Wooden cable spools are, as the name suggests, what long lengths of cable are wrapped around for transportation. These do not have any real purpose for the industry and as a result, are often very cheap or even free to get.
If you know what the inside of a spool of thread looks like, cable spools look similar. They are large, round, and made of wood. They have flat surfaces and are often upcycled and turned into an easy coffee table for this reason.
Wooden cable spools make perfect indoor or outdoor furniture. This article will take you through what you will need to take on this upcycling project and how to do it.
What will you need?
You will obviously need a wooden cable spool, as this is the most important part.
You can usually find these at building sites and can often get them for free. This is because, for a construction site, these are generally deemed to be waste. They are the perfect size to create a little coffee table.
You can also check with local contractors, builders, electrical companies, and on Craigslist for wooden cable spools going free.
You will need a sander and sandpaper too. This is to make the edges smooth and prevent you from getting splinters as you use the table.
You will need some paint too, to ensure your table fits with your design vision. If you are going to use your upcycled spool as an outdoor table, ensure that you use exterior paint. This will ensure your table will not deteriorate in quality over time.
If you want to be able to move your table easily, you can purchase some wheels to attach to the bottom. If you opt to do this, you will also need a drill and some screws to secure the wheels in place.
If you want to cover the center of the spool, you can purchase some thick rope or fabric to do so. You will also need some strong, outdoor glue to attach it.
You will need varnish to cover the table and finish it off. This is particularly important if the table is to be used outside as this will add an extra layer of protection to the finish.
How to Make It
The first thing that you will need to do is sand down the wooden cable spool. We suggest using an electric sander for this, as it will make the process much faster and easier.
Ensure you go over the surfaces and edges a few times to make the surface perfectly smooth.
The next step is to paint the cable spool. Paint according to your desired design and allow to dry. If you want to add fabric around the edges or glue rope to the spool, do this now.
Turn the spool onto its side and drill on some wheels to the base to make it maneuverable.
Finally, varnish the table and allow it to dry before placing it outside.
How to Add Wine Storage
The center of the cable spool is hollow and makes the perfect space for a wine rack.
Ensure the cable spool is stood upright and mark a space for the wine rack to go. We suggest leaving a little wood at the top and bottom so that the center has some support. You should also not cut too wide of a space as this will decrease the structural integrity of the table.
Once you have marked out your window, cut the inside section out. You will not need this section of wood and so to make the process easier, you can drill holes into the wood to make sawing a faster task.
We recommend using EMT (electrical metallic tubing) conduit pipe to make your wine bottle holders. These are thin metal pipes with an interior diameter of around 4 inches. This is the perfect diameter for holding a bottle.
We suggest cutting into 10 sections of 1 foot long each. Ensure you measure them out carefully so that they fit into the window you have made. A good layout is 2 tubes wide and 5 tubes high.
If you have a welding kit to hand, it is highly recommended that you weld the pipes together in the desired format. This will prevent them from slipping out of the window. If this is not done and you store glass bottles in the rack, they are very likely to slip out and smash. Not only would this create a mess, but it would waste good wine!
We also recommend covering the back of the pipes with a strip of wood or metal. This is to ensure your bottles do not fall out of the back of the pipes.
You can glue the rack onto the wood of the cable spool to keep it more secure.
How to Add Seating
Measure around the circumference of your cable spool.
Add a 2-inch border all around the circle - this will be the line you cut around to create the hole in the center.
Measure out a larger circle. This should be wide enough for people to sit on comfortably. Cut this out and sand it down until it is smooth.
Add some supporting metal or wooden rods. Screw these onto the underside of your seating circle to keep it at the right height for people to sit comfortably around the table.
Place the seating around the edge of the cable spool. Decorate to fit with the design you have chosen. If you like, you can add some cushions or other soft furnishings to make the seating area more comfortable.
It is remarkably easy and cheap to fashion your own outdoor or indoor furniture from old wooden cable spools.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure has never been more true than in the case of cable spools!
A few hours of work and you will have completely personalized furniture to add style to your home.