Two Recycled Material End Tables

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Project by WhiskeyWaters posted 12-12-2010 07:43 PM 2173 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This fall, I became a full-time woodshop-esque teacher in a private school for students with neurological differences. It’s been a wild ride. My first order of business has been to outfit and carve out a woodshop on the campus. As we don’t have much access to electricity, I’ve been concentrating on hand tool mastery and supplementing projects with my personal shop tools. We also have made a commitment to use recycled materials when possible. Every piece on these tables is recycled: the bases and top supports are pallet lumber, the center posts are salvaged studs or oak used by oil riggers, and the tops are wainscoting from local office buildings and reused moldings.

These two end tables are the result of three weeks worth of work by 3 different groups of young men. Often, we would work for an hour or so, take pictures and notes and then send that information to the English dept for the young men to write up a how-to article. At the end of the project, both pieces sold for $75 – enough that we have a shopping trip for a new power drill & bit set, Japanese hand saws and who knows what else. I’m extremely proud of my kids – I think they did great work.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

10 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20268 posts in 3067 days

#1 posted 12-12-2010 09:18 PM

Way to go! Nice work. I love to recycle. For me it is scrounging ( but recycling sounds better).
They will really appreciate them since they made them!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3659 days

#2 posted 12-12-2010 09:45 PM

They did a great job very nice tables and recycling is a great idea.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2923 days

#3 posted 12-12-2010 11:26 PM

You’re proud? We all are! First, the skills learned by the class. Second, your dedication to them and desire to teach them woodworking with both hand and power tools. Keep us informed of future projects.
Recycling is a good idea. Use it until there is nothing left to use.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 2969 days

#4 posted 12-13-2010 12:19 AM

I like the feet on these :)

And almost ALL of my wood is “recycled” I’m a scavenger by heart.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 3767 days

#5 posted 12-13-2010 04:39 AM

@ Dragonlady -

The feet really came out well. If we do another set of these pieces, I’d like to have them “lighter” – some thing a little bit more rounded. Maybe a set of Nicholson rasps on the list now?

On the chance any teachers want to copy the design, go ahead. The feet are just half-lapped together to form that shape. The top supports follows the same design. I found this project especially helpful to teach how to use a miter saw and especially how to cut straight down a piece of wood and stop. Oh, and a little geometry reinforcement in there.


-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View mixedmedia's profile


24 posts in 2757 days

#6 posted 12-13-2010 05:48 AM

Great project, woodworking in the schools is an almost lost art form. Best of luck to you and your class!

-- "Waste not, for those whom waste will always be left wanting"

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 2813 days

#7 posted 12-31-2010 12:49 AM

What a fantastic project to integrate curricula and a good one for generalizing skills and curriculum. It also brought recycling first hand, rather than just a concept or random mantra.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3748 days

#8 posted 12-31-2010 04:42 PM

Great project, and a fine work you are doing. Thank you.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View Randolph Torres's profile

Randolph Torres

295 posts in 3490 days

#9 posted 02-07-2011 05:45 AM

the footing is way too short the table is going to topple over at every opertunity

-- another tip from cooperedpatterns

View UpstateNYdude's profile


914 posts in 1945 days

#10 posted 07-22-2013 02:26 AM

the footing is way too short the table is going to topple over at every opertunity

Thank you Debbie Downer…anyways nice job on the tables you and your kids did a great job ignore the critics

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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