coming out. We took four of these, and back filled the oil pan holes that we selected with epoxy. Then inserted the pins into the epoxy filled holes. Afterwards we uprighted the engine to provide pressure and to make sure the epoxy grabbed the pin and filled in the threads. We did the same with the silver cabinet knobs that we chose to hold up the glass from the block's upper deck(where the head mounts). They came with machine screws instead of of pins, so we threaded the ends into the knobs equally and inserted the cabinet knobs with screws, screw first into the head bolt holes.We chose cabinet knobs that had stems to raise the level of the glass, we also selected them because they fit perfectly into the recessed bolt hole making them easier to center.

Step 4: Plate and Electronics

Since our glass is not removable, we need to install the lights and electronics before we attach the glass. we cut out a small piece of plastic and hot glued the drivers and sequencer board in place to it. then hot glued the halos flush into the very bottom of the cylinders. Connected the halos to the drivers via their quick plug in connectors, and wired the drivers to the sequencers English screw type terminals. I wired them in the firing order of the engine so when the program of 1-2-3-4 is run, it actually drives the lights in the engines original firing order! The sequencer has 17 programs, though wiring them differently than the program intended makes them operate differently than they should. The entire tray was hot glued to the flat surface where the crankshaft mains bolt.

Step 5: Glass Etching

Since we have a lot of amoretch, we decide to do it big on the table!
We laid out some diagonal stripes with the transfer paper and also an audi logo with a vw logo in one of the loops. You need to lay the transfer paper sticky side down onto clean glass, then use you pen and straight edge to make your lines. Remember, you need to remove any pieces that you want to be etched. The remaining paper will be un etched glass.

Lucky for us, the glass,though having rounded edges and sides, had four holes in a square pattern drilled into it. They were too far out to bolt the engine directly to them, so we stuck pens through them and then laid a straight edge(square) between the pens to mark a rectangle on the glass with the sharpie.

Once your design is ready, generously apply armor etch cream to exposed glass and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Now you will need to wash the glass off to remove the cream. My brother and I picked up the glass and carried it outside for this to use the hose. Dry the glass and get ready to glue

Step 6: Etching Finished, ​All That Is Left Is to Attach the Glass!

Now is the time to attach the glass, We had chosen the knobs used for many reasons, one of which is that they are dished.
We filled them with epoxy and set the glass on top. Place something heavy on top and allow the clamping force to set the epoxy. You can chose any shape glass, we had a rectangular piece form our neighbor's entertainment stand that broke(wood not the glass), so we used it. We used this reference to center the glass on the table. Wipe away excess epoxy from the glass immediately when gluing the glass on!!! We Also used this square when lining up our etching stencils(transfer paper cut outs) to center our glass on the table! That's it! Not too bad, just time consuming. The cost was very low, under $150 for everything, and it was a load of fun!



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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago

    actually, Audi is owned for 99,95% by Volkswagen since 1965. Most engines for Audi are made by Volkswagen with the exception of some high performance ones which are built for Audi exclusively.
    Even the engine of the Bugatti (also owned by Volkswagen) is made by Volkswagen, it's W12 (that's right, not V but W) basically consists of 2 combined v6 engines from Volkswagen.

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    right on! and as far as the graphics. we were going for a rally feel with the stripes and the rings somewhat illuminate under the ccfl flash. but it is a bit in your face design wise. it looked nice in my opinion before the etching! we were just on a big etching nine at the time haha


    Reply 4 years ago

    I really love the table. For me the logos are a bit much but that's just a matter of taste.


    3 years ago

    This is awesome. And as for the etching i love it bit big but who cares. Overall pretty sweet


    Reply 4 years ago

    that's correct, the block is by audi for vw, it even had audi group stamps in the block casting. I think you can see it in the painting step. Thanks for looking at My ible! it should be in the guerrilla design contest later today if you feel like shooting me a vote!


    4 years ago

    I love it