Two Recycled Material End Tables

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Project by WhiskeyWaters posted 1349 days ago 1664 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

11297 posts in 1732 days

#1 posted 1349 days ago

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 2324 days

#2 posted 1349 days ago

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

View Knothead62's profile


2364 posts in 1588 days

#3 posted 1349 days ago

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 1634 days

#4 posted 1349 days ago

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 2432 days

#5 posted 1348 days ago

@ 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 1422 days

#6 posted 1348 days ago

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


866 posts in 1478 days

#7 posted 1331 days ago

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

View Roz's profile


1659 posts in 2413 days

#8 posted 1330 days ago

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 2155 days

#9 posted 1292 days ago

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

-- another tip from cooperedpatterns

View UpstateNYdude's profile


428 posts in 610 days

#10 posted 397 days ago

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, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime's work, but it's worth the effort.” ― Fred Rogers, Be My Neighbor

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